Glass Companies Focus on Aesthetics and Energy Efficiency at the AIA Conference

Architects’ demand for customization and aesthetically pleasing products that also perform is driving much of the product development seen from glass companies at the AIA Conference on Architecture 2019 in Las Vegas.

Safti First’s SuperClear 45-HS-LI is a low-iron, 45-minute fire-rated glass that offers increased clarity compared to its other 45-minute rated products.

Safti First is showcasing its new SuperClear 45-HS-LI, a low-iron, 45-minute fire-rated glass. The low-iron glass has more clarity than the company’s previous fire-rated products in the 45-minute range.

According to vice president of marketing Diana San Diego, the low-iron glass is made in the U.S., while the laminated ceramic fire-rated products, which have an amber tint, are not made in the U.S.

“Architects want clarity in all of their glass products, even the highly technical glass,” said San Diego. “Now the coloration can be the same from the regular glass to the fire-rated.”

She said 45-minute fire-rated glass is one of the most commonly used, especially in schools and hospitals, and now it’s more affordable for those applications.

Another trend she’s seen is architects’ desire for multi-functionality in glass.

Azon is encouraging architects to specify this aluminum profile that the company designed to help its polyurethane thermal breaks adhere to aluminum for increased thermal efficiency.

Azon is focusing on thermal breaks that offer low-U values and high strength to accommodate heavy, oversized glass and double- and triple-glazed units. Its polyurethane break adds shear strength to the profile to handle heavier glass and windloads.

The company designed a profile with a “teeth” design that improves the material’s adhesion to aluminum profiles.  Joe Liang Zhou, director of business development, says Azon is encouraging architects to choose this technology to better improve the thermal efficiency of glazing units. Azon also offers a foam thermal break that is Passive House certified.

Polytronix now offers customized patterns for its switchable glass products.

Switchable glass company Polytronix also exhibited. It now offers customizable switchable glass designs and a pattern that imitates window blinds. These products involve more complex wiring. Procurement and logistics manager Maile Dilka said Polytronix envisions the products being used in hospitals and children’s ICUs with fun designs and displayed them at AIA. She also said that the company is starting to do more work on the East Coast since the brand is becoming more recognized by architects.

Accurate Perforating is also creating more customizable metal perforating screens because architects want to create new and different designs.

Sika Corp.’s SikaTack panel system uses a hidden fixing system to hold panels onto a facade.

Sika Corp.’s SikaTack panel system is the company’s focus at the AIA Conference this year.

Florian Doebbel, business development manager of facades, said that the company has offered the product in Europe for years but is just now pushing it in North America because more European panel fabrication companies are doing work in the U.S.

The panel system includes hidden fixing of façade panels so that no screws are visible, an aesthetic he said is preferred by architects. It holds aluminum composite panels and other materials onto the façade.

Stay tuned to USGNN™ throughout the week for more coverage of the AIA Conference. The Architecture Expo runs through Friday, June 7 and the overall AIA Conference ends Saturday, June 8. Visit USGlass in booth 7510.

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