The Future of electrochromic smart glass for commercial and Domestic Building2020-12-23
Do you know what smart glasses are? Know this trend
Transform the window into a projection screen or prevent sunlight from entering without the need for curtains or blinds. These and other possibilities are just some of the characteristics of the so-called electrochromic smart glass.
The smart glasses are gaining space in commercial and residential projects and can provide visual comfort and energy efficiency for buildings. Do you know how this versatile and modern element of architecture works? In this article, we explain all the details of this trend for you to consider in your future projects.
What is electrochromic smart glass?
Apparently, smart glass looks exactly the same as traditional glass. The difference is in the construction of the product. Internally, it has a polymer capable of changing chromatic properties depending on the energy load received. Although the mechanism is relatively simple, it is very famous one of the most advanced technologies in the category.
What is working process?
The electrochromic smart glass works with a status of “on” and “off”. It consists of two sheets of glass separated by a liquid crystal film. It is this film that contains the polymers that respond to electricity.
When the glass is “off” it behaves like a translucent white partition, on which images can even be projected. When it is “on”, that is, receiving electrical current, the polymers reorganize themselves in order to make the glass completely transparent.
Currently, there are three smart glass technologies:
- liquid crystal
- electrochromic and
- Suspended particle device (SPD).
Although the results are similar, there are variations in terms of cost per square meter. It is worth checking what they are before opting for any of the models.
What are the best uses for smart glasses?
Smart glasses have been on the market for a long time. But the lack of technology and the higher cost of production and installation made this novelty take a little longer to take off. In fact, it has literally been taking off for quite some time, since one of the uses of this material is in aircraft windows.
The applications in corporate projects are numerous. In a commercial building, electrochromic smart glass can behave like a shop window or sign. Moreover, in meeting rooms, simply change the status of the glass to ensure more privacy. In hospitals, this material can bring more safety to the environment, since the use of curtains or blinds is to avoid, preventing the adherence of bacteria.
Why smart glasses are useful for residential buildings?
Furthermore, in residential buildings the uses are also varied. The most common of these is in the control of natural light that passes through the windows. The occupant of the residence can choose, at any time of the day, whether he prefers to receive natural light or artificial light. This is a very smart solution also for hotels, as it provides greater visual comfort for guests.
Smart glasses are not the only alternative
Smart glasses are an innovative concept in the market and the simple use of them in any project means adding value to the consumer. The solution is also directly responsible for energy savings. In line with sustainable aspects that is important in the most modern buildings.
By precisely controlling the entry of light into the environment, heating in the room also reduces. Moreover, it results in moderate use of air conditioning systems without loss of thermal comfort.
Finally, there is the question of aesthetics and visual comfort. In addition to demonstrating elegance, being able to control the incidence of light reduces any discomfort caused in the hottest hours of the day.
The use of electrochromic smart glass in roofs is an increasingly recurrent alternative in civil construction. This option is ideal for those who want to give an air of modernity to projects, taking advantage of sunlight, but without leaving security aside.
International Standard of Smart Glass Application
What you may not know is that there are technical standards that deal with the types of glass that can be used on these occasions. This is the case of NBR 7,199, which talks about the use of glass in roofs.
In this article, we will talk about the safety characteristics that must be observed when installing roofing glass and how the types of glass influence the result of the project.
Safety first: laminated, tempered laminated and wired glass
Roofing glasses should provide safety for users of the environment. So always prefer laminates, tempered laminates or wires. Each of these types of glass has specific characteristics that distinguish them from each other. But all protect the physical integrity of the people around them in the event of accidents.
Laminated glass and laminated tempered glass have in their composition a plastic film of polyvinyl butyral (PVB). Its purpose is to contain the piece in case of breakage, avoiding splinters. The main difference between the two is the possibility of holes and cutouts in the tempered laminates.
Because it is more mechanically resistant. It is the most recommended for projects that require access for maintenance.
Electrochromic smart glass, on the other hand, has a kind of metallic mesh on the inside of the glass. It is a characteristic that also prevents splinters from spreading in cases of accidents.
Roofing smart glasses: in search of the ideal effect
In addition to safety, it is also important to observe the aesthetic effect and functionality that each glass provides. When opting for versions such as reflective, colorless, colored and opaque, the results will be different. Therefore, knowing the characteristics of each of them is essential for the execution of the project to go according to expectations.
Colorless glass is what most allows sunlight to enter, but does not have significant heat reflection properties. It makes the environment warmer. Opaque glasses, on the other hand, have the characteristic of allowing light to penetrate the environment, without compromising privacy.
Why smart glass is better than normal glass windows?
Colored glasses allow less light to enter than colorless glass, but they are also not very effective in terms of heat reflection. Its color makes the glass surface retain heat from the sun’s rays, which can cause discomfort and produce a greenhouse effect.
Finally, electrochromic smart glasses have heat reflection as their main characteristic. They are the most recommended for use in roofs due to their properties. It allows the entry of light and blocking part of the sun’s rays. Furniture and objects, when housed under laminated glass coverings, suffer less from the action of sunlight, maintaining durability for longer.
Combinations and possibilities of electrochromic smart glass in roofs
The use of glass in roofs allows the entry of natural light, reducing energy costs. Its simplified maintenance, combined with versatility, makes the frequency of use in new buildings. Whether commercial or residential, is on the rise.
Pergolas and skylights, for example, are bold aesthetic alternatives, capable of enhancing an environment. When it comes to the application and usability of glass in projects, the possibilities are endless.
However, it is essential that those responsible for the project consult specialists in glass coverings. Everything needs to be well thought out so that the support structure dimensions of the pieces, thickness of the glass, expansion and the deformation ratios are respected. Moreover, it provides greater durability to the set and avoiding unexpected breaks.