lass is more than just glass.We all know this.
The developments of coatings, the evolution of glazing sys-
tems and the integration of glass into applications that were
unimaginable just a few decades ago have allowed our favorite
building material to maintain its place as a key component of the building.
So how do we make certain that the walls of future buildings and struc-
tures continue to use as much glass as possible? Simply put: the industry
must constantly improve its products—and invent new ones.
Here are four emerging technologies in the commercial window and
glazing space that help ensure glass keeps up with the times.
For many years, the commercial
window industry has strived to de-
sign products that help save build-
ings as much energy as possible.
More recently, there has been a focus
on windows that can not only save
energy, but create it as well. Building
Integrated Photovolatics (BIPV) is a
niche that continues to evolve as sus-
tainability and the drive for Net-Zero
energy takes hold.
In recent years, a handful of estab-
lished companies and startups have
developed increasingly effective glaz-
ing systems that can serve as ener-
gy-generating transparent windows.
Companies such as Solaria and Onyx
Solar have successfully implemented
the technology into large-scale projects, Energy-generating glass is now being implemented on large-scale projects.
while others such as SolarWindow and While it remains a niche product, the growth potential is strong.
NEXT Energy Technologies are work-
ing to bring their products to market.
While some of their application of building solutions, says that while
Udi Paret, Solaria general manager risk-adverse environment.
Solaria has attacked the ﬁrst bar-
methods and technologies may dif- this could be a challenge in speciﬁc rier by developing solutions to imple-
fer, Stephen Selkowitz, senior advisor “premium vision areas,” the PV por- ment PV across the whole building
for building science at the Lawrence tion of the glass can help reduce glare envelope, vertically and horizontally.
Berkeley National Laboratory, says and heat gain, which coatings—or It has also partnered with well-
a key challenge continues to be the in many cases, shades and blinds— known glass manufacturers and fab-
balance between transparency and would otherwise do.
energy-generation effectiveness. The
ricators to bring their own branded
Paret says a main barrier to entry “Powered-by-Solaria” products to
PV cells built into the glass unit,while for architectural solar products into market. It has joined forces with Wal-
transparent to varying degrees, are the building and construction market ters & Wolf in North America, Pilk-
is that they must deliver a combina- ington in Europe, the Middle East
When building occupants are tion of beneﬁts including aesthetics, and South America, and AGC in Asia
looking through the PV systems, glass performance and power perfor- and Europe.This has allowed for con-
what does it look like?” asks Selkow- mance in an economical way.Another tinuity through the supply chain and
tiz.“A variety of systems on the mar- major hurdle is the need to position provides assurances to customers in
ket perform quite well, but obviously the product where decision-makers terms of warranties and reliability.
the smaller percentage of PV area you and speciﬁers feel comfortable in im-
have, the lower the power.”
plementing it into their projects in a
continued on page 66
September 2017 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing