Smart Glass: Options for Creating a Sustainable, Glare-free Environment

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We typically spend 90% of their time indoors, though our biology causes us to crave a connection to the outdoors and the natural light. This is one reason why we want as many windows as possible. Yet according to the Urban Green Council, 75% of windows, whether commercial or residential, are covered by curtains, shades or blinds that are at least half drawn, no matter the time of day.

Advances in electrochromic technologies have given building owners new options for maintaining their views and daylight, which studies have shown to boost vitality, productivity, and improve sleep by helping people keep in sync with their circadian rhythms. When used to block the sun’s heat and admit daylight, electrochromic or smart-tinting glass has been proven to reduce the energy used for air conditioning and electric lighting, providing as much as 20% in energy savings over low-E glass.

In fact, smart-tinting glass can provide solar shading and daylighting control similar to mechanically dynamic facades, without the maintenance requirements of motors, levers, and bearings.  As with all technologies, major strides have been made to improve smart glass especially with electrochromic glass, in the areas of tinting speed, tinting uniformity, and tint color. And its adoption is growing: Allied Market Research recently projected that the smart glass category will reach nearly $7 billion by 2022…