services & innovation

our passion & mission - to provide support & boosting innovation in the architectural glass world

#letsglassifytheworld

we work with you in a flexible and dynamic atmosphere, with a project offer tuned to your needs, ranging from support in a pre-tender, conceptual phase to the realisation of your project and/or expertise in a post-realisation phase, no matter where your project is located

 

design, engineering & realisation of glass applications

 

thanks to our next level material knowledge and calculation skills, we are able to model your glass application in a very realistic way, resulting in economically optimized designs and thrustworthy engineering checks, with a focus on maximum esthetic value and structural safety, while respecting local building codes anywhere in the world

 

we offer A-Z services for classic glass applications, such as: 

  • parapet systems
  • curtain walls and glazed façade systems
  • skylights and glazed roof systems
  • interior glass walls
  • design of glass compositions
  • ...

 

ranging from general advise and engineering checks to the complete design and realisation of your application. Like a classic engineering office, we take responsibility and deliver official advise and calculation reports, tuned to your needs.

 

  

   

 

innovative & structural glass applications

 

maximizing transparency - hence creating what the architect is really envisioning - is vitroplena's key mission. In many cases, this can only be achieved by applying glass as a structural, load-carrying material. Designing and engineering the latter is one of the major and unique assets of our engineers. We are simply passioned about it

the possibilities of structural glass are extensive, ranging from artwork to preserving historic value or simply maximizing transparency and esthetic value. One thing is for sure: you get an exclusive and mind-blowing view!

examples of possible structural glass applications are: 

  • cold-bent glass
  • glass pool walls
  • all-glass stairways
  • load-carrying (multi-span) glass beams and columns
  • all-glass floors, roofs and façades
  • all-glass 3D frames and structures
  • skybridges and -boxes
  • elevators
  • ...

an additional important aspect we offer is the design & engineering of connections:

  • mechanical linear and point connections (classic)
  • (transparent) adhesive linear and point connections (the future)

 

we offer design, engineering and realisation of your glass project, accompanied by calculation reports tuned to your needs

in many cases, creating your project in glass is possible 

  

   

 

 expertise & testing

 

Our team has deep knowledge regarding glass as a material as well as its practical applications. Furthermore, being a Ghent University spin-off, we have access to a significant database of R&D, built with more than 25 years of research already and counting - with contributions of our own engineers. In addition, we have a partnership with two UGhent labs to perform experimental tests focusing on structural, dynamic and environmental/durability performances. Our engineers are experienced in the design of test setups and testing with next level measuring equipment, in the lab as well as on site

 

you can rely on us for: 

  • general expertise & advise for glass applications
  • damage diagnostics & efficient problem solving
  • a wide variety of testing possibilities (from component to system level, structural to environmental conditions)
  • material optimisation studies

  

 

 

a transparent & post-fracture safe structural glass beam system

 

 structural glass beam system

 

vitroplena has developed an innovative, currently patented, glass beam system that allows the construction of large-scale glass supporting systems for floors, roofs, façades etc. The system was developed focusing on structural safety and robustness, while maximising transparency and visual continuity. The beam system is typically composed of prefab beam modules which are connected on site through an innovative connection methodology. 

   

 a transparent office floor

 

the glass beam system was first presented as one of the winning business cases on Techboost 2017, an event organised by the faculty of engineering and architecture of Ghent University. A mock-up of a transparent office floor, carried by the beam system, was presented and extensively tested by the amazed public. On the picture you see the mock-up tested by Kenny Martens (center), his two promotors: prof. Jan Belis (left) and prof. Robby Caspeele (center-right), and two colleagues: Bert Van Lancker (center-left) and Wouter Botte (right). Currently, the mock-up is used at exhibitions and serves as a stage to celebrate our glassifiers

  

optimal design through numerical modelling

 

vitroplena supports the design of glazed structures by means of advanced numerical analysis in which the material behaviour is realistically approached. Innovative is the modelling of glass fracture, which can be used to evaluate the post-fracture behaviour - and hence the (structural) safety - of elements (partly) composed of glass. The movie at the left presents the fracture and deformation behaviour of a glass beam with two spans, loaded in vertical direction. While the load is increasing in time, the glass fractures (in red) expand but the beam preserves its load-carrying capacity with increased loading - a desirable structurally safe behaviour

 

 

overview of services & innovation