Glass Technologies for Sustainable designs

Sustainable Glass solutions for sustainable building practice 

 Sustainable building design is a trend of increasing prominence in modern times, with modern consumers becoming increasingly more environmentally conscious. Glass technologies are no exception to this with the implementation of glazing solutions can have a prefund environmental impact. As a result of this several different Sustainable Glass solutions are becoming More prevalent.  

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Solar Control Glass-

The first solution of which has seen a large increase in its adoption not only in commercial but also residential products is Solar control Glass. Solar control glass is a double or tripled glazed unit with a metal oxide coating on the internal face of the external pane of glass. Using this coating is one of the easiest ways to integrate solar control into any glass structure, especially a structural glass unit. This coating is designed to allow light and vision through the glass whilst reflecting solar radiation. It cannot be applied to single glass panes, only double or tripled glazed units. The metal oxide coating reduces the amount of short-wave radiation that travels through the glass unit, thus reducing the increased heat levels inside. Solar control glass can have a significant impact on Sustainable designs because, This sustainable Glass greatly reduces the amount of energy expenditure on regulating the temperature of a space, due to the implementation of this high-performance solution. Resulting in not only a reduction in the amount of environmental harm caused by energy usage, but also a reduction in the cost of energy due to less energy being required, Something of great use nowadays as a result of growing concerns of energy costs. Further revealing the profound benefits that can be brought about as a result of the sustainable glass solution. 

Electro Chromic Glass 

Another example of a Dynamic Glazing solution that can be implemented to Contribute to a more sustainable design, is the adoption of Electrochromic Glass. Electrochromic Glass is an electrical glass product that allows you to control the amount of light and solar radiation that can enter a space through the glazing removing the need for separate shading systems. The increased prominence of electrochromic glass directly blue tinted electrochromic glass window used for a eye clinnic in switzerland scaledcorresponds with the introduction of the Governments Dark Sky Policy. This policy was formed in 2020 to promote dark sky-friendly lighting and planning policies in the UK with the aim to protecting the current and future international Dark- Sky association places. As well as mitigating the adverse effects on Humans and wildlife.  The adoption of this policy comes of the back of a study which revealed that 100% of the British population lives under light-polluted skies. The implementation of Electrochromic glass lends itself more to application of commercial projects as appose to residential projects, because of most commercial projects being on a larger scale. Subsequently causing far greater negative effects due to the larger quantities of glass, however this does not discount its application to Larger residential projects.  The main sustainability benefit that is brought about because of the implementation of electrochromic glass is that it reduces cooling costs by offering dynamic shading and solar control. This is not only environmentally beneficial by reducing the amount of energy used to regulate temperatures but also mitigates the finical cost of doing so as a result of this high-performance glazing solution. 

Orae Glass 

The Saint Gobain ORAE product is the world’s first low carbon glass with approximately 40% less embodied carbon than a typical clear glass pane. The amount of carbon expenditure in the creation of Glass technologies is a growing concern for architects and specifiers Alike and the introduction of this technology will not only Contribute drastically to mitigating the negative effect’s of construction, but also satisfy concerns of increasingly environmentally consumers of ensuring more sustainable building practices. The new ORAE glass from Saint Gobain has an estimated carbon footprint of only 7kg CO2 eq/m2bringing a reduction carbon down by around 40%. It is able to do this via a high percentage of recycled glass content within the glass substrate (around 70% cullet). The manufacturing techniques of the new glass are also sustainable and powered from renewable energy.   

Low e coatings

Emissivity refers to the amount of radiant energy material absorbs. Thermal insulation is a vital part in buildings and projects, because you want as much of this radiant heat to remain within the space, to maintain a constant heat level and mitigate the amount of heat loss to the external environment. Low Emissivity coatings ( Low-E coatings) are applied to glazing units in order to reduce the amount of heat that glazing units absorb, and instead because of the Low-E coatings reflect radiant heat back into the internal space improving the thermal performance. Building regulation L demands that all insulated Glass Units achieve certain thermal performance criteria to adhere to modern Building standards. Low E coatings contribute a large amount to Sustainable design because of the increased thermal performance resulting in less external expenditure on energy to maintain temperatures.  

Dual coatings 

A dual coating on glass is when two different types of coatings are applied to the surface of the glass. These coatings can either both be applied to one side of the glass or applied to both sides. Dual coatings are often implemented to improve the energy efficiency and thermal performance of glass. Dual Coatings can contribute significant amounts to the creation of a sustainable design whereby the large increase in improving energy efficiency and thermal performance similar to other glass technologies. Results in the amount of external energy expenditure required to maintain temperatures is reduced dramatically. Which as a result is reducing the amount of negative environmental impacts caused from the use of this energy. 

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Vacuum Glass 

Another glass technology that contributes to sustainable design is vacuum glass. It consists of two panes of glass which are separated by a vacuum gap which acts as a thermal break, Resulting in an extremely high performance with some of the highest possible insulation levels revealed in vacuum glazing able to achieve Ug values of 0.4. Much like other glass technologies the reduction in external energy expenditure on regulating internal temperatures, which contribute to a far greater sustainable design due to the dependency on energy usage being mitigated drastically. Overall all of these glazing technologies contribute significant amounts to the creation of a sustainable design. And at IQ Projects we can deliver all of these solutions to not only mitigate environmental harm but also adhere to sustainable building practices. If you have a project that would benefit from the inclusion of these sustainable glass solutions contact us.  

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Shannon Normoyle

As one of the Senior Marketing Executives, Shannon oversees the website and SEO management for IQ and can often be found working on SEO strategies or writing content for the websites. 

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