In the past century, there has been a substantial advancement in commercial window technology.
Single-pane windows have become obsolete. Nowadays, commercial construction companies use smart shading systems and double- and triple-glazed windows with low-E coatings. As a result, commercial assets are more effective than ever. Let us delve into commercial real estate technologies that have improved window efficiency. To tackle the energy crisis of the 1970s in the US, the window industry focussed its attention towards energy-efficient technologies. In the 1980s, Low-E coatings, a layer that reflects UV rays to lessen solar heat gain, were first introduced. Since then, many innovations were made. The rate of invention has increased and the window alternatives available now are genuinely futuristic. Among the most significant developments are the following:
- Thermochromic Glazing: Electrochromic glazing and thermochromic glazing are similar. The main distinction is that thermochromic windows’ special layers activate when heated by solar energy; they don’t need electrical wiring or batteries. The windows respond to solar heat more directly. The colour of the windows darkens as the glazing warms. This lessens glare, blocks off infrared radiation, and shields buildings from irregular heat.
- Electrochromic Glazing: Although electrochromic glazing has been around for more than 25 years, it has only recently become a popular choice for installations. This glazing system is dynamic. Products with adaptive glazing can alter their performance characteristics as needed. A ceramic coating is present in electrochromic glazing. The layer darkens and tints, lowering solar heat gain and glare when low-voltage electricity is charged across the windows. To put it more succinctly, electrochromic glazing offers “on-demand tinting.” Depending on the patterns of the sunlight, tints can be activated.
- Thermal Breaks: Due to its strength and affordability, aluminium window frames are becoming more and more popular. Additionally, aluminium has high thermal conductivity. Thermal breaks are one way to stop heat transfer. A thermal break entails dividing the frame into two parts—the exterior and indoor pieces—and joining them with a low-conductive substance. Additionally, insulation is put in place, which aids in lowering conductivity. Aluminium frames are most effective when they have thermal breaks. According to DOE estimates, a thermal break can significantly lower a double-glazed window’s U-Factor by 0.20 or more.
- Glass Coatings for PV: Imagine if your windows had solar panel-like capabilities. The concept behind thin-film PV coatings is that. This kind of window-mounted layer can capture and transform solar energy into electricity. PV glass is currently the subject of extensive study and development, although it is still a relatively new technology that is not yet widely used. It is, however, one of the most intriguing innovations, one that could completely alter the commercial building industry.
- Storefronts with double glazing: Since their invention in the 20th century, double-glazed storefronts have been a common design choice in Europe. However, this style of building facade has just recently become popular elsewhere. The main concept is to extend the existing building envelope with a curtain wall glass facade; the advantages are comparable to those of double-glazed windows. To reduce thermal conductivity and excess heat from the sun, this kind of glazing system forms a thermal barrier between the interior and the outside.
Without a doubt, modern windows are more energy-efficient, better insulated, and offer superior sun protection than before. Windows will also keep improving and become more effective due to the rapid rate of innovation. The commercial construction industry is expected to undergo a revolution over the next few decades, from “solar panel” glass to window designs with on-demand tinting, and to get a glance at what’s trending in the market, you must check out the products showcased by Okotech.