Glass provides the vital connection between the inside and outside of our buildings; it brings in natural light and connects us with the building surroundings. However, glass today is so much more…
Modern innovations in glass and glass coating technology mean that today glass can not only offer exceptional thermal insulation, it can also provide control over solar radiation whilst maintaining a virtually neutral appearance with a high light transmission. These kinds of innovations have paved the way for architects and designers to create buildings like nothing that have been seen before. With controlled solar heat gains and minimal heat losses, glazed facades provide a controlled barrier which maintains the buildings temperature without over heating from solar radiation and greatly reducing down drafts and cold spots during the winter and seasonal changes.
Glass performance is mainly defined by 3 factors; these determine the most appropriate use of glass for your home or project:
Light Transmission - The proportion of light in the visible spectrum which is expressed as a percentage
U value - The measured level of heat loss through glazing, expressed as Watts per square meter, per degree Kelvin (W/m2K)
Solar Factor - The percentage of solar radiant heat energy transmitted through glazing, this may also be referred to as Solar Gain or the g value
There are many types of glass that can help you control the environment inside your home or business without having to rely on mechanical cooling during summer months and excessive heating in winter months, some of these glasses are:
Low Emissivity Glass
Thermally insulating glass coatings are generally referred to Low Emissivity Glass or Low E glass, we refer to these as our ClimaGuard range. These use transparent coatings which reflect the long wave heat energy we produce in our homes back from the glazing and greatly slow down the rate that heat energy is lost from our buildings. This measure is defined as a U value. Low Emissivity glass also allows short wave heat energy to pass through the glass, this is commonly known as the solar factor or solar heat gain and helps heat our homes for free using heat from the sun. It is important to note however, that glazing on exposed facades like the south face of your home or building, can be subjected to high levels of solar heat gain, which can cause your building to over heat. In these areas some form of solar control glass may be worth considering.
Solar Control Glass
Heat from the sun can easily cause a building to over heat, Solar Control glass is used to reflect the short wave heat energy from the sun away from the glass and greatly reduce that amount of heat energy entering a building through the glazing. We refer to our solar control glass ranges as SunGuard Solar and our SunGuard High Durable range, these types of glasses are capable of reflecting short wave solar heat energy away from the glass, however they provide little to no additional thermal insulation benefits. Solar control glass on the outer pane of a double glazed unit can be combined with Low Emissivity glass on the inner pane of a double glazed to provide complete control, preventing over heating from solar radiation during the summer and thermally insulating with Low Emissivity glass during the winter.
High Performance Glass
Glass used to reflect solar heat energy and retain internal heat energy is commonly known as High Performance glass, we refer to this type of glass as our SunGuard High Performance range. High Performance glass uses a technically advanced glass coating which allows solar control and thermal insulation in one pane of glass which should be installed as the outer pane of double or triple glazing. High Performance glass performs the same function as Solar Control glass on the outer pane and Low Emissivity glass on the inner pane as mentioned earlier, however it achieves this performance in a more cost effective way. Most high performance glasses have greater reflection and are often coloured to help characterise a glazed façade.
High Selective Glass
Selectivity refers to the capability of a glass coating to achieve exceptional performance in a selection of areas without compromising the neutral appearance of the glass, selectivity particularly refers to the ratio between a high light transmassion in combination with a low solar factor. High Selective Glass offers the same complete performance as High Performance glass combining Solar Control with Thermal Insulation in one coated glass, however it does this whilst also retaining a high light transmission providing exceptional levels of natural daylight whilst also retaining as neutral and natural appearance as possible. We refer to High Selective glass as our SunGuard SuperNeutral range. High Selective Glass is the ideal solution where ultra Low U values - Thermal insulation, with an exceptionally High Light Transmission with a low Solar factor are required, as this is achieved in glass that has little to no colour distortion. High Selective glass offers exceptional performance and provides some of the best energy savings through the lowest U values and best solar control, the high light transmission also helps to save energy by reducing the requirement for artificial lighting during daylight hours.
Triple Silver Glass
Triple silver glass coatings are at the very peak of current glass coating technology, they work with the same principles as High Selective Glass, but the added layer of silver in the glass coating enables triple silver coatings to stretch the ratio between a high light tranmission and a low solar factor to the edge of what is currently physically possible. Triple Silver glass coating also retain the same exceptionally low U values as High Selective glass with very little colour distortion. We refer to Triple Silver glass coatings as our SunGuard eXtra Selective range.
Choosing the right type of glass for your home or project is imperative, if you want to achieve exceptional energy efficiency. When selecting the right type of glass consider the performance of the U value, Solar Factor, and Light Transmission and make an educated decision as to the right glass to suit you.