5 interesting facts about the vacuum glazing that is used in ’t Centrum

22 oktober 2021 door Diana Grasso

vacuüm glas Fineo.jpg

Part of the glazing of ‘t Centrum consists of vacuum insulating glazing. Equal to triple glazing when it comes to performance, it has the slim profile of single glazing, however. We spoke with Stefan Lips, Sales Director at FINEO Europe.

have long been looking for a way to sustainably produce vacuum insulating glazing. FINEO was developed by AGC Glass. Our parent company has already developed several techniques, similar to the techniques of the first types of vacuum insulated glazing that are still on the market today. However, we felt that if we wanted to bring a product to market, it also had to meet all the current challenges, with a clear focus on sustainability, aesthetics and circularity. The first generations of vacuum insulating glazing have a port on each pane for evacuating the internal volume with in-vacuum metal sealing of the edges. Our glazing is different in two respects. It no longer has a visible evacuation port. The edge seals are produced in such a way that once the pane is sealed it will remain sealed for a very long time. The panes are sealed with a glass paste, making it easier to recycle the glazing.”

2. Good thermal performance

Stefan Lips: “Essentially vacuum insulating glazing can be compared with the triple glazing that’s available on the market today as it has the same Ug value. The Ug value is the heat transfer coefficient. The lower this value, the better the thermal performance. Vacuum insulating glass has a Ug of 0.7. In other words: in terms of insulation performance, the glazing at ‘t Centrum is comparable to the currently available types of triple glazing. Obviously, there are other differences.

    • Our glazing is lighter as we use one glass pane/coating less to achieve the same Ug value.
    • AGC offers a 15-year warranty on FINEO glazing, meaning five years more than is legally required. Simulation models indicate that the connection can remain airtight for up to 60 years.
    • By having one less glass pane/coating, you get much more light and free solar heat.
    • In addition to providing thermal insulation, this type of glazing also provides excellent acoustic insulation.
    • And it’s also highly recyclable.”

3. Less CO2 in production

Stefan Lips: “In terms of energy performance, the vacuum insulating glazing in 't Centrum scores 36% better than the legally required standard. It has the same U value as triple glazing, but we use one pane less when producing our glazing, which means that we emit much less CO2 right from the start. Although we use 30% less material, we still achieve a better performance (in the long run) with this glazing because we expect the U value to remain the same for 60 years. In effect this is an excellent example of dematerialisation: doing more with less.”

4. Spacers between the panes

Stefan Lips: “We call these spacers pillars in the industry. In vacuum technology you need spacers, otherwise the glass panes will stick together. While these are already barely visible, they will become completely invisible in the long term.”

5. Minimal price difference

Stefan Lips: “Compared with triple glazing, our glazing is slightly more expensive, as is the case with all new technologies. However, you need to take other factors into account. Our glazing offers better thermal performance, the window sections are smaller and you need fewer installers because of the lower weight. Meaning you save more money in the long run.”

Further information: www.fineoglass.eu

Photo: vacuum glazing at ’t Centrum - copyright FINEO/AGC



  • The most circular office building of the Low Countries can be found at Kamp C in Belgium

    Kamp C, the living lab of the Province of Antwerp for sustainability and innovation in the construction industry, and a previously selected consortium of seven companies have recently completed ‘t Centrum in Westerlo (Belgium). This is the first completely circular office building in Flanders. The three-storey building has a total surface area of 2,400 m2. The building’s high level of circularity is remarkable. It has been entirely constructed from reusable materials and can thus be completely disassembled and rebuilt elsewhere. The builders used innovative materials, applications, techniques and new business models throughout.

    Lees meer
  • Calculus builds innovative management platform for ‘t Centrum

    ‘t Centrum uses innovative building management system Calculus developed a flexible, circular and remountable management platform for the circular office building to monitor and reduce water and energy consumption.

    Lees meer
  • Sheltered workshop Kunnig repurposes wood of Hangar 26 for use as façade cladding at ‘t Centrum

    Antwerp-based sheltered workshop Kunnig has prepared the façade cladding of former events venue Hangar 26 for reuse as façade cladding at ‘t Centrum. Kunnig gave the wood a total makeover. The wooden beams have now been given a new lease on life as façade cladding for ‘t Centrum, the circular office building at Kamp C.

    Lees meer
  • The challenges of a circular assessment process

    Streng-th, a structural engineering consultancy, was in charge of the analyses and assessments for circular office building ’t Centrum. This process proved quite challenging and in many respects it also different from a conventional project. Engineers Brecht Beirinckx and Stefan Belmans explain why.

    Lees meer
  • Magnesium oxide insulated panels for ‘t Centrum

    The walls of ‘t Centrum are clad with vapour-permeable, magnesium oxide insulated panels. Magnesium oxide has several circular properties and is fire-resistant. Bart D’Haese, an expert in Healthy Houses at EXIE NV, and contractor Joeri Beneens explain the reasons behind this choice. 

    Lees meer
  • Cellular glass for the circular roof of ‘t Centrum

    Cellular glass insulation was chosen for the roof terrace of 't Centrum, a circular office building in Westerlo (Belgium). The office building has been built in such a way that it can be dismantled and rebuilt elsewhere using the existing materials. The choice of cellular glass insulation, a material that is produced by FOAMGLAS ®, was made based on compressive strength to bear the load of the decking. Below we list four reasons why cellular glass is a good choice for a circular roof.

    Lees meer
  • How green walls make a difference in ‘t Centrum

    ‘t Centrum will have green walls throughout. But why do green walls make such a difference? And how do they influence circularity?

    Lees meer
  • Cementless screed in ‘t Centrum

    Cementless screed was used in 't Centrum. This is a new circular screed. The screed consists of reclaimed sand from construction and demolition waste, street sand and sand from sewers. Wouter Cementless screed was used throughout ‘t Centrum. This is a new circular screed, made from reclaimed Vermin, Manager Treatment & Valorisation at Bioterra, explains what this means.

    Lees meer
  • BIM promotes circularity

    The contractor used digital building models for ‘t Centrum, or BIM. This Building Information Modelling system is not a just a 3D model, it has several benefits. More accurate drawings, keeping an overview, and more efficiency during implementation are just a few of the benefits. Contractor Joeri Beneens explains what this means.

    Lees meer
  • Cellulose keeps ‘t Centrum warm

    Cellulose is the main insulating material that was used for the façades of ’t Centrum. This type of insulation is made from old, recycled newspapers. Why did the construction team opt for this insulation and what are the advantages? We discuss this in more detail in this article.

    Lees meer