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Smarten up for the International Year of Glass!

Monday 21st February, 2022

2022 is the United Nations International Year of Glass. Glass has advanced civilisation throughout history, and this year events will take place to celebrate the essential role glass has and will continue to have in society. One of its modern day innovations is smart glass.

Smart glass first hit the market in the early 2000s and since then its usage in architecture has grown exponentially. A driver of this growth is the emergence of energy-conservation initiatives, such as eco-friendly buildings. So how can smart glass ensure greater sustainability in residential and commercial properties? To answer this, we first need to explain how smart glass works.

Smart glass technology

Smart glass uses active technologies, principally electrical charge, to change its light transmission properties and alter its appearance from transparent to translucent. It is this feature which gives smart glass one of its other names, switchable glass. There are several glass technologies that can be used to create this ‘switch’, including the use of a laminated material (liquid crystal film) sandwiched between sheets of clear glass. When in a neutral state the liquid crystals are scattered, and the glass appears opaque. When voltage is applied the liquid crystals align, and the glass appears transparent.

Smart glass benefits

The benefits of smart glass technologies are multiple and one of the most significant relates to sustainability. Smart glass technologies give functional control of light transmission to building occupiers, allowing them to adjust to sunlight changes throughout the day and thereby reduce the interior heating and cooling load imposed on building systems. This can lead to a reduction in energy consumption and corresponding energy cost savings. Smart glass can be used for external glass products, for example smart glass windows, or interior glass applications, such as glass doors and glass partitions.

Smart glass not only improves building efficiency, it can also positively impact worker productivity. Adding user controls for individual smart glass windows or smart glass partitions enables occupants to optimise their interior environment. The resultant increase in natural light exposure can lead to increased cognitive functioning and a happier workforce.

Why not celebrate the 2022 International Year of Glass by making your home or workplace smarter? Contact Tufwell Glass today on 01293 533 533 or at sales@tufwell.co.uk and ask about our smart glass range.

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