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spaces that adapt to users’ needs at the flick of a switch.
As demand for natural light and a modern aesthetic continue to dominate commercial building design, so architects around the world continue to favour glass in the construction of new builds.
Switchable smart glass brings several advantages in support of this trend, both for those working in commercial spaces and those that own them. Now, with the introduction of green legislation in the US, electrochromic glass could also bring smart benefits for construction budgets.
Natural light plays an important role in commercial spaces such as offices, hospitals, and retail environments. For employees, studies indicate that reducing reliance on artificial light can improve productivity and mental wellbeing.
Not only does natural daylight improve workers’ sleep patterns, it also boosts absorption of vitamin D, as well as reducing eye strain, headaches, and migraines.
Achieving a good light balance can be difficult, however, with too much daylight presenting just as many problems as not enough. Those buildings with a glass construction or a high number of windows can see employees battling solar glare, fluctuating temperatures, and UV exposure.
Switchable glass provides a solution, delivering advanced solar glare control and reduced thermal transmittance for a more comfortable working environment.
To achieve these benefits Solar Smart Glass features suspended particle design (SPD) film that can be manually or automatically tuned to precisely control the amount of light and heat that passes through a window. Glass can transition from transparent to shaded in less than a second, providing up to 99.5% protection from harmful UV rays in both the on and off setting.
Maintaining a comfortable room temperature is important for employee wellbeing, but as electricity prices rise, the cost of heating and air conditioning is also an important factor for many employers.
Unfortunately, glass windows and walls can be a major source of heat transference, letting cold air in during the winter months and driving temperatures up in the summer. Smart switchable glass can significantly reduce this effect, improving energy efficiency and reducing associated HVAC overheads for companies.
By cutting out light and heat when necessary, Blackout Smart Glass helps cut energy bills, reducing the need to employ heating, air conditioning, and lighting.
Featuring a dual interlayer laminate of both SPD film and polymer dispersed liquid crystal (PDLC), this Blackout Glass can block out 99.5% of light when required. Opacity is controlled using wall switches, remote controls, or timers, however for the greatest energy savings, users can employ light and heat sensors to automatically adjust opacity in response to the surrounding environment.
In today’s light and spacious open plan office, switchable glass has a further benefit thanks to its opacity. With the ability to change from transparent to opaque in less than 0.1 seconds, Privacy Smart Glass can deliver instant privacy for meeting rooms, high security areas, or office subdivisions without the need for light-blocking blinds or curtains.
This year, the list of reasons for using switchable glass just grew a little longer with the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in the US. The bill, which includes a new tax credit for dynamic glass, can cover up to 30% of the cost of switchable glass and will apply to construction projects from 2024.
By reducing the expense associated with smart glass, this initiative will drive demand by ensuring switchable glass is on a par with traditional glazing and sun-shade solutions.
More importantly, it recognises switchable glass as a vital technology in the effort to fight climate change. With its ability to alter light transmittance properties in order to heat or cool a structure, switchable glass is an important tool for architects, helping them realise commercial buildings with a modern aesthetic that don’t impact negatively on the environment.
For more information on how the recent Inflation Reduction Act will benefit architecture projects, or for more details on how to specify smart glass, now is the time to contact suppliers in order to ensure you take full advantage of the credits when they come into effect.
To support you through this process, Smartglass International offers a hands-on design service, partnering closely with clients and approved third-parties to tailor your installation and overcome any architectural challenges along the way.
With competitive pricing, a quick turnaround, and expert advice on energy efficiency, Smartglass is ready to help you transform commercial spaces with switchable glass, to make the most of this innovative technology. Contact us today to get started.
Wherever you are in the world one of our team will be in touch to advise on the best smart glass solution for your needs.