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How to Choose the Right Glass for Your Project

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How to choose the right glass for your project

United States | June 13, 2019

Three principles for more confident glass selection

The number of glass solutions available today bring boundless opportunities to achieve your design vision while accomplishing energy goals. These options can also be overwhelming, but Guardian Glass is here to help. Three principles below from our newest continuing education unit, Making Glass Come to Life: The Principles of Glass Selection, can help guide you through the selection process.

1. Consider building and environmental influences.

Several factors impact the appearance of a glass façade. Building location, lighting conditions, viewing angles, interior lighting and more all play a role. So, how can you be sure to get the look you want?

Guardian Glass samples are a great starting point. We recommend viewing your samples outside (ideally, at the project site) to see how varying conditions may affect your design intent. View the samples in various times of day, weather conditions and angles.

You’ll find that glass can look very different depending on the circumstances, like these images of the Rosslyn Central Place in Arlington, Virginia.

Rosslyn Central Place | Arlington, Virginia
Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle Architects and Planners
Coatings: SunGuard® AG 43 coating , SunGuard® SuperNeutral® 68 coating and SunGuard® SNX 62/27 coating on clear glass
Photo Credit: Joseph Romeo Photography

The image on the left was taken on a sunny day, causing the glass to pick up the colors of the blue sky. The image on the right was taken on an overcast day. This shows the true reflected color of the coating—light silver.

Samples help indicate the reflected and transmitted color of glass. When viewing samples, be sure to position over a black background to show the reflected color, or a white background to show the transmitted color.

2. Select coatings for multiple building needs.

Have multiple aesthetic and performance goals within one building? Not sure how to reconcile these goals? You don’t have to sacrifice one objective for the other. We can work together to select low-E coatings that achieve all your project needs.

For example, Open Access Technology International (OATI) Microgrid Technology Center uses SunGuard® high-performance low-E coatings to achieve different project goals. SunGuard® SuperNeutral® 68 coated glass was selected for its high transparency for the portion of the building shown at the left in this image. This helps harvest natural light to keep meeting rooms bright and open. The more reflective SunGuard® AG 50 coated glass was selected for the middle and right portion of the building to help control glare for people busy at work inside.

Open Access Technology International (OATI) Microgrid Technology Center | Minneapolis, Minnesota
Architect: Pope Architects Inc.
Coatings: SunGuard® SuperNeutral® 68 coating and SunGuard® AG 50 coating on clear glass
Photo Credit: Mitchell Stier Photo

3. Enlist a glass expert to help review options.

You have many choices to make when selecting your glass combination. Clear or color. Neutral or reflective. Natural light or privacy. Contact us early to discuss your options. From choosing the best performing glass for your region, to achieving your ideal aesthetic, we are ready to help make your designs a reality.

Our Making Glass Come to Life CEU provides a deep dive into these examples and all the fundamentals of glass selection. You’ll gain an understanding about which glass can help achieve your goals, all while earning 1.0 CE credit.