Development of an automated window without a connecting rod fitting

The aim of the M-Window project is to develop a new automated window fitting and a matching window system to production-readiness.

Factsheet

  • Lead school School of Architecture, Wood and Civil Engineering
  • Institute Institute for Timber Construction, Structures and Architecture
  • Research unit Windows, Doors and Façades
  • BFH centre BFH Centre for Wood – Resource and Material
  • Funding organisation Innosuisse
  • Duration (planned) 01.06.2020 - 30.11.2022
  • Project management Urs Uehlinger
  • Head of project Wolfgang Rädle
  • Project staff Urs Uehlinger
    Wolfgang Rädle
  • Partner 1a hunkeler fenster AG
    Mayer & Co Beschläge GmbH
  • Keywords Automated window, automated soundproof window, smart window, controlled natural ventilation, noise emissions in bedrooms, integration of window into building technology, simplification of the window f

Situation

There have not been any major new developments in window hardware technology since the introduction of the one-hand, tilt-and-turn fitting 40 years ago. Progress in the fitting industry has been limited to optimising existing designs. Advancements in windows for use in residential properties include improved insulation, better static properties and more sophisticated burglar resistance. The primary aim in terms of control functions has been to maintain the status quo. The standard window hardware technology of market leaders, which has been firmly established for decades, has made it impossible for individual manufacturers to deviate from the norm. The further evolution of windows is restricted by the constraints determined by existing fittings. While functions such as opening status detection with reporting to building control systems, automated closing and opening, burglar alarms, etc. are available as additional modules on existing fittings, they are fault-prone and expensive owing to the complex design of the hardware. A FOEN-funded study by BFH-AHB – carried out in collaboration with Empa – indicated that existing windows can be automated, but that such systems do not meet the noise-emission requirements of SIA 181, have limited opening width and result in low air exchange rates.

Der automatisierte Fensterbeschlag der BFH.
An der BFH entwickeln Forschende einen automatisierten Fensterbeschlag.

Course of action

The aim of the M-Window project is to develop a new automated fitting and a matching new window system to production-readiness. The flexibility of the new window hardware technology will aid in producing innovative solutions in window development (frame geometry). New functions in the hardware will enable more applications and provide significantly greater benefits for users than current technology permits. The purely mechanical platform will be replaced by an automated window fitting which can be fully integrated into building technology systems. The clever combination of mechanical and electronic technology will produce smart building components for integral building technology and integration into the smart home network. The window-drive combination will enable compliance with the noise emission limits in bedrooms (SIA 181) for the first time in Switzerland. The new hardware system will be compatible with all common window types and materials.

Result

It represents the first affordable, automated, low-noise and sensor-controlled window system to be developed for residential and commercial buildings. These windows – unlike existing automated ones – are suitable for automated use in bedrooms, especially in systems where the window is supposed to open independently during the quiet night-time hours and close again before the outside noise of the morning begins, without the sound of the drive system waking anyone up. With its automation and compatibility with building system technology, the new window system also enables applications such as integration into controlled natural ventilation, heating and air-conditioning systems as well as maintenance and monitoring solutions in buildings.