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A glazing technology revolution is on its way

  • 21 Apr 2017

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New technologies for architectural glazing will allow buildings to adapt to their surrounding environment in revolutionary new ways, according to architect Ian Ritchie in a new report by Pilkington. 

Developments in smart glass technologies will allow glass to adapt to changing weather conditions – for example glass that darkens in response to UV rays to maintain a stable, comfortable environment without the need for expensive heating and air conditioning.

Ian Ritchie, who has made significant architectural contributions to pioneering structural glazing at La Villette, the Louvre pyramids in Paris and the world’s largest glass hall in Leipzig, Germany, expressed his thoughts in a new report from Pilkington on the future of glazing in commercial buildings.

He said: “Imagine if our windows could automatically filter out more of the sun’s energy when the temperature in a building began to rise, or when UV light levels rose above a certain point. Or if direct sunlight could be selectively eliminated while the glass remained transparent to ambient daylight.

We already have the scientific advancements that make these things possible, so now it’s a question of engineers working out how to scale up the technology for architectural use at an affordable cost.”

Paul Williams, managing director of architectural glazing firm Vitrine Systems, also contributed to the report, discussing the advancements in low-profile framing systems, such as Pilkington Planar, and how they enable building designers to modernise older buildings with greater sensitivity.

Phil Savage, commercial contracts sales manager at Pilkington, added: “Over many decades, glass has emerged as the predominant material in our built environment and it is loved by architects because of its ability to flood buildings with natural light and create a sense of space.

This report gives an exciting taste of what the years ahead might hold in terms of the glazing we see in commercial buildings, and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the contributors for lending their expert insight.”


Pilkington United Kingdom Limited,
Greengate Works,
Sherdley Road,
St. Helens,
United Kingdom,
WA9 5 DZ

Phone: 01744 692000
Fax: 01744 692569

Visit Pilkington Building Products' website

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