he glazing industry  
is changing rapidly.  
Buildings and façades  
are becoming increasingly  
high-tech, demanding not  
only new developments in  
glass and glazing products,  
but also in design, perfor-  
mance and installation.  
What can we expect to see in  
façades in the next decade?  
We asked industry experts  
where they see today’s trends  
and emerging developments  
heading—and that direc-  
tion is increasingly toward  
the mainstream.  
Dynamic Glass Stakes its Claim  
Façades that don’t consider the sun’s influence can mean uncomfortable occupants and in-  
terior conditions.Perhaps that’s at least partly why dynamic glazing products,those that can  
change optical performance properties,such as visible light and solar heat gain coefficients,  
have seen such significant growth over the past decade. According to a report by industry  
analyst n-tech Research, materials used in smart windows—including electrochromic and  
thermochromic glass—will grow to approximately $760 million by 2020. Another report  
from the firm focusing on electrochromic glazing projected the smart window market will  
grow from $40 million to nearly $500 million by 2019. That’s just a fraction of the $3 billion  
in revenue projected for the electrochromic glazing industry as a whole.  
What’s driving the increased use ically reduces energy demand and What type of projects are most  
of dynamic glass products?  
the need for HVAC, while increasing often specifying dynamic glass?  
As sustainable, green building occupant comfort and wellbeing. Within the past few years, our glass  
continues to remain a staple of It also benefits the building owner has been installed at a number of  
the industry, we’re seeing an in-  
creasing number of dynamic glass  
by reducing overall energy loads by commercial office buildings, includ-  
up to 20 percent and peak energy ing the Saint-Gobain and Certain-  
Director of  
installations as architects and demand by up to 26 percent, result- Teed North American headquarters  
building owners learn how it can  
help buildings achieve sustainabil-  
ity goals and create a healthy, more  
ing in significant cost savings over a in Malvern, Pa. We’ve also seen a  
building’s life cycle.  
number of installations in health  
care facilities, airports, cultural in-  
stitutions, restaurants and retail  
stores. It’s exciting to see this diver-  
sification of our portfolio as archi-  
productive environment for occu- How are the products/technol-  
pants. By blocking glare and heat ogies evolving to meet architec-  
from the sun, our product dramat- tural demand?  
We’re constantly evolving our dy- tects and building owners realize  
namic glass to meet the needs of our our product can help provide a more  
customers. To help create an optimal  
indoor environment, we launched  
comfortable indoor environment  
free from heat gain and glare in all  
our LightZone product which allows of these markets.  
for three different tint zones within  
a single pane of SageGlass. Our dy- What can the industry  
namic glass is also now available in expect to see more of?  
sizes up to 5- by10-feet to provide An increasing number of dynamic  
architects with more design freedom glass installations in more than our  
so they are able to design façades standard “clear” color, since we  
that feature large expanses of dy- also have offerings of blue, green  
namic glass and not feel limited by and gray. Additionally, the industry  
the sizes in which the product is can expect to see deeper integra-  
offered. Additionally, we launched  
tion of dynamic glass with building  
Saint-Gobain’s new North American corporate  
headquarters, located in Malvern, Pa., features 17,000  
square feet of Sage electrochromic glass.  
an app, so that users could control management systems to provide a  
the tint of the glass from the conve- unified experience in energy man-  
nience of their cell phones.  
agement and occupant comfort.  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | April 2017  
Get Ready for More of these Glass Products and Design Innovations  
Unitized on the Rise  
Unitized curtainwall isn’t new. In fact, it’s been around for a couple of decades at least. The  
use of these systems, however, is starting to take off thanks to the many benefits they can  
provide in terms of labor and cost efficiencies.In a traditional stick-built system, for example,  
the curtainwall frame and glazing are installed and connected together piece by piece on the  
jobsite. One of the key features of a unitized system, however, is that it is designed to be as-  
sembled and glazed in a climate-controlled environment, which allows for increased quality  
assurance of critical seals.The complete units are shipped directly to the jobsite for installation  
and dry-in of low- to mid-rise commercial buildings.Such efficiencies,experts say,are making  
unitized systems more and more common on the jobsite.  
