Volume 49, Issue 5 - May 2014


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Glass Suppliers Take Their Web Presence to a New Level


Think you know all you need to know about the World Wide Web? Think again. Sure, you’re logging in on Facebook, updating your status and liking everything your friends are doing. Maybe you’ve taken a few quizzes (Which state SHOULD you really live in and the like), played some games, shared some jokes. While social media sites may be entertaining, what about the sites that can help you and your business? That’s where the good, old-fashioned company website can help (well, maybe not truly old-fashioned …).

The USGlass editorial team took a look back at some of the recently launched and re-designed websites we’ve seen from glass manufacturers, keeping our eyes out for ones that honed in on areas such as education, design and inspiration.

Visitors in search of glass know-how from Guardian Industries simply need to click the “glass” tab to find selections for interior/decorative, commercial and residential glass choices (Editor’s note: for purposes of this article we focused on the InGlass and SunGuard architectural sites). If interior glass is your game, the InGlass site (www.guardianinglass.com) has several tools that can aid in the design process. Under the Tools & Support tab there’s a Spec Tool, EcoScorecard and Glass Visualizer. The Spec Tool allows users to generate a specification for a particular glass type as well as find a fabricator that could tackle the job, while the scorecard can be used to evaluate, select and document the company’s glass products based on environmental attributes. With the visualizer tool users can see what a certain type of glass would look like in a particular setting.

For commercial exteriors, www.sunguardglass.com also provides a number of useful tools. A performance comparison tool, for example, allows visitors to sort through standard SunGuard insulating glass unit makeups to compare products that match the required glass performance and appearance needs. In addition, the appearance selector allows users to view the company’s range of products by selecting the float glass substrate and SunGuard coating they prefer.

Also on the site is access to the company’s BIM generator.

Click the “Architectural Glass” tab on this site and find a number of tools and resources. The online tools and calculators tab offers resources such as the eView suite of tools, allowing users to search, construct and view various product make-ups. One fun element is the “view” tool. Users will need to download the Unity player (free to download, just as you would a Flash player), which allows you to select either a sample lite of glass or a building (hotel, high-rise, etc.) to view the glass in real life, 3-D makeups. You can select the background (sunny, overcast, etc.) and the camera tool allows you to rotate your view of the building both horizontally and vertically. It also provides performance numbers for various glass products.

Also through the eView site, users can construct their own insulating glass units and generate additional performance data.

In addition, PPG’s site provides users access to its Glass Education Center (http://educationcenter.ppg.com/), which incorporates an abundance of tools and resources for designing, specifying and building with commercial glass.

The site for Pilkington North America also offers several interactive design tools and resources for both commercial and residential glass (Editor’s note: we focused on commercial glass). The site offers a number of specification and performance tools that will calculate data within seconds. These include the company’s calculators for sun management, thermal stress, and ASTM E1300 windloads.

There is also a link that takes architects to the company’s AIA continuing education course, “Production, Selection and Performance of Float Glass.”

Click the tools tab on AGC Glass Company North America’s site and you’ll get a number of calculation and design resources. One of those tools is an online glass calculator, which can create various configurations of the company’s entire glass catalog of product offerings. Begin by selecting whether the unit is a single, double or triple, and then various glass make-up details such as thickness, coating and interlayer information, etc. The calculator in turn provides details on visible light transmittance, solar energy, UV light, U-values and various others including solar heat gain coefficient, shading coefficient and more.

Honorable Mention
While for this feature we chose to primarily focus on commercial glass materials, Cardinal Corp.’s site should also be recognized

Let’s say you wanted to see the energy performance standards for the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) in Marin County, California. The company has a tool that can help. Its’ code guides tool offers such data for both the IECC and Energy Star. Factoring in various glass types, the resulting chart shows users how, for examp

le, its’ LoE-180 in a metal frame versus LoE-240 in a thermally improved frame qualify in the given requirements. The site also features an energy calculator where users can key in specific details about their houses to calculate annual heating and cooling costs. www.cardinalcorp.com

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