The 50th edition of the R+T world trade fair for roller shutters, doors and gates, and sun protection systems will focus on energy-efficient solutions and building automation.

The global energy and climate policy targets will have a marked influence on the innovations to be presented at R+T 2015, which will be held from 24 February to 28 February 2015 in Messe Stuttgart.

While the energy policy endeavours have pronounced impacts on the roller shutter, sun protection and door/gate industries, building automation technologies are becoming increasingly important in the development of energy-saving, convenient and safe products.

According to Markus Sautter, Head of Corporate Communication, Gerhard Geiger GmbH & Co. KG, a trend is being observed in individual control of particular applications. With screens, the requirements relating to obstacle detection, curtain protection and security are entirely different than those for roller shutters or awnings. Building automation in large buildings is advancing rapidly; sun protection, for instance, can make a very important contribution towards the energy efficiency of buildings through intelligent light control or by reducing heating and climate costs.

Jörg Steffek, Product Manager, Beck+Heun GmbH comments that building automation is also becoming more important in window manufacturing with the industry moving towards windows in which fittings will be perfectly optimised in all areas. The company’s SMART-CONTROL enables homeowners to control or fully automate their building services at the push of a button.

The Gentner Forum

The R+T 2015 programme will include the Gentner Forum, which will focus on the topic of ‘building automation/smart homes’, and discuss the advantages of networked building services for users at close quarters. The Gentner Forum will present smartphone apps or tablet apps, which ensure efficient use and monitoring of sun protection systems, doors, gates, heating, air-conditioning, ventilation and photovoltaics.

Comfort, security and energy efficiency in symbiosis

Sustainable products are also a trend topic in the area of sun protection. Jan-Henk Dekker, Managing Director of the Verosol Group says they will present products designed to improve the sustainability of buildings. They are characterised by visual and thermal comfort, and make a big impression with their energy savings, user-friendliness and processed materials.

Hermann Frentzen, Chairman of Technical Group IV for Roller Shutters, Sun Protection and Automation in the Industrial Association for Technical Textiles, Roller Shutters and Sun Protection (ITRS), defines the trend topics: The roller blind in all its diversity is experiencing a wide comeback and will also play a major role in 2015. The topics of child safety are being combined with new innovative technical hardware solutions. Thanks to internal sun protection systems, a positive effect on energy efficiency can be produced by integrating them in a meaningful overall concept for energy-efficient building solutions.

Even large projects can be implemented efficiently in a visually attractive way. Serge Ferrari, President/CEO of Serge Ferrari SAS, a leading manufacturer in the composite membranes sector, will demonstrate the efficiency of his sun protection screens at R+T 2015 through the flagship project D2 Tower in La Defense near Paris.

Door and gate technology made to measure

Substantial changes have also emerged in the area of doors/gates and the associated technology in the last few years. Energy efficiency and safety are market-determining topics that affect the demands on products to a large extent.

Stephan Kleine, Managing Partner of GfA ELEKTROMATEN GmbH & Co. KG (GfA) says that in order to comply with these demands, the trend in drive systems is still towards speed and individual adjustment of door and gate travel. There is rapidly increasing demand for drive systems with inverter technology, as well as fast and intuitive installation and initial commissioning of drive systems.

As a purposeful addition to the GfA door and gate control devices, the company will present a new diagnostic tool at R+T 2015 for customers to independently read and display information from GfA’s control devices on a smartphone.

Function and design in perfect harmony

Despite all the functionality and efficiency, it is also necessary to keep an eye on product design. Thomas Elsner, Managing Director of Elsner Elektronik explains that the emergence of building services from the functional building sector means that companies are starting to concentrate on design, which emphasises rather than disturbs the layout of the interior rooms; even the façade will mean that more people and especially architects will be receptive to technology.

In the outdoor area, new designs and materials are also providing a foretaste of the future development of the industry. For example, SUNTECH will present pergola systems for outdoor terraces where the position of Venetian blinds can be automatically changed with aluminium supporting wings.

The best of the best: the R+T Innovation Prize

Presented during this leading world trade fair since 1991, the R+T Innovation Prize honours first-class and pioneering products with the award ceremony taking place a day before the start of the trade fair on 23 February 2015. A poster exhibition will provide information on the prize winners and winning products from the first day of the trade fair.

Important innovations will be honoured in nine categories to cover product groups such as roller shutters, awnings, gathering blinds, internal sun protection systems, technical textiles, doors/gates, special solutions and drive and control systems. Special prizes will be given for design, energy efficiency, professional tradesmen and young craftspersons.

The Innovation Prize will be presented by Messe Stuttgart, the Federal Association for Manufacturers of Roller Shutters and Sun Protection (BVRS), the National Federation of Door and Gate Manufacturers (BVT), and the Industrial Association for Technical Textiles, Roller Shutters and Sun Protection (ITRS).