FIVA - Window prototypes with integrated vacuum glazing

This project targets the further development of windows with integrated vacuum glazing. Such glass products regularly feature a very low Ug-value, and their dimension is in comparison to insulation glass thin and light. As such, these products offer a new alternative for highly-insulating window constructions, and thus also for energy-efficiency measures in buildings. The project is based on the findings of a previous exploratory project (MOTIVE) and focuses on the construction of functional prototypes of vacuum glass windows together with business partners.

Short Description

Starting point / motivation

The different requirements for buildings significantly tightened in the past years and decades. For instance, the thermal performance expectations on buildings are constantly increasing. Different constituent components therefore had to improve in recent years as well. In the case of transparent components, it can be stated that several improvement steps took place, however, without changing the window technology fundamentally.

Improvement steps included the double and triple glazing, gas fillings in interstitial spaces, and application of Low-E foils onto the glass. The principle construction stayed majorly the same. With the emergence of new glass technologies, such as vacuum glazing, this linear development has to be overthought.

This is due to the fact that the physical parameters and performance aspects (in regard to thermal and acoustical performance, and construction specifications) of such glass products are different in comparison to common insulation glass. The project FIVA intends to comprehensively explore the fundamentals of windows with vacuum glazing. Thereby, functional prototypes of such windows will be planned, constructed, and evaluated.

Contents and goals

Major goals of this research and development project include the further development of the concepts and results acquired in the exploratory project MOTIVE: Of the seven different window concepts developed in the predecessing project, two to three concepts will be transformed into fully-functioning window prototypes.

This will be done together with business partners (small, medium, and large scale companies), and will consider multiple criteria. To ensure a multicriteria- and comprehensive elaboration, the business partners range from window producing companies to expert developers of fittings, actuators, and sealing technology.


The project is methodically divided into the following phases:

  1. which encompasses the requirement analysis and the fine tuning of project goals. In this phase, specifications of the proposed functional prototypes will be defined.
  2. development and construction phase,
  3. evaluation of thermal performance of different window mock-ups;
  4. evaluation of acoustical performance of different window mock-ups;
  5. evaluation of durability/technical performance of different window mock-ups;
  6. evaluation of user-related performance of different window mock-ups.

Phase 1 is the starting phase, while all other phases will iteratively and collaboratively worked on. In all of the phases, state of the art technologies, such as numeric thermal simulation, will be applied.

Expected results

The expected results encompass the extension of the experiences and knowledge basis of vacuum glass application in contemporary window construction, the construction of functional mock-ups/prototypes of windows, the exploration of the performative space of different construction variants, and the development of construction components for future vacuum glass windows. In a nutshell, the project should stimulate further development steps in the field of contemporary vacuum glass windows.

Project Partners

Project management

Institute of Architectural Sciences, Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology

  • Univ.Prof. DI. Dr.techn. A. Mahdavi (project lead)
  • Univ.Ass. DI. Dr.techn. U. Pont (project management)

Project or cooperation partners

  • P1 - Holzforschung Austria - Österreichische Gesellschaft für Holzforschung
  • P2 –Gaulhofer - Industrieholding GmbH
  • P3 – IEB Gummitechnik Eisele Co GmbH
  • P4 – Internorm International GmbH
  • P5 – KPA Katzbeck ProduktionsGmbH Austria
  • P6 – Mayer & Co Beschläge GmbH
  • P7 – Alois Svoboda GmbH
  • P8 - Josef Wick & Söhne GmbH & Co KG

Contact Address

Dipl.Ing. Dr.techn. Ulrich Pont
Department of Building Physics and Building Ecology
Institut for architectural sciences
Technische Universität Wien
Karlsplatz 13/4
A-1040 Vienna
Tel.: +43 (1) 58801 27033