New Products Focus
What if a glazing renovation could save a building owner hundreds of dollars
annually in heating costs? Pilkington North America says its new Pilkington
Spacia™, a vacuum construction that seals low-E glass with clear float
glass with a thin vacuum layer, can—and has—done just that. The company
reports that the technology, which has been used in projects in Asia and
Europe for more than a decade, helped save building owners in Camden,
London, more than $400 a year in heating costs while keeping the building’s
original character intact.
Now commercially available in North America, Pilkington Spacia provides
an option for balancing historical preservation with modern comfort and
environmental requirements. With its overall slim profile, the new technology
can be used in existing frames in older buildings, maintaining the building’s
original aesthetics while providing modern comfort.
“Pilkington Spacia offers the thermal performance of conventional double
glazing in one quarter of the thickness and two thirds the weight,” says
Sharon Urban, marketing communication specialist with Pilkington North
America. “It’s ideal for older, traditional, commercial and residential
buildings and is also suitable for applications where the use of thinner,
low-weight glazing would be desirable, such as in sliding windows, secondary
glazing or as one pane of a triple-glazed unit.”
Not only is Pilkington Spacia designed to help improve energy costs, but
it can also improve acoustic performance and, compared to single glazing,
offers improved thermal insulation. The vacuum gap helps to minimize heat
flow by minimizing convection and conduction between the glass panes.
“The most significant feature of Pilkington Spacia is that it provides
substantially improved thermal performance compared to conventional double
glazing. It offers the thermal performance of modern double glazing in
the same thickness as single glass, offering the opportunity to improve
energy efficiency in older, traditional buildings,” says Urban, adding
that it is also a cost-effective method of improving the energy efficiency
of older homes where glazing choices are restricted or where the original
frames are a desirable feature.
Unlike traditional double-glazing, with this product the air between the
two lites of glass is extracted, creating a vacuum. The gap between the
two panes can be reduced to just 0.2 mm, providing an overall thickness
of just more than 6 mm. Heat loss through radiation is limited through
one of the glass panes having a low-E coating, similar to that used in
conventional, modern double glazing.
From exterior glass facades to interior and decorative glass applications,
a new glazing development from the Swiss company SEFAR has made its way
to North America and can help bring a unique aesthetic to architectural
designs. It’s called Vision and is a metal-coated precision fabric interlayer,
typically laminated within glass or other transparent materials.
“SEFAR Architecture Vision offers an unparalleled aesthetic and functional
attributes when compared to other interlayer and glazing products,” says
Peter Katcha, director, North American sales for SEFAR Architecture. “It
utilizes metal-coated fabrics with various apertures to create unprecedented
depth and a reflective quality without overwhelming glare. Vision fabric
interlayers uniquely feature the metal coating on one side, allowing the
material to be seen through from the back side.”
Katcha adds that the new product creates reflective depth in glass through
precise fabric weaves and metal coatings.
“With 30 standard possible combinations of fabric and metal coatings,
which include copper, chrome, aluminum, titanium, and aluminum/copper,
along with the ability to print UV-stabilized colors, the Vision fabric
interlayer can create endless color or pattern possibilities in both laminated
glass and IGUs.”
In addition, the metallic-coated interlayer fabrics are printable with
UV stabilized inks to produce Pantone colors, patterns, and other design
effects. Likewise, with its unique metal coatings Vision fabric interlayer
is designed to help improve the thermal insulating qualities for reducing
solar heat gain while allowing for light transmission. The range of materials
can also be double-sided.
“We’ve been anxious to unveil Vision because both its look and function
surpass any other product on the market,” says Katcha. “With a material
density of up to 27 threads per centimeter, Vision’s metal coatings deliver
significantly more facets for light reflection and interaction with its
environment than any other interlayer or metal mesh product. At the same
time, you can still see through it from the inside, which is a unique
feature for similar glass laminated products.”
The fabrics are available in six fabric density configurations and each
can be coated with six different metal coatings, ultimately providing
36 different combinations. They feature plain or twill weaves in a variety
of aperture percentages and light transmission percentages.
As the all-glass look continues to increase in interest and demand, companies
are developing new products to meet those needs, including Mill Valley,
Calif.-based NanaWall Systems, which recently launched its NanaGlass®
SL25, a frameless opening glass wall system installed on the exterior
of balconies. The new system has no vertical stiles and can provide uninterrupted
views and natural light while still forming an insulating air pocket over
the building facade.
“The NanaGlass SL25 provides a solution for increasing living space, enhancing
an aging building’s value, preservation and preventative maintenance issues,
improving overall energy efficiencies, and building modernization,” says
Ebrahim Nana, president of NanaWall Systems. “No side stiles create uninterrupted
views, purposefully engineered to take advantage of the passive solar
effect that increases heating and cooling efficiency, lowering the buildings
carbon emissions output.”
In new or existing multi-tenant buildings with balconies the system can
be installed on the top or behind the rail. It can also be used in restaurants,
stadiums, interior offices, porches, schools and storefronts, among other
The NanaGlass SL25 all-glass operable panels are engineered to withstand
the elements and transform balconies into year-round usable space. In
fact, the system can handle wind loads up to 80 stories depending upon
the building location in 90 mile-per-hour wind zones.
In addition, the panels can slide wide open and stack to one or both sides
for natural ventilation or close quickly to protect the balcony from wind,
rain, pests and birds. The individual sliding panels are top-supported
in a single track and can ride a fixed balcony railing or extend all the
way to the floor.
The new system is available in custom sizes and configurations and each
individual panel can be a maximum of 2 feet 7 inches wide by 9 feet tall
in 3/8-inch or 1/2-inch glass.
Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
© 2011 Copyright Key Communications Inc. All rights reserved.
No reproduction of any type without expressed written permission.