No Arrested  
Four Window and  
Glazing Technologies  
Poised for Growth  
b y N i c k S t . D e n i s  
Building Integrated Photovoltaics developer Solaria is one  
company involved in a new wave of high-tech commercial  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2017  
glazing products.  
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.  
PV Windows  
Gaining Energy  
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-  
still visible.  
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  
No Arrested  
continued from page 65  
Pilkington’s Spacia VIG product has been commercially available for nearly two decades and is ideal for historic  
retrofit due to its thinness. The system is illustrated on the right.  
rather than being air or gas filled.  
Since it is nearly the same thick-  
ness as conventional single glazing,  
it can be fitted into old-style frames.  
This accommodates the appearance  
of historic buildings, retrofitting and  
the need to meet requirements for  
conservation areas.  
The fastest-growing segment is in  
historic restoration,where people can  
use the product to maintain existing  
window sashes but need to signifi-  
cantly improve the energy efficiency,”  
says Kyle Sword, business develop-  
VIG has been utilized internationally but it is less familiar in North America. ment manager at Pilkington. “The  
The industry is exploring ways to bring it into the mainstream.  
second area is just for customers try-  
ing to improve insulation in northern  
Vacuum insulating glass (VIG), a of an unknown commodity in the climates,” he adds, noting that “the  
technology in which the thin space U.S., it is available commercially. U-factor gain is really significant with  
between lites of glass in an IGU is Pilkington’s Spacia VIG product this product.”  
evacuated, has received a fair amount was the first on the market, having  
of attention in North America, but been utilized in other parts of the ers Alliance (IGMA) has a working  
has yet to take off.  
world—namely Japan—for almost group tasked with tracking and edu-  
Selkowitz says many companies 20 years. cating the industry on developments  
in the industry have been seriously The unit consists of an outer lite of in this subsector. IGMA released a  
The Insulating Glass Manufactur-  
exploring adding a VIG product, but low-E glass and an inner lite of clear technical bulletin on VIG two years  
that cost, durability and thermal float glass,separated by a micro spacer ago and is monitoring the develop-  
performance concerns have caused grid of small pillars, each 0.5 mm in ment of a two-part International Or-  
reluctance.“The challenge is that the diameter and set 20 mm apart. This ganization of Standardization (ISO)  
window guys don’t want to jump into grid ensures the two glass lites are standard on the technology. The first  
VIG until lifetime performance of the kept a fixed distance apart. The edges part was focused on durability, and  
product is proven,” he says.  
are welded to achieve a hermetic seal, the second will cover temperature-in-  
While VIG is still considered a bit and air is extracted to create a vacuum duced effects.  
continued on page 68  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2017  
No Arrested  
# #  
3 4  
continued from page 66  
ATripleThreIn at  
Triple glazing isn’t the newest of tech-  
North America,  
0.7mm thin  
glass center  
nologies,and while it still represents an energy codes in the U.S.  
extremely small segment of the com- and Canada continue  
mercial market in the U.S.,it has a lot of to get stricter, putting  
room for growth. Europe, however, has pressure on the glass  
been quicker to adopt triple glazing on and glazing industry to  
a large scale,and in some Nordic coun- keep up. Selkowitz says  
tries, it is standard for new and retrofit once code requirements  
construction due to cold climates and for U-values get below  
stringent energy codes.  
the .25-.27 range, “you’ll  
basically have to go to  
Foam spacer  
The benefits of  
standard triple-glazed  
unit are pretty well un-  
derstood, but it often  
comes down to cost and  
whether the return on  
the investment—energy  
savings and thermal Industry expert and researcher Stephen Selkowitz  
comfort—is practical.  
says the use of thin glass in an IGU could be a  
There are opportu- key to bringing triple glazing into the market on a  
nities for triple-glazing larger scale.  
products to evolve. One  
avenue the glass industry is exploring stalled in the interior of an existing  
is the use of thin glass to turn a stan- single-glazed window. J.E. Berkowitz  
dard double-glazed insulating glass developed a product, Renovate, spe-  
unit (IGU) into a triple.  
cifically for this purpose.  
