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Co-Creation Centre pavilion

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Can a façade made exclusively of glass and silicone without any further connecting means support a 20-ton roof? Yes, effortlessly! In theory, the roof can even rest on one 4 cm thick glass column, without risk of collapse. The proof is on The Green Village, the testing ground for sustainable innovations in the urban environment, on TU Delft Campus.

The experiment represents a breakthrough in the application of all-glass facades in single-layered buildings. The results are so convincing that TU Delft will present them to NEN for recognition as a standard. With that standard, a dream of many architects would come true. Architects will be able to design 100% transparent glass facades, without structural interruptions. "Moreover, such a fully load-bearing glass facade consumes much less material, which also makes it a very sustainable solution," says Diana de Krom, glass specialist and project manager for constructions.

The experiment is being carried out in the Co-Creation Center, the event center under construction by client The Green Village and designed by Mecanoo. The Co-Creation Center is a collection of different research projects; a laboratory of sustainable innovations, including a fully load-bearing glass construction. Innovation and co-creation are central to the project, in which scientists and innovative entrepreneurs work closely together.

TU Delft, main contractor Kroon & de Koning, Si-X (glass engineering and assembly) and ABT as advisers and supervisors wanted an answer to the following question: can glass wind fins also serve as load-bearing columns? And is there sufficient load-bearing capacity and stability to support the full roof weight?

The team came up with a solution with 5.5 meter high wind- and support fins, consisting of 3 glass plates of 12 mm thickness. The glass plates were attached to the tripleglass glass facade panels with two-component silicone. The results exceeded everyone's expectations. Even 1 fin with 3 broken glass blades could already carry the full roof weight of 20 tons.

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