Unitised façades by seele: As economic as batches, but still individual. From cost-optimized engineering with the highest level of prefabrication to the economical installation.

unitised façades – as economic as batches, as individual as custom products

Cleverly designed unitised façades can be both: economic yet highly individual. seele makes this possible by using an advanced concept that considers more than just the entire creation process: the engineering that keeps costs in check, the serial production with maximum prefabrication, right up to economic installation methods. All this paves the way for extremely individual façades. Curving, tilted, transparent or opaque. Mixes of many design features or combined with other façade types. In most cases, unitised façades developed by seele employ 3D design with complex geometry. To achieve a homogeneous appearance, the designers also integrate structural glazing technologies. And seele is a real authority in that respect. Experience and comprehensive testing result in solutions that go way beyond conventional standards. seele’s own production plant for aluminium unitised façades was established in 2009. Since then it has been extended and is now a highly modern production line for complex projects. Experts at all stages of the creation process work together in interdisciplinary teams. Synergies in engineering, production, logistics and installation enable the realisation of curtain wall façades, double glass façades or integrated façades that are unequalled in terms of their functionality and design configurations.

  • ­

    Big project? Really complicated? A job for seele

    seele invented unitised façades for challenging projects. For example:

    • Major projects
    • Projects placing particular demands on technology and/or material
    • High demands on the building physics (German energy conservation legislation, FEES, etc.)
    • Ambitious geometry
    • Large element formats
    • High-quality materials
    • Integrative façades

Superb sealing. Lightweight looks. Precision as planned.

Façade systems have their limits. But seele’s integrative unitised façades do much more. They combine thermal performance, air conditioning, sound insulation, daylighting and shading functions. And also comply with all the other requirements of buildings, such as the tolerances and deformations of the load-bearing structure. Their appearance is lightweight, their dimensions bespoke, their materials mix and quality exceptional. The secret behind their precision is accurate cuts, exact jointing techniques for mitre joints and tight tolerances. To achieve dependable waterproofing, seele develops dimensionally accurate, tested frame sections and seals.
Assembly in clean room conditions rules out detrimental climate and contamination influences. Your guarantee for good cost-effectiveness is 3D processes throughout – from design to production.

  • ­

    Most unitised façades by seele are in the form of a curtain wall, produced to the highest quality standards. The highly automated, accurate production and assembly of separate elements with glazing gaskets takes place in seele’s own plant, which is designed to handle elements with the largest possible dimensions.

5 Broadgate, London: Where projects require a combination of unitised façade and other types of construction, e.g. steel glass, post-and-rail or all-glass forms, seele has all the know-how needed to turn concepts into reality.
Väven arts centre, Umeå: more than 1,500 individual units, some of them bent. seele supplied these with mountings fixed to the back with adhesive so that they could be hung in position as complete elements.
European Central Bank, Frankfurt: a complex hybrid double glass façade made up of about 1,000 different formats. The elements are mounted at an angle of 2° to their vertical axis.
7 More Riverside, London: a complex unitised façade requiring 52 aluminium sections and 45 gaskets.
25 Churchill Place, London: 14 façade solutions in one building – mainly a glazed unitised façade attached to the load-bearing structure via cast-in channels and hook fixings.
Hotel Wagram, Paris: undulating unitised façade made from bent insulating glass units. The cavities between the panes are conditioned according to the SCF principle.
60 Holborn Viaduct, London: Twisted aluminium louvres conceal a complex unitised façade which called for exact 3D design by seele.

Multi-leaf element forms: double glass façades by seele

seele can also supply bespoke solutions for double-leaf façades. One very good example is the hybrid double glass façade that was specially developed for the European Central Bank, which has three façade layers so the interior can be ventilated directly from outside. Opening elements are integrated into the outer façade in such a way that they do not disturb the purist lines of the façade. The advantages of the double skin over the single skin are better sound insulation and better thermal performance. In addition, there are benefits at very windy locations and sunshades can be incorporated in the cavity.

SCF – Self Conditioning Façade, the ventilated integrative façade

Can a façade really respond automatically to changes in the weather? Yes, provided it’s seele’s innovative “Self Conditioning Façade”. The system is based on a multi-layer façade element with an enlarged cavity for fitting sunshades. Using a classic design, the large cavity would lead to high climate loads as temperatures fluctuate.

This is not so with the SCF. The pressure and moisture exchange necessary for the transparent areas is ensured by the façade element itself. Condensation in the cavity between the panes is therefore effectively prevented by the laws of building physics. And ultrafine filters, which are easily replaced from outside, prevent dust and dirt reaching the cavity.

  • ­

    Comprehensive testing has proved that the SCF technology works reliably. The temperatures of the components and how they influence user comfort, the risk of condensation in the cavity and the climate loads on the façade due to pressure fluctuations in the cavity were all especially monitored during the tests.

    The final test reports, including one by the Fraunhofer Institute, confirm the potential applications for seele’s “Self Conditioning Façade”.

SCF principle: The exchange of air takes place via a direct connection between the cavity and the exterior air, which is kept as short as possible and has a sufficiently large cross-section.
Test results for risk of condensation in the cavity: The dew point temperature is lower than the surface temperature. That means no risk of condensation.
The integral stainless steel filter system developed by seele ensures natural ventilation and prevents fine particles of dust reaching the cavity.
Proven dependability: the self-conditioning effect in a long-term test. Sensors in the cavity monitor temperature, pressure and humidity.
The technology of the SCF element developed by seele is proving its reliability in other buildings as well, e.g. Principal Place Commercial, London.