The Benefits of Suntuitive Dynamic Glass
Technology and modern design have brought opportunities for both a larger and a greater amount of windows in our buildings than ever before. Even our modest homes have more natural lighting, unobstructed views, and connection to the outdoors than residences of royalty just a few generations ago.
But with this greater expanse of glass – even with now standard energy efficiencies – come trade-offs that are often inconvenient, uncomfortable, expensive, and ecologically unsound because climate is always changing; from place to place, season to season, and day to night. Ordinary glass, however, is ill-suited to nature’s wide thermal variations; it can respond only in a single way to these differences in light and heat. This means a glass that’s excellent on the south side of a building in summer, might be completely unacceptable on another side in winter. Building occupants attend to this situation as best they can with various fixes and add-ons like window shades or curtains, but these need constant manipulation and are mostly all or none options for light, heat, and glare.
Enter Suntuitive Dynamic Glass, a “smart glass” concept that is quickly establishing itself worldwide as a perfect solution to working with changing light and heat. The approach was to develop a glass that changed right along with the climate, regardless of season, time or orientation, making every pane capable of individual responses to heat and light. As direct sunlight warms up the glass, it slowly darkens, and as evening falls or clouds cool the glass, it lightens, reaching a completely clear condition at night. In this way, the window always balances, letting in the maximum daylight with optimum heat gain and glare protection. All this without any electrical or mechanical components; it functions all on its own.
How does it work? Like many great products, it’s surprisingly simple. The Suntuitive glass uses what’s called “thermochromic” technology, meaning it registers tiny differences in heat to control the amount of tinting in the window, giving it effectively as many customized settings as there are climatic conditions to respond to. This is quite different from the “smart glass” controlled by electrical voltage, switching only between two tint settings. With Suntuitive glass, a very thin laminate interlayer of PVB (polyvinyl butyral about .05” thick) with this thermochromic ability is sandwiched between clear glass panes with an argon gas space for added efficiency.
As might be expected, Suntuitive Dynamic glass comes with substantial energy savings. A recent laboratory study using Suntuitive Self-tinting Glass indicated a 20-43% savings in annual energy costs over standard double-glazed glass. Along with lower utility bills, further cost reductions from efficiency include a smaller sized and less complex heating and cooling system, which no longer has to be as dramatically zoned for different areas of a building.
A building with Dynamic windows will also see over 95% of Ultraviolet radiation (UV) blocked from the interiors, compared to the 40% of standard double pane windows. As the single largest factor in the fading of fabrics, carpets, artwork, and the cracking and peeling of wood finishes, UV is the sun’s most destructive wavelength. Beyond fading colors and causing surface damage to wood, prolonged exposure can damage the cellular structure of both textiles and wood.
Ecologically, Suntuitive is also the only dynamic glass with an official Bird-Friendly label, after thorough testing and approval by the American Bird Conservatory. Although this might seem a minor bonus, it solves a significant ecological problem as researchers estimate that up to 600 million birds die in window collisions in the U.S. and Canada each year, killing more birds than oil spills and pesticides. Since UV light is visible to birds, the UV reflective properties of Sunintuitive make the glass visible to birds without affecting transparency to humans.
And, due to the laminate’s inherent strength and material characteristics, Suntuitive glass has the additional benefits of much higher noise reduction capabilities than standard glass along, providing a much quieter interior, and it has an unusually high level of impact resistance for both safety and security (“bulletproof” glass is a glass-laminate product).
For architects and designers, it’s production allows as much flexibility as any building glazing, with single, double and triple pane options, glass panes of any thickness, tint, color, shape or pattern, with all the energy saving options such as Low-e and argon gas fill. And due to the nature of the laminate interior of the glass, it has the additional benefits of laminated glass products, which is greatly improved noise reduction and greatly increased impact resistance for safety and security.
Suntuitive Dynamic is window glass that is quietly revolutionary. Just by choosing this glass type, a building gains as much daylight as possible, reduces unwanted heat gain from the sun, is protected from outside noise, with a shading device operating entirely on its own under every climatic condition without repairs or maintenance. This translates to an increase in comfort, well-being and productivity for everyone, regardless of the building’s size or use. As this simple and elegant technology is installed around the world, it’s likely we’ll wonder how we ever lived without it. Contact Revival Sash today and learn how you can incorporate Suntuituve Dynamic Glass in your next project.