Your single source for information on designing, specifying and building with commercial glass.

  • A Guide to Daylighting with Low-Iron Glasses

    A Guide to Daylighting with Low-Iron Glasses

     

    Well-daylit interiors boast a range of benefits, such as occupant mood and productivity, a sense of connectivity between spaces, decreased use of artificial light and energy bills, stunning views to the outdoors and dazzling color transmission.

  • Decorative Glass Applications

    Decorative Glass Applications

     

    In recent years, glass fabricators have made significant advances in their technologies, creating a range of decorative glass applications that are increasingly specified by architects who seek distinctive, colorful or visually interesting designs.

  • The Science of Low-E Coatings

    The Science of Low-E Coatings

     

    As one of the most popular and versatile building materials used today, low-e emissivity (low-e) glass coatings can enable exceptional energy efficiency and aesthetics. But how do they work?

  • How to View Glass Samples

    How to View Glass Samples

     

    When designing commercial spaces, choosing the right type of glass is critical. In order to choose the right product, evaluating a glass’s aesthetic characteristics up close by viewing a glass sample is also crucial.

    Sample evaluation can be a make-or-break moment in the course of your project. Do you know how to properly view glass samples or full-size mockups?

  • Why Specify Which Type of Glass?

    Why Specify Which Type of Glass?

     

    Choosing the right architectural glass is crucial to a successful project. For more informed decisions in the evaluation, selection and specification of architectural glass, Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG glass) recommends becoming familiar with the properties and benefits of the four most common glass types: low-e coated glass, clear glass, low-iron glass and tinted glass.

  • "Spec Check”: Accuracy Key to Compliant Specifications, Successful Projects

     

    Imagination and creativity are critical skills that enable architects to create beautiful, vibrant and sustainable buildings. However, one aspect of successful projects that often goes under the radar is the glass specification. From project conception to completion, specifications provide a necessary “check and balance” to ensure that the proper products are being used and that current industry standards are being followed.

  • Optimal Low-E Coating Placment for Double- and Triple-Glazed IGUs

    Optimal Low-E Coating Placment for Double- and Triple-Glazed IGUs

     

    Achieving optimal performance of solar control low-e glass and passive low-e glass requires proper placement of low-e coatings on the glass surfaces of an insulating glass unit (IGU). Placement considerations vary depending on whether the glass is solar control low-e glass or passive low-e glass, and whether the IGU is double- or triple-glazed.

  • Cost Considerations in Specifying Vitro Architectural Glass

    Cost Considerations in Specifying Vitro Architectural Glass

     

    To make more informed decisions in the evaluation, selection and specification of architectural glass products, Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG glass) recommends using an installed systems cost approach. The pie chart below indicates the approximate cost percentage of fabricated glass relative to a typical installed curtain wall total cost. The table, “Fabricated Glass Options,” indicates the relatively minor cost impact of selecting various Solarban® solar control low-e coated glasses by Vitro glass on the overall installed cost.

  • How to Read Color in Glass

    How to Read Color in Glass

     

    Glass is one of today’s most versatile building materials due to its virtually unlimited aesthetic options and outstanding energy characteristics. The breadth of glass colors available is one reason why glass is so aesthetically versatile. But how does the industry ensure precise color accuracy in glass coatings? And how do you read color in glass?

  • Heat-Treated and Spandrel Glass

    Heat-Treated and Spandrel Glass

     

    Heat-treated glass provides both the durability and safety found in many of the world’s most visually breathtaking buildings.

    But manufacturing heat-treated glass is a complex and multi-step process. This video provides an explanation of how insulating glass units (IGUs), spandrel glass, tempered glass and heat-strengthened glass are manufactured, courtesy of United Plate Glass in West Butler, PA.

  • INSLIP and INSLOP

    INSLIP and INSLOP

     

    Placement of a laminated lite within an insulating glass unit (IGU) is key to how its glazing system will perform. INSLIP and INSLOP are two commonly used terms to help designers position laminated glass properly.

  • Bent & Laminated Glass Demonstration

    Bent & Laminated Glass Demonstration

     

    Here's an explanation of how bent and laminated glass is made, courtesy of Standard Bent Glass in East Butler, PA.

    First, large sheets of glass are scored into a range of end-use sizes. Then, these individual lites of glass are edged on a vertical line and sent to a large industrial washer. Next, they either get laminated or bent.

