Different buildings have differing needs with respect to aesthetics, performance and function. Few building materials can have as great an impact on all three of these areas as glass.
The aesthetics, performance – and the function – of glass are intrinsically linked; one cannot be considered without the others. Many aesthetic qualities of glass products can be provided with multiple performance features – and vice versa. Choose the right glass and architects can benefit from the best possible performance combined with the most appealing look.
In the last few decades, the glazing industry has been involved in a performance race, but with performance improvement increments becoming smaller and smaller as glass technologies mature. Often these minor performance improvements come at a cost – of decreasing the aesthetic appeal of glass.
If we were to improve glass selectivity (i.e. the ratio between light transmission and solar factor), the aesthetics of the glass and the colour of the light inside the building would probably not be desirable for either the architect or for the comfort of the building’s occupants.
For glass facades today, the trends are for neutrality, high light transmission, reflectivity (glass that is highly reflective or that has as little reflection as possible), big glass sizes and shapes (e.g. curved or bent glass).
Guardian Glass has therefore taken a bold step on a journey that introduces a different vision for our product portfolio. Our goal is to provide the highest performing and the most attractive glass products in the industry. By encapsulating flexibility, colour and function, our products help architects realise their most inspired visions.
So we are working very hard to provide our customers with glass products that are high performing but without compromising on the aesthetics. We’ve recently launched new glass products that show improved aesthetics with a more neutral and consistent colour, regardless of the viewing angle.
Let’s take a look at a recent example:
Guardian SunGuard® SNX 60 glass
Our SunGuard SNX 60 coated solar control glass is a great example of a product we’ve launched recently that offers enhanced aesthetics for almost similar glass performance levels to its predecessor.
SunGuard SNX 60 is a triple silver coated solar control glass that offers high performance, energy efficiency and enhanced aesthetics. It has a consistently neutral, transparent appearance. The glass lets in 60% of natural daylight and just 29% of the solar heat and has a very high level of thermal insulation.
SunGuard SNX 60 was selected for La Casa del Desierto (‘The Desert House’) project. This demanding but creative project by Guardian Glass was completed recently in Gorafe Desert in Spain. The project had one clear objective: to demonstrate first hand across the four seasons of the year, the importance of glass in our daily life and in one of the most adverse and extreme environments in Europe.
La Case del Desierto stands on a wooden structure and is fully glazed with energy efficient Guardian Glass, including SunGuard SNX 60. The design of this environmentally friendly, energy efficient house is the result of the combined efforts of a large experienced team of architects, together with glass specialists, engineers and consultants.
Working with partners to solve specific issues
Guardian Glass also works closely with industry partners to propose efficient glass solutions to our customers, which are fully tested and approved for specific applications and for solving specific challenges. This means we want to propose specific solutions to architects, cladders and our customers to problems they face.
Here are some examples:
Guardian System TEA
Another recent development from Guardian Glass (that is also used in La Casa del Desierto) is Guardian System TEA (or ‘True Edge Application’). This unique technology improves the quality and reduces the time required for edge enamelling of Guardian heat treatable sputtered coated glass.
Developed in close cooperation with Ferro (world leading supplier of glass enamel products) Guardian System TEA is not only faster and more reliable than conventional methods (resulting in a perfectly uniform surface with excellent optical qualities), which reduces lead times for structural glazing products. The technology effectively reduces the number of post-processing steps into a single process, enabling the glazing to be delivered to the customer faster.
Guardian System TEA is applied to the sputter coated glass substrate to create a strong, uniform surface that provides reliable adhesion in structural glazing applications, including facades, all-glass corners, roof glazing, glass louvre windows, top-and side hung glass windows in fully glazed facades, and glass fins.