Innovation is a major focus for Guardian Glass. And during a press conference last week in London, several company executives spoke about the future outlook for glass.

Guardian’s SunGuard SNX 60, a triple silver coated solar control glass, was used in a recent project, La Casa del Desierto (The Desert House). Courtesy of Guardian Glass LLC © Gonzalo Botet

Sheldon Davis, vice president of science, technology and innovation, talked about the company’s vision of glass in the future, as well as some big strategic developments. In addition, Javier Unquera, science and technology Europe director, discussed performance vs. aesthetics, and Jasmin Hodzic, commercial project, Africa and Middle East director, discussed challenges for megatall buildings.

Speaking of some recent developments, Davis said the company’s new headquarters in Luxembourg will allow the company to understand global trends better. “Having this in Luxembourg … will help the global development of new products and capabilities for company,” he said. “The vision overall is to create lasting value through products and process innovation for customers …”

He added, “Globally, we’re excited about innovation … [and Luxembourg] will be a significant investment over the coming years.”

Davis also talked some about drivers of product development. Aesthetics, for example, are important.

“Our glass solutions are designed to create the crispest, cleanest solutions,” he said.

Energy efficiency and sustainability are also important. This, Davis said, comes down to selectivity; letting in the light while keeping the heat out.

Processability and durability are also important, given the producers are processed downstream by fabricators.

Other developments include the company’s Clarity anti-reflective glass. This glass renders the lowest reflection possible to emphasis what’s on the other side of the glass.

Davis added that the company’s focus is to provide a single product solution.

“We’re focused on fabricator customers. We want to help them be more effective,” he said.

Speaking of glass performance vs. aesthetics, Unquera explained that different buildings have different needs with respect to aesthetics, performance and function.

“Few building materials can have as great an impact on all three of these areas as glass,” he said. “Choose the right glass so architects can benefit from high performance solutions with a high aesthetic.”

He explained it’s important to address aesthetics from both the design stage as well as the final customer/occupant point of view.

Unquera next discussed some trends in today’s glass facades, including neutrality, high light transmission, reflectivity, big glass sizes and shapes (e.g. curved or bent glass). The intent, he explained, is to provide the highest performing and most attractive glass products in the industry.

For example, the company developed SunGuard SNX 60, a triple silver coated solar control glass that offers high performance, energy efficiency and enhanced aesthetics with a neutral, transparent appearance.

The glass was used in a recent project, La Casa del Desierto (The Desert House) in the Gorafe Desert in Spain. The project’s objective was to demonstrate across the four seasons of the year, the importance of glass in daily life, particularly in one of the most adverse and extreme environments in Europe. La Case del Desierto stands on a wooden structure and is fully glazed with Guardian Glass products, including SunGuard SNX 60.

Another recent development (also used in La Casa del Desierto) is Guardian System TEA (True Edge Application). This technology is designed to improve the quality and reduce the time required for edge enameling of heat-treatable, sputter-coated glass. This was developed in cooperation with Ferro and is designed to help reduce lead times for structural glazing products.

Guardian System TEA is applied to the sputter-coated glass substrate to create a strong, uniform surface that provides reliable adhesion in structural glazing applications, including facades, all-glass corners, glass fins and more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *