January 2018. Innovation as a driving force: After renewing interior construction techniques and revolutionising the design of Squash Courts, ASB began creating glass floors for sports venues. The GlassFloor brings numerous advantages – so says the company. But whether this is really true? Well, there is one man who can answer this question best: Sebastian Ziegler. He is the headmaster of a boarding school in Bavaria, the school Schloss Stein. This is where the very first ASB GlassFloor was installed eight years ago.
Located by the river “Traun”, only a short drive away from the Chiemsee, lies the school Schloss Stein. The Bavarian boarding school was founded in 1948 and has since developed to one of the top boarding schools within the region. Sebastian Ziegler is in charge of the school since 1997 as its headmaster and, as is the tradition, lives on campus with his family. Sport is an important part of educational training to Sebastian Ziegler: “We are a boarding school,” he says. “Therefore, sports are not only done in the afternoons, but also in the evenings and on weekends.”
The students live in small groups right on the castle’s grounds. One famous alumnus of the school Schloss Stein is Christof Babinsky, Managing Director of ASB and son of the company’s founder Horst Babinsky. The headmaster remembers the day when Christof Babinsky approached him after completing his school career: “He asked me if I knew what it was that he was doing and what I thought of the idea of implementing the glass technics, that ASB was already applying in Squash sports, in our sports hall. I was hooked straight away.”. Sebastian Ziegler is an entrepreneur himself and in this position, he found the fact that it was an entirely new technique that was to be tested at school Schloss Stein appealing. “If we are the very first to have this new flooring system installed all over the world – brilliant!”
World premiere for a flooring innovation
2009 was the year of the world premiere: The very first GlassFloor was installed at the sports hall. The floor lays out a number of advantages already in theory: it is more enduring, long-lasting, elastic and flexible than synthetic or wooden floors. And it offers the possibility of switching the individual LED game lines for each sport on and off – via touchscreen. But, what is the deal in reality? Does the ASB sports floor keep its promises? “I am very happy on all levels”, says Sebastian Ziegler. “And this for several reasons: the gym teachers and active athletes are thrilled that there is no more game line chaos on the floor thanks to the LED illumination. Furthermore, the flexibility as well as the non-slip properties are at least as good as with any conventional wooden sprung floor. The construction does exactly what it says on the tin: impacts really are deflected by it. And the second reason is: awareness of our school is increasing worldwide. Whenever I talk to families applying for a spot from Shanghai for instance, one of the very first questions is: aren’t you the school with the glass sports floor? That really is quite impressive.” Impressive are also the visual opportunities that come with the glass floor. Time and time again, the most diverse requests comein, Sebastian Ziegler describes.“Recently, a music video was filmed in the dark. We havealso hosted various shows and had professional athletes visit us.“
“Wear and tear does not exist”
Throughout the eight years of use, the ASB flooring served the school extremely well – also in regards to operating it. “We acted as guinea pigs, which led to improvements having to be made here and there – but, now we have a technology that works flawlessly and is easy and intuitive to use.”. Maintenance costs hardly incurred. So far, only two glass panels had to be renewed – and this was extremely easy due to the elegant technology. By the way, the age of the floor is also unrecognisable, says Sebastian Ziegler. “There is no such thing as wear and tear, the glass floor withstands frequent use with ease.“. Whilst wood flooring has to be sanded down every ten years, receive new varnishing and linings, the ASB GlassFloor does not require any of these measures. That fact that the higher initial investment is balanced out with these advantages, the headmaster can confirm: “That is absolutely so. The floor is definitely worth it.”. Especially as it possesses a further positive effect: it motivates one to do sports. “I am happy with any method that manages to create further motivation to do sports – and we have managed exactly that with the GlassFloor from ASB. That alone made the investment worth it”.