European Polycarbonate Sheet Extruders Awards 2013


Since 2007, EPSE (European Polycarbonate Sheet Extruders) has organised the Awards Competition to recognise the most innovative, most sustainable and the best design projects which were made out of polycarbonate (PC). This year the EPSE Awards Ceremony will take place at the K show in Düsseldorf, Germany (Room 19, CCD South Pavilion) on October 17, 2013. EPSE Awards 2013 is the 6th edition of this international competition which this year attracted 16 projects in the categories Innovation, Sustainability and Design. Among the projects submitted are stadia, public buildings, innovative PC systems and artistic installations. The projects will be assessed by the panel of experts with backgrounds in architecture, engineering, art, and journalism. All the nominees are listed below.

Category: Innovation


Light PC sheet for Energysaver composite panel rooflights (photo: EPSE)

Designed as an intermediary thermal layer option for Energysaver composite panel rooflights where improved insulation advantages can be gained by reducing the U-value from 1.9W/m²K to as low as 0.9W/m²K. Positioned between the outer glass reinforced plastic weather sheet and the liner sheet, Cleartherm2 can be used in single, double or double with spacers variants, depending on the level of thermal performance required.

Development of Cleartherm2 involved advanced manufacturing techniques and the use of premium quality PC resins, making it possible to reduce wall structure and achieve thin wall thicknesses. This, it is claimed, also makes the sheet light in weight and with a reduction in material, more cost effective without compromising on the glass-like optical clarity and thermal performance.

Energysaver composite panel rooflights satisfy the requirements to achieve thermally insulated and well day lit wide-span buildings as set out in Part L of the Building Regulations and help them meet their CO2 emissions targets. By introducing quality natural daylight, the artificial lighting requirement can be reduced or turned off when daylighting levels are adequate. The sheet can also be used to provide improved thermal performance for site assembled built-up rooflights and factory assembled barrel vaults.

La Grange aux Bois sports complex

The PC sheets system manages the light  of the multi-sport complex .(photo: EPSE)

The sharp contrast between the traditional, heavy gabions and the light and reflective PC sheets used in the project have been highlighted in the architecture of the multi-sport complex of La Grange aux Bois located at the entrance of Metz, a provincial town in eastern France.

During the day, the clear colour and flawless texture of the PC sheets surface used here allows the design of this building to blend with its environment, at night the artificial light from the inside and the reflections of the surrounding light sources reveals in addition the character and sharpness of the architecture. The south façade is made of PC sheets layer separated by an air gap of 70cm.

The PC material employed in the project is a system which integrates mobile PC louvers within the panel. The position of the louvers is calculated and automatically adjusted during the day to bring or block the light and solar heat inside the building to offer a comfortable light to users. The north side and the west gable are similarly made of PC sheets to guarantee a glare free light avoiding the discomfort of late summer afternoons. On this specific project the role of the PC sheets system used on the south façade was to manage the light and ensure comfort and wellbeing inside the building all day and all year long.

Lexan BIPV panels


The BIPV panels can be used for roofing, cladding and glazing applications. They are said to give architects and builders enhanced design freedom, as well as offering thermal insulation, easy installation and energy production in a single, integrated solution. Lexan BIPV panels combine toughness, light weight, impact resistance and transparency. They also have building-integrated PV modules. An example of a construction using the Lexan BIPV is Grotte de Salamandre in France designed by the architect Jean-Francois Daures. It was officially opened in July 2013.

Rhizomatic gateway over the Moselle river

Pier made of wood, PC sheets, screws and rope in Epinal, France (photo: EPSE)

50 students from different countries (including Spain, France, Brazil, Canada, Austria, Germany, Belgium, Czech Republic, Greece, amongst others) met in Epinal, France in June 2013 for the challenge of creating the most innovative concept of a pier.

The main constraint was the limited material that was provided (wood, PC sheets, screws and rope). Each of the ten teams, which consisted of five persons, created an installation that was capable of supporting the weight of two people (at the top of the pier). All of the ten constructions were subsequently connected via a gateway.

The final outcome of the installation is a combination of PC with a wooden based structure. The innovation of the project consists in the original usage of PC and wood instead of the usual combination of aluminium and steel. PC served in this project as the supporting floor.

Ski jumps inrun


The project focus was two Ski Jumps K125 (length 113m) and K90 (length 80m) located in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The inauguration of the two ski jumps took place in 2010 on the occasion of the 2011 Asian Winter Games.

