One AIA Virtual Session Covered the Balance between Performance and Aesthetics

As architects continue to seek increased performance and aesthetics from their glass and glazing products, companies throughout the industry continue to advance their product innovations. This can include new glass and coatings, curtainwalls, doors and windows to provide the best possible thermal and energy performance while maintaining the aesthetic and design principles desired by an architect. That was just one of the discussion points that took place recently during the virtual AIA Conference on Architecture. In addition to various educational sessions, the program also included a number of live product demos, including one titled “Glass Technologies & Resources to Optimize Glazing Unit Performance” led by Jacob Kasbrick, regional architectural manager of Guardian Glass. His session explored two recent developments in coated glass geared toward meeting the evolving needs of the architectural community.

Different types of glass products are designed to meet different performance and aesthetic needs. Kasbrick explained that glass substrates may look the same when standing alone, but side-by-side, varying tints of blue and green are visible, and each are designed to perform in different ways. One low-E coating can have various applications to enhance performance values when it’s used in combination with different tinted substrates. Some offer higher light transmission while others focus on reducing solar heat gain. One focus of Kasbrick’s discussion was the types of coatings applied to glass for solar and thermal conditions that add “value to a tinted substrate or a clear piece of glass,” he said. This is accomplished by slicing 18 layers of metal into thin coatings that are 1/500 the thickness of a sheet of paper with three layers of silver, all while possessing the abilities to reflect a specific color.

One way to change U-value is using interior surface (IS) coatings. Kasbrick says his company, for example, offers the SunGuard IS 20 glass, which has a thermal insulation coating to improve a window’s energy performance. According to the presentation, the glass is applied to the inside surface of double or triple glazed units, which helps the product comply with energy efficiency coatings.

Kasbrick also spoke about bird-friendly glass, which has seen increasing interest and use. According to reports, countless birds die each year as a result of window collisions. Bird-friendly glass products have been developed to help deter these collisions and communities across the country have been adapting building codes and adopting certain guidelines to mitigate the harm to wildlife. According to Kasbrick, his company offers a UV product that doesn’t require a frit or design, so it doesn’t impede aesthetics.

Kasbrick emphasized a point he had made in his other presentation at the conference, and that is to use samples to visualize the end result of a project, and to view them outside, in different lighting conditions, angles and distances.

The AIA Conference on Architecture is an ongoing series. Sessions will continue July 29 and August 19. Stay tuned to USGNN for the latest updates.

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