Business development manager  
Take a conventional double—if  
you stick a .7-mm piece of thin glass Scott Mitchell says a key benefit of  
in the middle of the cavity, you now this system is that it allows for added  
have two thinner airspaces,”Selkowitz efficiency with minimal disruption to  
says.“Then replace Argon with Kryp- the occupants.  
ton. You have the same dimensions  
“A rip-out of the single-pane win-  
but more than double the insulating dows with an IGU re-glaze is always  
value. The IG goes from about an R4 an option, but requires occupants  
to an R8 or R9.”  
to vacate the space and comes at  
Recent developments in thin a project cost that is significantly  
glass have made the product more greater than a simple renovation of  
readily available compared to five existing windows,” says Mitchell. “In  
years ago. Selkowitz notes that both addition, the [Renovate] upgrade re-  
thin glass and Krypton have come sults in a triple-glaze solution, while  
down in cost, and this combination a rip-out and IGU re-glaze will be a  
could produce a much higher-per- double-glaze.”  
J.E. Berkowitz’s Renovate retrofit forming unit with just a modest  
He adds that due to a hermetic seal,  
no contaminate—including conden-  
Another area of growth potential sation—can invade the new airspace,  
product, used in the 10 Lafayette cost increase.  
Square building in Buffalo, N.Y., is  
one approach to implementing triple in triple glazing is a retrofit option so no additional annual maintenance  
glazing in the U.S.  
in which a double-glazed IGU is in- is required.  
continued on page 70  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2017  
No Arrested  
continued from page 68  
Cutaway view of SageGlass IGU (tinted state)  
AOne teDchnolyogynthatais pmroving itoc Solution  
(heat strengthened)  
mm matching lite  
2.2 mm coated lite  
be less of a niche each year is electro-  
chromic glass. The product, which al-  
lows a user or facility to electronically  
increase or decrease the level of light  
transmittance through a glazing sys-  
tem, can reduce the need for blinds  
and increase occupant comfort.  
black obscuration band  
4 mm support lite  
(heat strengthened)  
air space  
SageGlass and View Dynamic Glass  
have established the legitimacy of  
electrochromics in recent years, as  
their products have been successfully  
installed in many large-scale applica-  
tions across North America.  
SageGlass IGU shown in a frame  
Surface 3  
Surface 2  
In trying to grow this market, sup- Pictured is an example of an IGU makeup that implements SageGlass’  
pliers of electrochromic glass have electrochromic glass.  
put a focus on educating the industry  
that its value proposition goes beyond  
the customary role of glass. In other  
words, cost per square foot is not the  
main selling point.  
“Ultimately, we still want this to be  
more of a premium-priced product,”  
says Sage director of customer ex-  
perience Derek Malmquist.“Because  
the value it brings is very different  
than just traditional low-E glass.And  
as people become more aware of this,  
you can see the lightbulb go on in  
their heads.  
“For the architect, it provides the  
ability to design a space and not have  
the constraint of shades,” he says.  
thetics standpoint, as well. And peo- year. Bowie State University used 25,000 square feet of it on one of its  
ple like views and connections with newly built facilities.  
There’s a big benefit from an aes- Electrochromic glass is being applied on larger and larger projects each  
nature. Then ultimately, there are en-  
ergy savings.”  
panies are critical.Kinestral is one ex-  
Twente says AGC’s partnership  
Selkowitz says that challenges the ample—the company partnered with with Halio represents “the next big  
dynamic glass industry is addressing AGC last year to develop and bring to transformation—glass that connects  
are color in the clear and dark states, market its Halio“smart-tinting”glass people to their environment while op-  
as well as switching speeds.Addition- product.  
ally, the systems that must be put in “Natural light is one of today’s most functionality and productivity.”  
place to control dynamic glass on a desired architectural features,” says As long as development of these  
large scale are similar to automated Mark Twente, director of marketing technologies is being supported by  
shading, which is a challenge. for AGC Glass North America. “But the major players in the glass indus-  
timizing that environment for beauty,  
But all in all, the stage is set for more glass brings more challenges, try, commercial glazing will continue  
electrochromic glass, and more com- such as glare, concentration of heat, to evolve to meet the ever-changing  
panies are seeking entry into the mar- limited privacy, and sun damage to needs of decision-makers and stake-  
ket.Like other emerging technologies, interior structures.” He says Halio ef- holders in the building and construc-  
partnerships with established com- fectively addresses these concerns.  
tion world. n  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | September 2017  

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