Strong growth predicted for dynamic glazing

Window & Door
August 3, 2011
COMMERCIAL, RETAIL, FABRICATION

With the advance of green buildings and a broader shift toward more energy efficient construction, a handful of emerging technologies–including dynamic smart windows and advanced insulation–will build from a negligible commercial market today into an $829 million market in 2020, according to a new report from Lux Research.

"Dynamic windows, for instance, will gain footing now through public-sector installations," says Murray McCutcheon, a Lux analyst and lead author of the report. "This initial prove-out will create the volume to drive costs down further and fuel adoption by the commercial sector past 2016."

The report, "Opening the Thermal Envelope: Emerging Innovation in Dynamic Windows and Advanced Insulation," forecasts that dynamic windows–which can switch from a clear to a darkened state to provide shading from the sun–will represent a $418 million market by 2020.

Europe will outpace the U.S. in terms of demand, the report suggests, spurred by government building construction and efficiency standards, high energy prices and strict energy efficiency regulations. Europe continues to be the market leader in dynamic windows, with a 57 percent market share, according to Lux Research.

Growth will accelerate as dynamic windows reach scale and costs drop, according to the report. Pleotint recently started commercial production in a plant with an annual capacity of 2 million square feet, and both Sage Electrochromics and Soladigm are nearing completion of hundred-million-dollar manufacturing facilities slated to come online in 2012. Sage's partner Saint-Gobain is expected to drive the global reach for Sage windows. The most likely scenario will see dynamic window technologies undergo modest annual cost reductions of 5 percent for electrochromics and 2 percent for thermochromics, bringing prices down to open up new markets. If costs were to fall at twice that rate, this market would grow to more than $1.4 billion, according to Lux Research analysts.

"Dynamic windows and advanced insulation have reached a level of maturity and scale that make them inviting alternatives, even for the normally conservative and price-conscious construction industry," McCutcheon says.

In addition to the report, Lux Research is offering a complimentary webinar, scheduled for August 16 or August 17.