The PC in these two projects was used in the cover parts of the inrun track system and the side bands of the inrun. Thanks to an innovative ceramic knob system the inrun track system is suitable for summer and winter operation, regardless of the weather conditions.

The PC sheets were regarded the best choice material in order to fulfil the rigorous requirements of a ski jump facility as well as extreme winter conditions in Kazakhstan.

Category: Sustainability

Dome of Visions

The dome is a mobile greenhouse with an innovative façade made out of PC. One of the aims of the dome is to challenge the current construction industry’s existing material usage and methods in order to look for and provide more sustainable solutions for the future. At the same time it addresses the need for energy-saving and promotes the minimal use of materials.

It is weatherproof, yet has an effective ventilation system, and is claimed to offer better insulation properties than glass. The structure is 10.5m in height and has a diameter of 21m and serves as a greenhouse for a number of plants and vegetables; it also features an irrigation system. Additionally, the PC panels are 100% recyclable when dismantled. It takes 14 days to set up the dome and the same amount of time to disassemble it.

This greenhouse studio serves as a scientific experiment and a cultural centre and will be installed in several cities in Denmark during its two years tour starting in 2013. Throughout its tour of Denmark, its designers will test its energy usage and microclimate in order to gauge how well this design could be used stack up for homes in the future.

Estadio Nacional in Brasilia


The preparations for the 2014 World cup are in full swing and this includes organising the infrastructure.

About 110t of PC sheets, each more than 10m long, are being manufactured for the inner roof ring of the double-leafed suspended roof. This approximates to about 7,500m2 that will be covered with the solid sheet material.

As Brasília has a tropical climate and is therefore subject to both heavy rain and bright sunshine, a material with a high level of weather resistance is required in order to protect spectators and players alike from the sun and rain. The specific PC sheets that were used here tick all the boxes because both sides of the sheets offer UV protection. This UV protective layer does not come off even after years of exposure to weather or cold bending of the plate. Additionally, the PC sheets used in this project let through 82% amount of light. As a result the grass grows well because of the amount of light it receives. The stability and high level of impact resistance of the solid sheets, together with their relatively low weight compared to other materials, means that no costly substructure is required. Another advantage is that the material is easy to work with which makes direct handling on the construction site much easier.

Protoshop Lamborghini

PC panels of this multi-storey industrial building guarantee natural lighting, provide sunlight control and high thermal efficiency .(photo: EPSE)

Protoshop is one of the first multi-storey industrial buildings in Italy certified in Class A for low energy consumption. It is located at the Lamborghini production site.

The major choices involved in the building project, of the “Prototypes and Pre-series” division of the luxury sports car manufacturer “Lamborghini” were based first and foremost on the essential technical and industrial functions, as well as on reaching the maximum energy class.

The functional characteristic of this structure demonstrates the meaning of technological modernity captured in the outer façade of the building. It guarantees adequate natural lighting, ensures the confidentiality of a typical prototype department, and provides sunlight control as well as high thermal efficiency.

Because the project was planned with wide transparent façades, it required a low thermal transmittance value, which was achieved thanks to a series of installations. The most important was the installation on the façade of the special system of PC sheets of a triple layer of insulating PC panels around the entire building, which have allowed the heat loss to be reduced.

In the building design, the temperature control and natural light management are essential elements for maintaining the desired level of comfort as well as for energy saving and cost control. On the south-facing side, PC panels produced with an IR treatment were applied: this is said to ensure a high level of luminosity, comfort and reduction of the heat inside the building. The function of the IR treatment is to absorb the infrared component of solar radiation (from 780 to 1400nm) which is responsible for the “greenhouse effect”, allowing at the same time for maximum light transmission.

The inevitable heating increase behind large translucent façades is eliminated by applying the IR treatment, so the indoor temperature remains unchanged.

Lexan BIPV panels

PC panels with integrated PV modules are used  at the Grotte de Salamandre (photo: EPSE)

As demand for solar power rises, Lexan BIPV panels are helping to drive the feasibility and integration of this increasingly preferred energy source. The panels have building-integrated PV modules and can be used in renewable energy projects. The BIPV panels are characterised by enhanced thermal insulation and energy production, as well as easy installation. It is also claimed that they provide freedom in design for the constructors.

An example of a construction using the Lexan BIPV panels is Grotte de Salamandre in France designed by the architect Jean-Francois Daures. It was officially opened in July 2013.


