04-30-2009, SCHOTT North America, Inc.
Glass Solutions Key to Control Energy
April 30, 2008 (San Francisco, CA) With the recent dramatic fluctuation in energy prices and an increased awareness in the environmental impact of buildings, architects, engineers, and maintenance professionals are taking a closer look at their structures’ energy usage and carbon footprint. A building’s energy usage is one of its largest controllable costs, accounting for approximately one-third of a structure’s operating costs, according to the Department of Energy (DOE). Energy savings can not only be engineered into new buildings, but also retrofit into existing structures.
Windows and doors play a significant role in the overall efficiency of a building. In addition to light transmission, they have an impact on a structure’s ability to maintain stable climate control. Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) in both commercial and residential buildings consume 40 percent to 60 percent of all of the energy used in the U.S. according to the DOE.
The right glass in windows and doors can optimize available natural light, cutting the need for electrical lighting, while also controlling thermal heat loss/gain through its insulating properties, and create a more comfortable environment.
“Architects are increasingly looking at innovative glass solutions to help control energy costs and improve the overall efficiency of their buildings,” explained Donald Press, General Manger for SCHOTT’s North American architecture group. “Glass is at the forefront of products that can significantly reduce the environmental impact of a building.”
A Range of Products to Control Light, Temperature, and Energy
SCHOTT’s AMIRAN® anti-reflective glass reduces residual reflection of windows to approximately one percent and eliminates glare while being nearly invisible. AMIRAN has a light transmission of 98 percent. The optimal use of daylight cuts energy consumption and the artificial lighting needed to offset reflections, especially important in the retail environment. With the optimal light transmission of AMIRAN anti-reflective glass, windows and doors can be used to create a stunning aesthetic element.
OKALUX® insulating glass diffuses light throughout the structure while maintaining a fine quality of light. This diffused light is achieved by a translucent capillary slab covered by glass fiber tissues in the cavity in the glass. The capillaries prevent heat transmission in the cavity, both by convection and heat radiation. The particular geometry of the “OKAPANE” capillary material means that higher thermal insulation through greater layer thicknesses does not lead to any appreciable reduction in light transmission. In the triple glazing version (product version “OKALUX-K”), U-values of up to 0.8 W/m²/K (0.14 Btu/hr/ft2/°F) can be achieved. The maximization of the use of daylight saves energy by minimizing artificial lighting and enhancing the building comfort. OKALUX’s variety of sizes and shapes accommodate ridges, eaves, valleys, joints, and other structural challenges.
In warm climates, passive solar heat gain raises the need for air conditioning and increases energy costs. OKASOLAR™ insulated glass panels from SCHOTT contain fixed louvers that “intelligently” diffuse daylight deep into the room and direct heat in accordance with the orientation of the sun. They minimize passive solar heat gain, while reducing the need for air conditioning and artificial light. The computer optimized positioning of the polished louvers determines their precise angle and reflectivity. The louvers are hermetically sealed within the insulated glass unit, making OKASOLAR™ a reliable, maintenance-free solution.
OKATECH™ insulating glass integrates different designs of wire mesh, expanded metal or perforated metal sheet as a design element with multiple functions. When the sun is high, the mesh screens direct light and heat. The solar heat gain coefficient is very low, with values of around 7-15%. At lower elevation angles, the total solar heat gain coefficient increases. At right angles to the glass (corresponding to an angle of elevation of 0°) OKATECH achieves the highest transmission and excellent transparency. This technology maximizes solar heating in winter and thermal protection in the summer, which leads to reduced energy requirements. Natural light is both refracted and reflected leading to stunning changes in the illumination effects.
OKAWOODTM insulating glass is a synthesis between classical and modern construction materials - wood and glass. High-quality wood is fixed as a grid in the cavity acting as a solar protection element and allowing warm tint of daylight to enter between the bars. The delicate wooden bars, with a visible width of 7/16", are supported at intervals of 19 11/16" to 23 5/8" by vertical supporting bars. The wood used in OKAWOOD comes from farms and is not stripped from natural forests.
Solutions from a renewable energy leader
In addition to being a provider of innovative solutions for architects, SCHOTT Solar, a daughter company of SCHOTT, is a globally leading manufacturer of products used to generate solar energy. The company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art flagship manufacturing facility for its solar products in Albuquerque, N.M. The facility is designed for LEED certification, uses natural lighting in the production environment, and controls HVAC costs through strategically placed skylights.
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