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Performance and energy efficiency

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Performance and energy efficiency

Understand how glass can influence a building's energy and acoustic performance.

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Whether you need glass for facades, interiors, homes, or specific applications, we have a solution

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Curved glass contributes to harmony between Victorian and contemporary design

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For anyone who is interested in learning more about glass and its use

Performance and energy efficiency

Put it to work: performance glass and energy efficient glass

Glass can greatly influence energy use, light transmission, acoustics and facade strength. By understanding and applying each of these components, you can select the right glass for your project. 

Glass Performance

Glass contributes to a building’s energy performance by affecting both natural light transmission and solar control. Performance glass is measured by the following: 

U-value

The U-Value describes heat flow through glazing due to the difference between indoor and outdoor temperatures. A lower number = better insulation.

U-value

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

The Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) describes solar energy admitted through glazing. A lower number = less solar energy passing through the glazing into the interior.

Solar Heat Gain Coefficient

Visible Light Transmission

The Visible Light Transmission (VLT) measures the percentage of visible light that passes through glazing. A higher number = more natural light in interior spaces.

 Visible Light Transmission

Light to Solar Gain ratio

The Light to Solar Gain ratio (LSG) is the VLT divided by the SHGC. A higher number = brighter spaces relative to solar control performance.

Light to Solar Gain ratio

Building Energy Efficiency

Glass can impact light transmission and solar heat to improve the comfort of occupants and help the HVAC system operate at maximum efficiency. 

High-performance glass with a high LSG can enable buildings in warmer climates to enjoy the benefits of natural light without intense interior temperatures, or the need to block the light with shades. Meanwhile, buildings in cooler climates can benefit from passive heating offered by glazing with a high SHGC.

Glass coatings with a lower U-Value have higher insulating properties, helping to keep the interior temperature consistent regardless of the outside climate. 

A wide variety of architectural glazing products are available to facilitate harmony between aesthetics and energy efficiency. 

Acoustics

We are surrounded by sound. Unfortunately, what many might consider pleasant, such as birds singing or laughter, is unfortunately frequently drowned out by less welcome noise. According to the World Health Organization, excessive noise seriously harms us. It can disturb sleep, cause cardiovascular and psychophysiological effects and reduce performance.

Acoustics

Sound is transmitted through glass

The molecules compress against each other and spread that compression as a wave. Noise can be reflected or absorbed by glass to varying degrees, depending on the combination of glass thickness and interlayers.

 Sound is transmitted through glass

Strength

Performance glass can provide strength while still offering transparency and beauty. This video illustrates the strength variations of different kinds of glass.  

All architectural glass, in its original state, is annealed. Yet further load resistance is attainable by applying heat treatment. This involves carefully heating the glass, and then rapidly cooling its surfaces to induce permanent compression. It’s important to note that the glass must be cut and fabricated before the process. There are two kinds of heat-treated glass:

  • Tempered glass is approximately 4 x stronger than annealed (standard) glass. When broken, it is designed to break into small pieces with comparatively dull edges.  Tempered glass can correspondingly qualify as safety glazing. 
  • Heat-strengthened glass is approximately 2 x stronger than annealed glass. When broken, its shards are more conductive to retention within the glazing panel frame than are those of fully tempered glass.