Category: Design

Ageas Bowl

PC  canopies provide overhead protection for spectators at the Ageas Bowl. (photo: EPSE)

The Ageas Bowl in Southampton (formerly known as the Rose Bowl) is one of the leading cricket venues in England and home of Hampshire County Cricket Club. Since 2009, the venue has been undergoing a €57 million phased improvement and expansion programme with an on-site hotel currently being constructed. It is expected to be fully operational by March 2014. Phase one of the works included the building of new permanent East and West Stands, sweeping out from both sides of the iconic Hopkin’s Pavilion increasing total seating capacity to 25,000.

The East and West Stand canopies feature clear PC which provides overhead protection for spectators whilst viewing the cricket action. It was also important to ensure that optimum light transmission reached the pitch to encourage grass growth, an essential requirement if the pitch is to meet Test Match quality standards and this was a key factor in the selection of material. PC sheets employed in this project achieve light transmissions in the region of 90% offering optical clarity and high transparency levels. Sandwiching the iconic Hopkins Stand, the East and West Stands are curved to represent the bowl concept. This installation comprises sections of extra-long, profiled PC sheets which were precisely tapered to fit the rounded canopy structure.

Amway Plaza


Amway Plaza is a new commercial centre in Seoul, South Korea, designed by the architect Byung Hun Park at Junu Architects. The entire external structure of the building consists of 3,200m².

The concept of the project is the light, and in particular, the lightening fixture in five traditional (for Korea) colours: yellow, blue, white, red and black which symbolise the place of good fortune – the city’s landmark. These colours are considered to be closelyrelated to the five cardinal elements of um (dark) and yang (bright): blue – wood, red – fire, yellow – earth, white – metal and black – water.

The PC sheets used in the construction of this building are characterised by the line of prisms on the outer side of the sheet and at the bottom of the upper wall. The project itself uses LED bulbs installed behind the sheets, with some being installed as well inside the sheets. The prism breaks the LED light beams into beautiful colourful forms.

Chroma Lux

The kinetic light sculpture gives an impression of a work in progress. (photo: Rosalie)

The artwork Chroma Lux, designed by German installation artist Rosalie, is part of the permanent nstallation 2009/2010 of the jubilee exhibition at the Centre for Art and Media Karlsruhe in Germany. It is at once a painting, graphics, sculpture, and architecture – all made out of light: everything undergoes simultaneous and continual metamorphosis in colour, rhythm, structure and time. The artwork is simultaneously multilayered and consists of complex, overpainted structures in nuanced cross-fading. The kinetic light sculpture utilises many light compositions giving an impression of a work in progress.

Cluj Arena

PC sheets were the chosen material to glaze the inner edge of the canopy roof. (photo: EPSE)

Cluj Arena is a multi-use stadium in Cluj-Napoca, Romania, owned by Cluj County Council and home to FC Universitatea Cluj. It opened in October 2011 and is to be recognised as an Elite UEFA stadium. The stadium was built on the site of the old Ion Moina Stadium, west of Central Park and next to the Somesul Mic River.

Its capacity is 30,200 people – making it the second largest stadium in Romania. The architects were tasked with creating a stylish roof capable of coping with high wind loadings while providing natural light for the pitch and spectator stands and complementing the overall aesthetics of the stadium. PC sheets were the chosen material to glaze the inner edge of the canopy roof. The metallic silver finish of the sheet created a seamless transition from the corrugated steel cladding on the lower part of the roof.

The architects were faced with the challenge of creating a symbolic contemporary landmark that would have a positive impact on the surrounding landscape. They wanted to create a structure with fluid and flowing forms reflecting and emphasising the meander of its neighbouring river. The architectural theme for this project was transparency. The walls of the stadium were designed with a transparent ‘skin’ to allow free views of the external surroundings from inside the arena during the day and allowing spectacular views of the shows and events inside the stadium when lit at night.

The vision of the architects originally consisted of the impressive curved canopy roof of the stadium being completely clad with metal. After site visits and discussions it became clear that metal was not the best solution because of the ovoid shape of the roof and its large curvatures. The location of the stadium meant that the roof would have to be able to cope with wind loads of over 5kN/m² and heavy snow loading. Using metal would result in heavy and costly constructions for the supporting structure.

The decision was taken to use multiwall PC sheets to glaze the inner edge of the canopy roof. PC sheets used in the project are light in weight, have a high resistance to impact and damage and are easy to maintain. The chosen structure was ideal for this application due to its heavy load support capabilities and the light weight sheets with large spanning distance reduced the need for a heavy and costly substructure. The PC used in this project is a versatile material which will suit many complex designs. The metallic silver colour of the PC sheets which were used blends in with metal allowing a seamless transition between the corrugated steel roof and the PC glazing. It also follows the transparency theme refining the vision of the architect allowing an interesting penetration of light which would not have been possible with a completely metal roof.