  • Bird-Friendly Glass

    Bird-Friendly Glass

     

    A Partnership Mother Nature Would Approve Of: Award-Winning Bird-Friendly AviProtek® and Solarban® Solar Control Low-e Glass

    Each year, more than 600 million birds die from collisions with glass in the United States alone. Although bird-friendly building regulations continue to increase in North America, glazing options have been limited.

  • Low-e Demonstration

    Low-e Demonstration

     

    Here’s a quick demonstration that will give you an understanding of low-emissivity or low-e glass.

  • Spandrel Glass

    Spandrel Glass

     

    There are a wide range of glasses to choose from to meet the needs of any project. Spandrel glass is one such option.

    Unlike vision glass, which is meant to be transparent, spandrel glass is designed to be opaque in order to help hide features between the floors of a building, including vents, wires, slab ends and mechanical equipment.

  • Tdw-ISO: Fading Factors

    Tdw-ISO: Fading Factors

     

    For years, UV light transmittance used to be thought of as the measure of a glazing material's ability to protect furnishings from fading due to sunlight exposure. Now, ISO Damage Weighted Transmittance, or Tdw-ISO, is considered the most accurate criterion for assessing potential fading damage.

  • The Benefits of Designing with Reflective Glass

    The Benefits of Designing with Reflective Glass

     

    When designing with glass, there are a wide range of options to choose from to create a truly unique project. One option in particular–reflective glass–has some significant aesthetic and performance benefits. Even when transparent glass is in vogue, there are specific applications when tinted, reflective glass can be the superior choice. In fact, there are even reflective glasses that provide the solar control benefits of low-e coatings.

  • Types of Glass Fabrication

    Types of Glass Fabrication

     

    Glass fabrication is an important part of glass specification. There are several basic types of fabricated glass, which all offer unique pros and cons. Types of glass fabrication include insulating glass units, laminated glass, opacified glass, decorative glass and more.

  • Short Wave and Long Wave Energy

    Short Wave and Long Wave Energy

     

    Understanding the solar energy spectrum is key to understanding glass coatings. Glass coatings affect the way the different parts of the solar spectrum are absorbed into, transmitted through or reflected off of glass, all of which factor into the glass' energy efficiency.

  • Heat-Treated Glass: It's All About the Pressure

    Heat-Treated Glass: It's All About the Pressure

     

    When designing with large expanses of glass, it is critical to know when the glass may need to be heat-treated for durability and/or safety. The type of processing required—heat strengthening or tempering—depends on the specific application.

  • Designing Glass to Resist Wind and Snow Loads

    Designing Glass to Resist Wind and Snow Loads

     

    Accommodating for wind and snow is one of the important upfront considerations in the design and specification process. There is a multi-step process that must be undertaken to help ensure the glass in your project is able to resist these loads.

  • Condensation: What it is. What it means.

    Condensation: What it is. What it means.

     

    Condensation means the IGU is working properly, serving as a thermal barrier between extremes in temperature.

  • Determining the Right Glass for the Right Acoustics

    Determining the Right Glass for the Right Acoustics

     

    While glass looks great aesthetically, it also has to meet high performance standards. An important part of performance relates to acoustics, whether it’s large, dramatic panels used for the exterior of a building, or smaller panels used to create interior partitions. When designing a project there are a number of sound-related factors you need to understand and take into consideration, including:

  • Key Elements of an IGU

    Key Elements of an IGU

     

    There are several key elements that impact the performance of an insulated glass unit. These include the primary seal thickness and width, secondary seal width, the spacer and the desiccant.

  • Nickel Sulfide and Spontaneous Breakage

    Nickel Sulfide and Spontaneous Breakage

     

    Sometimes glass breaks in a building without any obvious cause. When this occurs, it could be due to glass edge damage or surface damage from handling and glazing that then weakens the glass during high winds, building or framing system movement, vandalism or a specific type of inclusion inside the glass. There are more than 50 types of inclusions in float glass, and while the most widely discussed is a nickel sulfide stone, this type of inclusion actually occurs very rarely.

  • Key Glass Performance Measures

    Key Glass Performance Measures

     

    Review the Slide Share for valuable information about key glass performance terms. The slides provide an overview on common terminology used in the glass industry, including: Visible Light Transmittance (VLT), Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC), Light-to-Solar Gain Ratio (LSG) and U-Value, both winter and summer.

