The transparency and ethereal nature of glass makes it one of the most popular and important elements of modern design. Be it windows, doors or even entire curtain wall facades, the use of glass in residential and commercial applications is entirely unique in its ability to provide natural light as well as an unmatched aesthetic.

But while glass can provide unparalleled design capabilities, the energy efficiency of buildings that utilise glass can be compromised.

The thermal performance of traditional glass has always been a concern for both the designer and the end user. This concern has steadily increased as electricity prices continue to rise, and the building industry, as well as wider community, becomes more conscious of the need for sustainable design.

However, innovations in the design and manufacture of glass are today providing excellent results for solar control and thermal insulation, and making significant contributions to a buildings’ energy efficiency.

One of the key developments in glass efficiency has been advances in low-e (low-emissivity) glass over the past two decades. Today, the use of low-e glass can greatly improve the control of heat being allowed in and out of a building, while still allowing for daylight to enter.

Low-e glass provides excellent performance in three key measures of energy efficiency, including: U-value (how much heat is transferred through the window), Solar heat gain coefficient (how much solar radiation passes through the window) and Light transmission (amount of light allowed through the window).

A particular collection of low-e glass products worth looking at are; LoE-366®, LoE-340® and LoE-i89® from Glassworks, all high performers in their own right and in different ways, which need to be considered when selecting the best glass for a building.

  • LoE 366 is neutral colour with high Visible Light Transmission (VLT), it features market leading thermal stopping power, further enhanced when combined with i89, making it a great all-rounder. Suitable for domestic and commercial applications.
  • LoE 340 is predominantly used in commercial applications. Blue/Grey in colour with market leading solar stopping power, it’s the perfect product to combat sun glare. It produces the lowest Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) on the market of 0.18, without compromising visibility and still achieving a desirable VLT of 38%.
  • LoE-I89 is available in Clear and Grey in the monolithic form provides a cost effective solution for both cool and warm climates, Grey i89 is well suited to warm climates and west elevations, whilst Clear i89 is a great product for cooler climates to take advantage of northern sun in the winter months. Using them in an IGU further enhances the performance, achieving an unsurpassed a U-Value of 1.1.

Combining perfectly with low-e glass, is another Australian-first innovation, SolarAdapt™, a Solar Responsive Thermochromic (SRT) adaptive glazing film.

SolarAdapt (SRT) is an innovative technology that uses the sun’s energy to cause the tinting of the window, making it the perfect fit for sustainable building design. SolarAdapt Adjusts the level of tint depending on the intensity of the sun, without the need for power. When outside glass temperature reaches 65 degreed, SolarAdapt maintains it’s cool with a SHGC of just 0.13 compared with 0.70 of regular IGU’s.

All low-e products come standard with Neat® easy-clean technology, a special coating which harnesses the suns rays to lift dirt so the rain can wash it away, therefore requiring far less cleaning.

The Glassworks collection of low-emissivity, high performance glass provides remarkable energy savings and design freedom, with proven performance figures setting new benchmarks in products in the building industry. There is a low-e glass type suitable for a vast range of residential and commercial applications and budgets.

Click here to find out more about high performance, energy efficient window solutions from Glassworks Australia