The Dome of Visions

The Dome of Visions project is putting words into action – namely following new ideas in construction and urban thinking and planning promoting sustainable housing. The dome’s goal is to inspire and to challenge the construction industry’s existing material usage and methods as well to find solutions for climate change.

The shape of the dome was inspired by American futurist and architect Buckminster Fuller who, among other things, studied minimalistic constructions and patented the geodesic dome. The dome is covered with PC combined with a wooden structure. It is weatherproof, yet has an effective ventilation system, and is said to have better insulation properties than glass. The structure, 10,5m in height and with a diameter of 21m, serves as a greenhouse for number of plants and vegetables.

The dome is both an inspiring entertainment venue that generates visibility, as well as a serious scientific experiment. This greenhouse studio and temporary cultural centre will be installed in several cities in Denmark during its two years tour starting in 2013.


The artwork’s elements undergo simultaneous and continual change in colour and rhythm. (photo: Rosalie)

The artwork is another installation designed by Rosalie and as with Chroma Lux, is a representation of the light kinetic sculpture or as the author calls it: “new universes of light.” As in the case of Chroma Lux Rosalie explores the relationships between science and art. This artwork uses a number of light compositions. All the elements undergo simultaneous and continual change in colour and rhythm.


Coloured UV-proteced PC panels were combined together with a steel structure in this artwork which also serves as a playground for children. (photo: EPSE)

The installation is located on a beach in Hoofddrorp, a village in the Netherlands. Rio is both an artwork and a meeting place for locals and serves as a playground for children. Coloured UV-protected PC panels were combined together with a steel structure in this project. On sunny days the coloured panels cast shadows of different colours and at the same time protect against harmful UVs. The 14m long and 6m high construction also provides shelter on rainy days. The artwork is intended to invite people to relax and set their imagination free.

Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

PC sheets were cut into circles and semi-circles of different diameters, and used together with fine steel bars to form the envelope of the structure. (photo: EPSE)

The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion 2013 located in Hyde Park in the heart of London is designed by multi award-winning Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. The aim of the architect was to create a semi-transparent, irregular canopy, simultaneously protecting visitors from the elements while allowing them to remain part of the landscape. The delicate quality of the structure, enhanced by its semi-transparency, has created a geometric, cloud-like form, redolent of mist rising from the undulations of the park. From certain vantage points, the Pavilion will appear to merge with the classical structure of the Serpentine Gallery, with visitors suspended in space.

The PC sheets used in the project were cut in to circles and semi-circles of different diameters, and used together with fine steel bars to form the envelope of the structure. The lightweight nature of the PC sheets allowed for minimal framework construction, optimising the enclosed area for seating, standing and contemplating.

Complying with the necessary building fire and safety regulations, PC was a natural choice. The clarity of PC sheets as a roofing material in this application creates a space where the occupant has protection from other elements without feeling enclosed and is able to enjoy the green space of Hyde Park, set within the expansive urban environment that is London.

Easy to form and versatile, PC sheets enabled the fabricator to cut intricate shapes, and allowed the architect to create the cloud-like design.

All materials used in the Pavilion had to be proven as sustainable. PC sheets employed in the project are long lasting, weather resistant and are desirable for recycling into second life applications.

As a temporary structure, one of the critical needs for material selection is that it can be re-used or recycled. At the end of the visitor season, the pavilion will be taken down and sold on (either as a whole, or in part).

Student Residence Melon District of Barcelona


This project focuses on the interiors of the Student Residence Melon District of Barcelona, Spain. The capacity of the building is 97 rooms. Its construction and design breaks with traditional students’ residences schemes and offers accommodation in a fresh and dynamic style. The rooms and function areas of the building are designed to provide the perfect balance for student’s private and social life.

PC sheets were used in this internal design for various purposes. In the cafeteria and common rooms, they were used as coating for the columns, giving the space a sophisticated touch. When back-lit they allow for the creation of several environments. The counters and ceilings were also coated with PC sheets, giving a homogenous look with a minimalist and innovative design.

In the halls and rooms, intermediate walls were coated and back-lit, retaining the overall style of the building, projecting common lines between the various spaces and exploiting the possibilities of lighting.

The characteristics of the material make it eligible to be considered for the three areas that are assessed in this competition.

Sustainability is implicit through its overall design as the large windows maximise the use of natural light. Also the internal white PC sheets reflective properties impose energy savings thanks to a more efficient use of light.


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