I am most optimistic about the glass industry’s ability to create real change in the future of energy-efficient building when I look at the amazing developments of the past 50 years. During that time, glass suppliers have redefined what is possible in energy-efficient glasses, developing increasingly sophisticated and high-performance products for a building industry demanding ever-better performing products.
Insulating glass and low-emissivity coatings are now a given in new construction, thanks to the R&D at individual companies, and the collective efforts to push energy-efficiency standards and codes from industry organizations. “You’d be shocked if you saw a commercial building going up in North America without low-E glass,” says Glenn Miner, director, construction, PPG Flat Glass.
The cover story for Glass Magazine’s October issue looks at the history of glass performance—from the first glass coatings such as PPG’s Solarban, through the development and evolution of low-emissivity glasses, to the introduction of dynamic glass products. This history of energy-efficient milestones is documented in a timeline in the magazine, and presented in an interactive feature on GlassMagazine.com.
Additionally, an online-only feature of the article presents interactive timelines for nine glass companies that have individually and collectively changed the energy-efficient possibilities of the North American glass industry. (See timelines for: AGC Glass Co.; Cardinal Corp.; Guardian Industries; Pleotint; PPG Industries; RavenBrick; Sage Electrochromics; View; and Viracon.)
And the article looks at the future of energy-efficient glass solutions. The glass industry has been dedicated to improving the energy-efficient performance potential of its products for the last five decades. That dedication will only increase in the future. The energy-efficient glass industry of tomorrow will feature more dynamics, triple IGUs, new low-Es (including new fourth-surface products) and warm-edge technologies. And, it will likely include emerging product technologies such as vacuum glazing.
The glass industry of the next 50 years is certainly a mystery. However, one certainty is that energy-efficiency will remain a top priority.
(To include your company’s energy-efficient milestones in a timeline, or to update a timeline with new products and developments, feel free to email me directly.)
—Katy Devlin, Editor, Glass Magazine
The opinions expressed here and in reader comments are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Glass Association, Glass Magazine editors, or other glassblog contributors.