fenestravisionSwisspacer, a Saint-Gobain company, recently hosted the first “Fenestra-Vision” European Symposium on September 19 in Strasbourg, France.

The goal of the event, according to event organizers, was “to bring together the leading minds in the industry and hear their visionary ideas for new energy-efficient solutions.” Approximately 90 experts from across Europe attended the event.

Among the speakers was Andreas Geith, CEO of Swisspacer.

“We have to learn how to use energy more carefully and how to build sustainably,” he said. “… With Fenestra-Vision, we wanted to bring together experts from a wide variety of fields to network and discuss new ideas for improved energy efficiency in the building trade.”

Alain Maugard, president of the French certification authority Qualibat, examined the “2020 Energy Balance” in his presentation. He suggested that environmental factors are just as important as the issue of energy and that the global trend toward urbanization and the formation of new, larger cities is leading to ever-growing problems.

He also suggested that the push for zero-energy or even positive-energy buildings in Europe is placing a great demand on the construction industry to produce high-performance building envelopes to improve energy performance. “Here in particular, windows are the most cost-effective way of improving insulation, energy generation and ventilation,” he said. “This means that good times are coming for the window industry.”

The roster of speakers also included Jérôme Carrié, secretary general of the Cekal, who addressed glass and glazing certification; Professor Ulrich Sieberath, head of ift Rosenheim, who looked at some visionary buildings and their influence on technical developments in the construction industry; and Professor Wolfgang Feist of Innsbruck University and the Passivhaus Institute, who presented the concepts and the particularities of the passivhaus standard; Professor Franz Feldmeier from Rosenheim University, who spoke about the European Union directive 2010/30 for the labeling of energy-related products; Martin Langen, CEO of B+L Marktdaten based in Bonn, who shared his outlook for the European construction and window market for the next three years; and Andreas Bittis, building consultant at Saint-Gobain Glass in Aachen, who provided the participants with an initial look at the new world of glass.