Let natural light in, while reflecting the sun's heat
Excess heat and glare caused by the solar energy from the sun can be a major source of discomfort in some indoor environments, especially those with glass roofs, glazed facades, conservatories or with large areas of glazing. Solar control glass is ideal for helping to maximize natural daylight while reflecting a high proportion of solar radiation away from the glass, contributing to keeping the indoor space bright but cool.
Summer months can be very hot, which means keeping the inside of a building comfortable while allowing natural daylight in can be a challenge. The special properties of solar control glass let natural daylight in, while reflecting a high proportion of the sun’s heat. The indoor space remains bright but cooler compared to uncoated glass.
In terms of thermal insulation performance, most of our solar control glass products - those with at least one silver coating, help reflect indoor heat back into the room and form a shield against the cold exterior. Used in double or triple glazing, they help reduce energy costs associated with indoor heating systems.
The energy efficiency of buildings can be improved as solar control glass helps limit the overheating of interiors through the glazing, therefore helping to reduce demands on air conditioning.
Solar control glass can help mitigate glare from the sun and increase the visual comfort of building occupants, particularly if a glazed façade is directly exposed to the sun and with a high window-to-wall ratio.
Our Guardian SunGuard glass products offer different levels of solar control and light transmission, and various aesthetic options to suit many applications.
Solar control performance is achieved through the use of a very thin, transparent, and permanent coating that helps limit the solar energy entering inside. It helps control solar gain to various levels depending on the coating while allowing natural daylight in and views on the outside. See more about how glass is coated.
The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), which is a measure of a window’s ability to transmit solar energy into a room, is measured in values from 0 to 1. The SHGC is commonly referred to as the g-value, or solar factor. The lower a window’s g-value, the greater its ability to insulate against solar heat build up.
The term “Light to Solar Heat Gain”, or “spectral selectivity” is used to address the amount of light transmission relative to solar energy blockage. Greater spectral selectivity is achieved when more visible light, and less overall solar energy, is transmitted.
Solar control is typically used in a double or triple insulating glass unit (IGU), which allows the energy efficiency of the windows to be further improved and helping to make building occupants feel more comfortable. The number 2 surface placement of a solar control coating often facilitates the best solar control performance because it partially reflects away incoming solar energy before it can enter the glazing. Some of our products can also be used for monolithic applications due to the durability of their coating.
Our solar control glass is applied on clear float glass and has a neutral aspect, allowing more natural, truer views through the glass. However, if you wish, solar control glass can also be colored. Our solar control coatings can be applied on tinted glass to further help mitigate glare and solar heat gain. Tinted glass colors can range from blue to grey with different contrasts. Solar control glass can also have different levels of reflectivity to provide transparency or a more reflective, almost mirrored glass effect, as well as a changing appearance during the day, to meet your aesthetic needs.
There are many products available to choose from. As well as a wide range of aesthetic options, solar control glass can have various levels of energy performance and light transmission. Depending on the climate and the orientation of the building and its surroundings, carefully selecting the glass in the early stages of the project can help optimize the impact of the glazing on the overall energy performance of the building. Guardian™ Glass for BIM (Building Information Modeling) is an Autodesk Revit application for selecting and specifying Guardian Glass products. The software provides key performance metrics (passive solar heat gain, natural daylight, thermal) for all glass types.
Guardian™ Glass offers you a wealth of technical notes, tools and online learning to enhance your knowledge about glass and help you specify the most appropriate glass for your project. Discover our BIM resources and specification tools on the Resource Hub!
The applications for solar control glass are wide-ranging. From windows, facades and curtain walls to roofs and skylights, in fact, any application where glazing is a physical barrier between the inside and outside of a building, solar control glazing can be considered.
A curtain wall is a non-structural outer covering of a building that can be made of glass. Using solar control glass in a curtain wall can help designers control the performance and appearance of the glazing, including solar protection and thermal insulation.
Overhead glazing such as roof glazing can help reduce the need for artificial lighting, as well as provide a natural source of daylight to help brighten and open up the interior spaces of a building. Solar control glass can help address both solar protection and thermal insulation needs.
Solar control glass solutions have been developed that withstand the bending process without affecting the visual appearance of the glass. These solutions open up new design possibilities while still providing the required solar and thermal performance to contribute to the energy efficiency of the building.
Oversized solar control glass provides opportunities for designers to create unique, striking designs. Using large panels of solar control glass can help minimize the use of structural elements, while creating a seamless façade that allows more natural daylight into buildings and provides spectacular views for occupants to enjoy.
Want to see more architectural projects made with glass for glare control? Visit our project section.
Solar control glass can be combined in an IGU with thermal insulating glass to further improve the thermal insulation performance and help keep temperatures comfortable for the building’s occupants all year round. It can also be combined with laminated glass to provide safety and security features, as well as sound reduction.
Need to compare the performance of our products? Visit our product section to search, compare and filter through our wide range of glass solutions
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