Korea’s largest research laboratory dazzles with sustainable glass architecture
In the west end of the metropolis of Seoul, the globally active LG Group is re-grouping its research and development departments. The new LG Sciencepark currently employs a workforce of some 22,000 and is developing solutions for a new age of digitalization and Industry 4.0. To date, 20 buildings have been built on the campus under the management of the internationally active HOK architectural firm. A key part of the sustainably designed and LEED-certified research centers are the high-quality glass facades incorporating insulating units manufactured with the Ködispace 4SG warm-edge system from H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING.
The LG Group with its subsidiaries, such as LG Electronics or LG Hausys, is recognized as one of the world’s largest corporations. Founded in 1947, the company employs over 200,000 people worldwide with its headquarters in the South Korean capital Seoul. Until 2018, the subsidiaries’ research and development departments were spread throughout the city. With the new LG Sciencepark, the Group is concentrating its research laboratories in one location. Over a total area of 170,000 square meters, a building complex the size of a medium-sized German city is being built in the west of Seoul for up to 25,000 employees – making it Korea’s largest science center.
Innovation for a better life
At the LG Sciencepark, research is conducted on new technologies such as artificial intelligence, robotics, autonomous driving and on the latest innovations for efficient energy management, renewable energies or biotechnologies. To enable new, revolutionary ideas to emerge, LG wanted an inspiring environment for its researchers. The campus is intended to promote teamwork, the joy of discovery and the ability to react flexibly to changing space requirements. In close collaboration with LG, the HOK architectural office designed the Sciencepark under the LG slogan “Innovation for a better life”. By 2024, 26 buildings are scheduled to be built on the campus, with 20 currently completed. Each subsidiary will have its own individually designed building, and each building boasts nine floors, its own entrance and a spacious foyer. The units are connected to each other by landscaped pedestrian promenades that invite you to linger and exchange ideas. Several single-story bridge buildings also connect the individual units. These provide shade on the ground floors, and artistically designed gardens have been created on their accessible roofs.
The glass facades consist of Low-E insulating glass from LG Hausys, which is produced with the Ködispace 4SG warm-edge system.
The LG Sciencepark is Korea’s largest research laboratory.
Up to 25,000 LG Group employees will be researching innovations for the future here.
The American HOK architectural firm (Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum) with more than 1,600 employees worldwide, together with its local partner firm Gansam Architects, created an exceptionally sustainable architectural design for the science campus. Compared to the building units previously spread across the city, energy consumption has been reduced by 38 percent. The LG Sciencepark was certified according to the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED sustainability standard. The research buildings received the Silver award, the Integrated Support Center (ICS) even achieved the highest level with a Platinum certification. The ICS is located at the heart of the campus and serves as a venue for events, exhibitions and seminars, and includes daycare facilities for children, as well as sports and recreation areas. The campus has also been named “Energy Champion” by the Korea Energy Agency. In addition to photovoltaic systems and groundwater heat pumps, the highly thermally insulated facades with their expansive glass elements play a major role in the energy concept.
High-tech glass panes for the Sciencepark
Some 98,000 square meters of glass have been installed on the campus to date – the equivalent of roughly 14 soccer fields. LG was able to use the proven Low-E glass from its LG Hausys subsidiary for the double-glazed insulation glass used. LG Hausys has been producing low-emissivity glass for about ten years. As a wafer-thin metal layer applied to one surface the low emissivity coating reduces the emissivity of the glazing and serves as a thermal insulation and solar control layer.
Durable edge sealing
LG Hausys is regarded as an innovation driver in the construction industry and is the only insulating glass manufacturer in South Korea to date to use the high-quality Ködispace 4SG warm-edge system from H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING. The thermoplastic spacer for insulating glass offers maximum energy efficiency and service life with a uniquely distinctive appearance, while fully meeting LG’s high manufacturing quality standards. After all, glass facades such as those in the LG Sciencepark need to be able to permanently cope with the ever-changing thermal loads in Seoul, where winters are cold and summers are hot. To ensure that the insulating glass panes can process these temperature differences and maintain their energy efficiency, a permanently functioning and tight edge seal is an absolute prerequisite. Insulating glass with the Ködispace 4SG elastic spacer has proven to be extremely robust, resilient and durable. The warm-edge solution not only fulfils the requirements for a permanently tight edge seal in a uniquely effective way but is also extremely interesting from a design perspective. Because the reactive thermoplastic spacer system is applied fully automatically, insulating glass with Ködispace 4SG can be produced with absolute precision and optical perfection. As a result, these panes develop a unique aesthetic: no unattractive offset of the spacer profiles and, above all, no disturbing light reflections as with classic spacer systems – the black Ködispace 4SG makes the space between the panes practically invisible.
The insulating glass from LG Hausys with the warm-edge system from H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING makes a significant contribution to the high-quality and sustainable architecture that embodies the spirit of the Sciencepark. Moreover, the generous glass facades provide the buildings with plenty of natural daylight while generating light-flooded laboratories and offices for the Science Campus staff. “All design decisions were centered around the wellbeing of the researchers – with a focus on productivity and the exchange between researchers. This is where LG will focus on designing the future for mankind,” explained Ju-Hwan Shin, Managing Director LG Sciencepark Business Unit/Construction Drive Division, at the opening of the LG Sciencepark.
The campus currently consists of 20 buildings, all of which are LEED-certified.
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About the Kömmerling Chemische Fabrik GmbH
Since 2017, the Kömmerling Chemische Fabrik GmbH has been part of the US H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING Adhesives Group. The world’s largest supplier of adhesives and sealants for insulating glass applications therefore has significant expertise in this area, which is constantly being advanced at H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING at its German site in Pirmasens through research and new fields of application. With its three business units – Engineering Adhesives, Construction Adhesives and Hygiene, Health and Consumable Adhesives – H.B. Fuller | KÖMMERLING covers a wide range of high-quality adhesive and sealant applications that are used in a variety of industries such as electronics, hygiene, medicine, transportation, construction and renewable energies. The international group generates sales of close to 3 billion US dollars and has 6,500 employees serving customers in more than 125 countries.