n-tech Report: Optimistic Outlook for Dynamic Glazing

“Smart windows” may turn out to be a smart investment, according to a recent study.

Last month, industry analyst firm n-tech Research released a report titled “Smart Windows Materials Markets: 2015-2022.” According to the report, materials used in smart windows will grow to approximately $760 million by 2020—which is good news for the dynamic glazing industry.

A demonstration of windows with (right) and without (left) Pleotint's Suntuitive thermochromic product.

A demonstration of windows with (right) and without (left) Pleotint’s Suntuitive thermochromic product.

Materials included in the study are electrochromics, thermochromics, SPD and PDLC, among others. “n-tech has provided coverage of the smart materials business for over six years and believes that smart windows are among the most commercially promising smart building products,” reads a release from the firm.

Pleotint is one of at least 40 companies discussed in the report, and marketing manager Jamie Selby agrees with the optimism in the study, noting that the market for Suntuitive, her company’s thermochromic product, is “thriving.” In the last year and a half alone, the number of Suntuitive glass installations has increased over 160 percent.

“With the help of increased product awareness and major advancements in the design and integrated use of building envelopes in overall efficient design, we do not see the pace slowing down anytime soon,” says Selby, adding that Pleotint will continue to build national and regional partnerships in the coming years.

n-tech Research asserts electrochromic materials “have a short-term advantage at the present time,” and that by 2020, revenues from electrochromic glass and film will reach $620 million. “No technology has established a strong enough lead as yet to constitute a significant barrier to entry,” reads the report.

SPD and PDLC, which are typically utilized for tinting and switchable glass, respectively, continue to be utilized more as recognition in the market increases and cost decreases. Revenues from SPD and PDLC in 2020, according to the study, are expected to reach almost $80 million.

Anthony Branscum of Innovative Glass Corp., which offers SPD and PDLC products, says as general construction spending has increased over the last couple years, the market has become more aware of dynamic glazing.

He says there are now more instances in which the end user is requesting the product, as opposed to the architect suggesting it.

“A client may have encountered privacy glass in other places, and when they’re ready to do their own space, they’re now requesting it,” he says. “So basically, the consumer is starting to drive the sale of these types of products.”

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