Guardian Insights

Glass Solutions for Multifamily Housing

As amenities for multifamily complexes grow more elaborate and extreme, there is one fundamental need that is always on the list: Daylighting. Whether it’s a view of an urban skyline from the top floor, or natural light that penetrates deep into community spaces, residents expect daylighting.

Many studies have shown that views with natural light and nature are beneficial, both physically and psychologically. Those studies report that exposure to natural light is said to increase concentration and focus, reduce blood pressure and boost Vitamin D, immunity and mood.

Developers are selling views, so they need a building design or retrofit that will include high performance glass. High performance glass provides high visible light transmission combined with low solar heat gain which means

  • Residents soak up the benefits of natural light
  • The right energy performance helps manage the building’s HVAC load
  • The exterior appearance of the building is shown in its best light, because curtains tend to be open and blinds up

Guardian SunGuard® coated glass products provide solutions that address visible light transmission, solar heat gain and reflectivity, which can provide those sought-after views – even at night – while retaining a sense of privacy for residents.

Lilli Midtown | Atlanta, GA | Guardian SunGuard® AG 43 on clear glass

With only seven residences on each of its 24 floors, lilli Midtown is a private luxury residential tower. Every residence offers a corner unit with abundant natural light coming from the panoramic windows, which offer 180-degree views of Atlanta. ODA Architects created a building envelope that unites the interior and exterior spaces with a rectangular pattern that gives the building a modern edge among neighboring structures. The staggered layout gives occupants flexibility between indoor and outdoor spaces. Guardian SunGuard® AG 43 on clear glass is neutral in appearance to aid in this effect, while providing a visible light transmission of 43 percent and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.31, important for Atlanta’s sunny climate.

An important measurement of glass performance is reflectivity. Reflectivity out, or what you see from the outside of the building, can be different from reflectivity in, or what you see when you are on the inside looking through the glass. Coated glass with a high reflectivity out means that it when looking at the glass, you see the sky and surrounding environment versus views directly into the building. Glass with a high reflectivity in, meanwhile, will have the appearance of a mirror when interior lights are on.

Architects typically envision a level of reflectivity out that provides a sense of privacy for the occupants. However, they also want the reflectivity in to be low enough to allow clear views, even at night.

lilli Midtown illustrates how differing levels of reflectivity benefit the occupants: Guardian SunGuard® AG 43 on clear glass offers 30 percent reflectivity out for that element of privacy, with a low, 15 percent reflectivity in. That means that residents can enjoy those expansive views of Atlanta, even in the evening.

Fabricated by independent Guardian Select® fabricator Oldcastle BuildingEnvelope®, Guardian SunGuard® AG 43 on clear glass at lilli Midtown was installed by independent Guardian Glazier Connection™ member Gardner Glass Products.