There is a growing trend for architects and building developers to approach their projects with a sustainable and environmentally conscious mindset. This carries over to every aspect of the building process from environmentally conscious construction practices to the building materials utilized.
These sustainable building trends are universal, as demonstrated by The 2016 World Green Building Trends Smart Market Report in which architects from 69 countries indicated that in total 33 percent of firms are expecting to have more than 60 percent of their projects certified green by 2018.
This emphasis on sustainable building solutions clearly has no boundaries, and countries worldwide are now analyzing the building materials used in their new construction and retrofit projects in order to achieve sustainable and green building certifications. At this point in time, a green building certification is a requirement rather than a suggestion, and countries around the world want to showcase and highlight their commitment to creating a positive environmental impact.
As a result, our dynamic glass installations are continuing to expand overseas due to electrochromic glass’ ability to reduce heat gain and glare and enhance occupant comfort with little reliance on energy-intensive HVAC systems and overhead electrical lighting, which allows architects and building developers to achieve their energy-efficiency goals.
Along with aiding energy-efficiency goals, our electrochromic glass solves the universal need to provide building occupants with a comfortable indoor environment. No matter where you live or what language you speak, everyone wants to be able to maintain a connection with nature and experience the biophilic effects of the outdoors, including stress reduction, enhanced creativity and clarity of thought and an improved sense of well-being.
So far, we have completed installations in Europe, Australia and the Middle East in a variety of buildings, ranging from learning institutions to commercial retail space. All of these projects have helped to provide building occupants with a more comfortable experience by preventing heat gain and glare, while helping building owners achieve energy-efficiency goals.
An example of a successful international project was our installation at the Ivanhoe Girls’ Grammar School in Ivanhoe, Australia, to help optimize the learning environment for the school’s K-12 students. Established in 1903 and certified as a historical building, administrators wanted to increase the natural lighting let into the Edwardian-style Sharwood House while enhancing overall building sustainability. Designers chose to install our dynamic glass to control heat gain, glare and fading caused by the sun, while flooding the spaces inside with abundant natural light. Our electrochromic glass also helped the facility reduce energy costs as well as allowed Sharwood House to remain compliant with local historic building regulations.
The building’s atrium skylights are now integrated into a system in which light sensors automatically activate the tinting and clearing of our dynamic glass throughout the day based on the orientation of the sun.
Based on the need to create a comfortable indoor environment for building occupants, we project that electrochromic glass installations will continue to increase in terms of size as well as the number of installations across the world. In the Middle East and Australia, we see a strong potential for growth due to the intense sun glare and solar control issues in these areas. We believe more countries will begin to take notice of the positive experience dynamic glass provides for building occupants as well as the environment.