You don’t realise how important windows are until you imagine what the places where you live and work would be like without them. Glass is absolutely vital for creating light-filled and comfortable spaces.
When we talk about making comfortable spaces, we’re really talking about how a place makes you feel. We think you should be able to enjoy yourself at home and at work, and our energy efficient glass can help.
Let us explain how...
Shaping your design
More than any other component, windows set the tone of your building by providing views, ventilation, daylight and a sense of space. They also play a critical role in your comfort and energy consumption levels, selectively shielding unwanted heat gain, whilst insulating against heat loss.
Choosing the right glass gives you greater design flexibility to overcome site deficiencies and it’s the best way to provide a comfortable, healthy and energy efficient environment.
Creating a comfortable space
Choosing the wrong kind of glass can have a lasting impact on how you are able to enjoy your space.
Without glazing that offers strong solar control and thermal insulation, it can be difficult to mediate the temperature in your building. And people are never really comfortable if they are too hot or too cold. This means you could find yourself relying heavily on heating and cooling systems that cost you a fortune.
“We didn’t do much research into windows for our project, but afterwards regretted the fact as windows were so important to the end result!” - Hazel & David, homeowners in Templestowe
Compliance with the code
Personal comfort and financial savings aren’t the only reasons for using energy efficient glass products.
Greenhouse gas emissions have become a growing concern in recent years. In response to this, the government has developed mandatory minimum Energy Efficiency Measures for both residential and commercial construction.
The code is performance based, offering a number of paths to compliance and setting out the performance that a building has to achieve. In terms of glazing, the key focus is on minimising the rate of summertime heat gain and winter heat loss – a job for our energy efficient products.
How does it work?
Traditional windows are an energy weak spot in a building’s design, letting heat in during summer and letting warmth escape during winter.
Our energy efficient glass acts like a plug, letting in light while controlling the flow of heat in and out of your space.
Keeping cool in summer
Think about how hot a car parked in the sun can become, even on days that aren’t that warm. This is because of solar heat gain, and it can happen to buildings the same as it happens to cars.
When the sun’s radiant energy hits a window, it can ultimately increase the temperature inside your building. This can lead to extreme discomfort or high energy bills from relying on air conditioning.
However, our energy efficient glass helps reduce the impact of solar heat gain to keep your space cooler in summer in a less energy-consuming way.
Typically, toned glass is the most suitable for reducing solar heat gain, but it also tends to reduce the amount of natural light entering your space.
To maximise natural light, our energy efficient range includes Solar Control toned glass, absorbing the sun’s heat while still offering high daylight transmission to the inside.
We also have a range of Low E coated glass products, such as SmartGlass, which are also capable of cooling your space in summer by controlling the flow of heat in and out. However, Low E coating reflects heat back to its source instead of absorbing it.
Staying warm in winter
In cooler seasons, solar heat gain is actually desirable. Windows can be positioned to achieve passive solar heat gain and warm your building in winter.
In addition to this, our energy efficient glass can reduce the amount of heat lost through windows during winter. Because of this, you may not need to rely on heating systems to keep your space comfortable.
There are two glass technologies that dramatically improve the thermal insulation and energy efficiency of your windows in winter. Low E glass, as mentioned earlier, and double glazed units.
Double glazed units keep your space warmer in winter thanks to an air gap which forms a transparent insulating barrier between the interior of your space and the outdoors. Our LightBridge glass, for example, provides superior insulation by limiting the transfer of cold air through windows.
The location of your building may not be something you can control, but it’s certainly something you can use to your advantage with our performance glass.
Considering your position is important for designing your building to its full potential, it’s also essential for determining the best glass for you.
A building in Melbourne has very different considerations to a building in Brisbane. In Brisbane, more energy is generally used on cooling rather than heating, so a glazing solution that reduces heat gain is better.
In addition to the position of your building, the position of your windows is also an important consideration.
North-facing windows can utilise the sun for passive heating during cold winters, receiving twice the winter heating compared to those facing east or west.
In summer, windows facing north and south receive only half the summertime heat of east and west facing glazing. This minimises solar heat gain and is due to the steeper angle of the sun’s path through the sky in summer.
Generally, southern locations will often require products with high performance thermal insulation, while in a northern location, solar radiation will usually be the more critical component.
What do I do now?
If you’re convinced you need energy performance glass, and you want to start finding the right glass to meet your needs – we’ve got just the thing! Take a look at our energy efficiency product range.
For all residential glass needs have a chat to your builder or contact a window fabricator or installer in your local area directly. Remember to ask for Viridian Glass!
If you're in the trade or design industry you can contact us about your next project here.