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Rated Glass

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Glass has become indispensable in today’s construction: for partitions, sky opens, windows, façades, etc.  It is important to choose the right glass for the right purpose. 

Glass allows natural light into homes and office spaces, and blends the interior with external ambience. Not just that.  Glass is energy-efficient. Studies have shown, time and again, that glass substantially improves the productivity and health of the occupants of a building.

How does one select glass that will suit one’s needs and serve the purpose intended?

A vast variety of glass solutions are available. Selecting the right one is critical to deriving the maximum benefit.

Broadly, glass can be chosen according to performance needs or for aesthetic appeal. With the idea of green buildings gaining momentum, glass is the only material that is high on performance and on aesthetics. 

Judging glass’ performance

The performance of glass is based on three key technical parameters: Solar Factor, U-Value and Total Heat Gain. 

‘Solar factor’ is the heat that enters the building due to direct solar radiation.  ‘U-Value’ is the heat gain calculated based on the temperature difference between the internal and the external temperatures of a building. ‘Total Heat Gain’ is the amount to which a building has heated up due to solar radiation and variation in temperature. 

For tropical countries like India, the solution lies in selecting glass that has low solar factor and U-Value. Much more so, Solar factor should be the mantra for selecting Glass for Indian Climatic conditions, due to high incidence of Solar radiation 

Saint Gobain’s high performance, solar control coated glasses and  low-emissive glasses have varied values across these parameters and give an Architect te freedom to choose the right combination for her/his needs.. A right combination of a Solar Control Glass and a Thermal Insulation (Low-E) glass reduces the overall heat gained by a building when used in an insulated glazing unit.

Aesthetic Drivers

The next key parameter is the aesthetic driver. Today buildings are not just about functionality, they are also about looks. Hence, it is necessary for the building materials to lend for visual appeal. Glass is best suited for this. It enhances the look of any building. 

The two drivers for aesthetic appeal are: one, visual light transmission; and two, reflection.

Visual light transmission is the amount of light that the glass allows through it. With abundant sunlight, the right quality of glass would help cut down glare while allowing natural light, and thus reduce dependence on artificial lighting.

Reflection of glass depends on the type of coating and also the position of coating on the glass. It is ideal to have low internal reflection tominimize glare and maximize transparency or vision to the outside.

Star rating

Hotels have star ratings that define comfort levels. Air-conditioners and refrigerators have ratings that explain the extent of electricity consumption. Investment products are rated by rating agencies for defining levels of safety. All of these are based on complex formula that marries multiple technical parameters. Ditto when it comes to glass. Like these, glass products are star-rated on a scale 1 to 5 based on the solar factor,U-Value,Reflection among others. This rating is to measure the performance of a glass. Higher the rating, the better is it for cutting heat and bringing in light.

Saint-Gobain Sun Ban range suits all needs

Saint-Gobain  has a wide range of products that meets both the performance and aesthetic features of glass. The Sun Ban range from Saint-Gobain not only helps save energy but also comes in a variety of colors to blend with the interiors. While the greens, golds and the blues offer privacy, the bronze and the neutrals provide elegance and the metallic colors are soothing. 

Nine out of 10 green buildings in India use high-rated Saint-Gobain Glass that have the largest range of products conforming to ECBC and Green Building Standards.  As architects it is for you to impress on your clients to use high quality, high rated glass extensively in buildings. It might involve a little increment in the investment, but in the long term, given the experiential benefits, it would turn cheap. Your clients will come back to you and thank you and also their Stars! (pun intended)

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