Architectural Glass of Today and Tomorrow

Food and flat glass dynamics. Those were the two things the International Window Film Association (IWFA) brought WFCT 2015 attendees last week at IWFA Education Day.

Urmilla Joku-Sowell, a 15-year fenestration industry member and technical director of the Glass Association of North America (GANA), explained what’s going on in the flat glass world.

“How does a trend start?” she asked. “Usually, there’s something that’s driving it. For architectural glass, it’s energy performance.”

She started with what’s happening with low-E coatings.

“They’re putting two coatings on the number-two surface and the number-four surface,” which is the internal glass,” Sowell explained. This can help dual-paned windows achieve triple-paned performance.

While there’s an effort to decrease glass usage in buildings by some code organizations, Sowell was quick to point out its usefulness, particularly with daylighting.

Companies, organizations and people with glass that provides daylighting have:

  • A 6-percent increase in retail sales;
  • A 20-percent increase in cognitive test rates;
  • 39 additional work hours per year in office worker productivity;
  • A 9- to 16-percent improved performance on visual memory tests;
  • A 15-percent decreased absenteeism in office workers (when you tune somebody out);
  • A 21-percent increase on student test scores; and
  • Better sleep and reduced depression.

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