ProTek Brand  
What do you think is spurring the  
What advantages do unitized  
increased use of unitized systems? systems offer compared to  
There are many advantages to unit- stick built?  
ized vs. stick built systems. The high Reduced cost of labor. It’s less  
cost of labor is one of the biggest  
challenges currently facing the in-  
dustry. As a result there is a move-  
ment to become more effective and  
economical. One way to do so is to  
move labor into the shop, and unit-  
ization allows for that. In addition,  
the shop is a more controlled envi-  
expensive shop labor as opposed  
to more costly field labor;  
• A more environmentally-con-  
trolled atmosphere, which  
equates to a higher level of qual-  
ity control. This is an important  
factor for critical seals and oper-  
ations; and  
ronment which leads to an easier as- Faster dry-in time on the jobsite,  
sembly process and a higher level of  
quality control. Quicker dry-in is also  
a strong motivator for unitization. For  
example, a building that is unitized  
which has a significant impact on  
the total cost and time to close  
the building.  
can be dried-in 85 percent faster How do you see unitized systems  
than one that’s stick built. This has a continuing to develop?  
significant impact on total cost of the Currently, curtainwalls tend to mo-  
project and installation time.  
nopolize the unitized market. We  
believe this will lead to other façade  
systems. For example, as demand  
continues to grow for mixed-use  
What type of project most  
commonly calls for unitized?  
We’re seeing a strong trend to- and residential mid- to high-rise  
ward mixed-use and mid- to highrise buildings, window wall is emerging  
residential projects. These projects  
as a competitive alternative to cur-  
seem to fit the same mold. They’re tainwall for its clean design, quick  
large projects with repeatable con- installation and cost advantage.  
ditions in elevations, which simplify  
Unitized curtainwall was used on the Manhattan Marriott  
Hotel in New York and is becoming more and more common  
fabrication and staging.  
continued on page 50 in today’s construction projects.  
April 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
Fconatinçuaeddfroem pEagve 4o9 lution  
BECx Makes its Mark  
A building leak—though not necessarily catastrophic—is a failure.And no one wants to see a building fail.Building Enclo-  
sure Commissioning (BECx) could offer a solution. BECx is a holistic, quality assurance program that confirms the building  
is constructed per the owner project requirements (OPR). As the American Institute of Architects’ best-practices document  
titled “Building Enclosure Commissioning: An Introduction” explains, there are two main reasons for owners and architects  
to choose BECx:“1) the number of problematic issues of enclosures which manifest themselves during construction and the  
quality of built enclosures can be a frustration to owners reflecting on the services provided by the design team and 2) the  
increased complexity coupled with the drive for improved performance of building enclosures with regard to sustainability  
considerations.”As codes and regulations begin to call for BECx, this is a trend that will continue to grow.  
perform to the criteria that’s im-  
portant to them for each individual  
project. Commissioning is a process  
that focuses on verification of per-  
formance against what is important  
to ownership so it fills this need.  
What’s driving the interest?  
Early on, it was hard enough for  
stakeholders to understand what  
Vice President,  
Building Science  
Solutions, Building  
BECx is, let alone ascertain the  
value proposition. With many more  
real life success stories, attractive  
rates of returns for BECx fees and  
most of the easy energy savings op-  
portunities already exhausted, the  
drive for BECx will only get stronger.  
Dynamic water testing often is included as part of the BECx  
process to ensure the building does not leak.  
Building envelope commission-  
ing (BECx) is still a fairly new  
concept. Where do you see this  
going in the next decade?  
It’s absolutely true that enclosure BECx offers a number of benefits.  
commissioning is still in its infancy, These include:  
but we’ll see significant traction Right sizing of the HVAC equip-  
What are the benefits  
commissioning offers a  
project/owner, etc.?  
• Mandating interaction between  
different professionals (e.g. en-  
closures and mechanical), which  
doesn’t often occur on non-com-  
missioned projects.  
• Increasing the durability of the  
building through analysis of ma-  
terial prior to purchase and in-  
stallation; and  
over the next decade, such that  
most projects that have commis-  
ment saves on initial cost and  
provides annual savings;  
Structurally Sound  
sioning will include the enclosure as Identification and minimization  
Looking ahead, we can also expect to see more use of  
glass as a structural element. We’ve seen projects where  
glass is used as a supportive element to the overall con-  
struction.Then there was the glass slide featured at glasstec  
a system to be commissioned. This  
will bring enclosure commissioning  
of chances of enclosure-related  
into most institutional type projects A focus on system and whole  
in the near future.  
building performance, which  
is the source of most failures,  
rather than materials perfor-  
mance alone;  
2016.Created by fabricator Cricursa with engineering firm  
Why do you think this will be  
important to the success of  
future projects?  
Owners want sustainable, cost  
effective, quality buildings, but  
above all they want the building to  
Eckersley O’Callaghan,the slide was designed to“maximize  
transparency—utilizing long, tight-curvature glass and  
minimal,adhesive bonds without mechanical fixings.”  
To read more about the advances and growth in struc-  
tural glass, read the article on page 42. s  
• Construction time savings as  
problems can be indented during  
drawing review and mock-up  
rather than uncovered during  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | April 2017  

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