  • How Glass is Made – From the Batch House to the Lehr

    How Glass is Made – From the Batch House to the Lehr

     

    Glass has become one of the most popular building materials used today because it offers virtually unlimited aesthetic options, combined with outstanding performance. What ends up as large, sweeping glass panels in a high-rise office building, healthcare facility, school or other construction project starts as a simple combination of sand, soda ash, limestone, dolomite and some other minor ingredients.

  • How Glass is Made – From Cutting to Low-e Coatings

    How Glass is Made – From Cutting to Low-e Coatings

     

    In How Glass is Made, From the Batch House to the Lehr we covered how glass starts as a simple combination of sand, soda ash, limestone and dolomite, moves to the batch house, enters the furnace, and then goes through the melting, fining, forming, annealing, and cooling processes.

  • What Glass Does with Solar Energy

    What Glass Does with Solar Energy

     

    There are three parts to the solar energy spectrum: infrared, visible and ultraviolet. Glass consequently responds to these three different types of light in three different ways: by reflecting, absorbing or transmitting it. Tints and coatings can be used to impact that response in order to improve overall glass performance.

  • North American Glass Channel

    North American Glass Channel

     

    The North American Glass Channel chart demonstrates the many different processes involved in the production of commercial glass and the capabilities of the largest channel participants from primary glass manufacturers and low-e coating manufacturers, to glass fabricators and glazing contractors.

  • How Low-e Glass Works

    How Low-e Glass Works

     

    Glass is one of the most popular and versatile building materials used today, due in part to its constantly improving solar and thermal performance. One way this performance is achieved is through the use of passive and solar control low-e coatings. So, what is low-e glass? In this section, we provide you with an in-depth overview of coatings.

  • Float Glass Process

    Float Glass Process

     

    A multi-step glass manufacturing process where liquid glass is formed by "floating" it on molten metal.

  • Solar Energy Spectrum

    Solar Energy Spectrum

     

    Understanding the solar energy spectrum is the first step in understanding how low-e coatings work.

  • Heat Strengthened vs. Tempered Glass

    Heat Strengthened vs. Tempered Glass

     

    When thinking of some of the world’s most dramatic, visually breathtaking buildings, they most likely involve large expanses of glass. Before these architectural masterpieces can be created, the glass may need to be heat-treated for durability and/or safety reasons. The type of processing required—heat-strengthening or tempering—depends on the glass’ specific application.

  • Low-E Coatings Thickness

    Low-E Coatings Thickness

     

    Low-E coatings are 500 times as thin as a human hair, yet have a tremendous impact on a building's overall energy efficiency.

  • Preventing Thermal Stress Breakage

    Preventing Thermal Stress Breakage

     

    While aesthetically versatile and offering outstanding performance, working with glass does come with some special considerations. This is especially relevant in commercial architecture, where it’s common to specify large glass panels to achieve a dramatic look. A thermal stress break is one such issue.

  • Specifying Large Insulating Glass Units

    Specifying Large Insulating Glass Units

     

    Some of the world’s most dramatic and visually-breathtaking buildings involve large expanses of glass. Using large, dramatic panels of insulated glass is one of today’s most popular design trends. However, there are several factors that need to be considered in order to ensure a successful project when specifying large insulating glass units.

  • Top Design Considerations

    Top Design Considerations

     

    Glass has become one of the most popular and complex building materials used today by offering virtually unlimited aesthetic options, in addition to outstanding performance. However, designing with glass does require special considerations, especially during the selection and specification process. The following provides an overview on the main points of glass building construction, with additional information and videos on specific topics in the Education Center and in-depth technical information available at vitroglazings.com.

  • How Low-e Glass Coatings Work

    How Low-e Glass Coatings Work

     

    For an easy way to understand how low-e glass coatings help keep rooms comfortable, simply look at how a thermos works.

  • Pro/Cons of Gas-Filled Insulating Glass Units

    Pro/Cons of Gas-Filled Insulating Glass Units

     

    When working with glass, one of the options to consider is the type of glass unit that will best meet the specific needs of a project. A part of the decision process is determining whether or not to use gas versus air in an insulated glass unit (IGU).

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