WE'VE COME A LONG WAY SINCE the days of the single-glazed window. Back then, it was standard fare and we liked it just fine—that is, until energy savings became a rallying cry and insulated low-E glass became a big deal.
But what have glazing manufacturers done for us lately? Plenty, it turns out, and insulated glass only scratches the surface of what they produce.
Auburn Hills, Mich.–based Guardian Industries Corp., for example, last year announced a deal in which Hurd Windows and Doors will use Guardian's ClimaGuard SPF glass, a product that blocks over 99 percent of ultraviolet radiation (which fades furniture, hardwood floors, and other interior furnishings) without any visible change in daylighting. Tim Singel, director of residential glass products for Guardian Industries, says, “ClimaGuard SPF glass will enable [Hurd] to deliver a more perfect combination of beauty, energy efficiency, and, now, complete UV protection.”
Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries also supplies a whole host of specialized glass products that solve a variety of issues—Solarban high-performing low-E, Sungate for areas with cold winters and moderate summers, and high-transparency Starphire Ultra-Clear Glass, among others.
“More and more architects today are designing their buildings to capitalize on the sleekness and clarity of transparent glass, and there's no product better suited to delivering that aesthetic than Starphire glass,” says Mark Fanelli, director of new products and services for PPG Flat Glass. Traditional clear glass, he continues, typically has a light green tint that Starphire eliminates.
Perhaps the, er, hottest glazing product to come along in some time is heated glass by Chicago-based Thermique Technologies . The company has been offering the product to the architectural community for some time, but now the glazing will be used in operable windows and doors.
The implications for heated glass are huge. Not only can you eliminate drafts and cold spots, but when the panel is wired to a wall-mounted electrical switch, homeowners will be able to control the heat with the twist of a knob. Now that's cool!