In the realm of structural design and visual aesthetics, commercial glazing has experienced a dynamic evolution over time. Glazing has moved from merely being a component that fills in window spaces to becoming an essential element in design and energy considerations.
The Journey of Glazing Designs
Initially, commercial glazing aimed at allowing light and visibility while offering protection from weather elements. Basic glazed windows characterized the beginning of this journey. However, technological progressions have allowed glazing to revolutionize commercial structures by increasing energy efficiency, enhancing light control, and improving visual aesthetics.
Integration of Technology
Tech innovations have been a main contributor to the evolution in glazing. The advent of insulated glass units (IGUs), which contain two or more glass window panes separated by a vacuum or gas, represented a major breakthrough. IGUs significantly improved thermal insulation and noise reduction.
Energy Efficient Glazing
With a growing global emphasis on sustainability, commercial glazing evolved to cater to these concerns. Low-E glass and smart glass have come to the fore as solutions for energy efficiency.
- Low-E Glass: Low emittance (Low-E) glass has a special coating that reduces the amount of UV and infrared light that can pass through, reducing energy costs.
- Smart Glass: Also known as switchable glass, this technology allows the contents of the glass to change from transparent to opaque. This innovation helps control the amount of light and heat passing through and is managed by applying voltage, heat, or light.
Trends Influencing Commercial Glazing
Moving into the future, even more sophisticated commercial glazing trends will continue to emerge.
Solar Control Glass
This glazing technology has a special coating to regulate the amount of solar heat entering buildings â€“ thereby reducing reliance on air conditioning and heating systems.
Biophilic Design in Glazing
Bridging the gap between indoors and outdoors, commercial glazing increasingly adopts biophilic designs. By incorporating nature-inspired elements like large glass exteriors and sky-facing glazing, a connection with the environment is fostered.
The evolution of commercial glazing reflects the continuous search for improvements in design, functionality, energy efficiency, and sustainability. Technological advancements will continue to influence this evolution, hence it’s clear commercial glazing will keep transforming our built environments.