Glass is something we barely notice on a day to day basis (unless you’re in the window cleaning industry and are glass freaks like us).

However, smart glass is now changing the game for many industries. You can’t help but wonder how the heck glass can be smart, but in this day and age there are driverless cars, so anything is pretty much possible. Next is flying robots—oh wait…

In any case, smart glass is pretty dang cool because it’s just another industry that is being reinvented. I would think that its inspiration came from the fundamental accessory of sunglasses. Thanks to the dimming action of sunglasses, our pupils would probably fry from looking at the sun directly.

The types of smart glass are

Passive: Reacts to heat or light to initiate change in properties.

  • Photochromic

  • Thermochromic

In the architectural and construction industry, photochromic and thermochromic glass are the most highly used.

Active: Require an external electrical stimulus to change properties 

  • Electrochromic

  • Suspended Particle

  • Micro-blind

  • Polymer dispersed liquid crystal devices (PDLC)

Basically, these different types of smart glass integrate into the glass itself to generate electricity at the switch of a button.

Check out all the different types of smart glass here on Technavio’s blog article! 

For example, the Virgin Atlantic’s Boeing 787 windows don’t come with the traditional pull-down blinds because it uses the electrochromic technology to dim the lighting. Check out Forbe’s Article on Boeing 787! There’s a cool video there that shows how the electrochromic glass works!

In the past and even currently, we Bay Arean’s have suffered from heat gain in the summer and loss of heat in the chilly winter months. But with smart glass, you have the ability to go from having fully transparent to translucent windows when the sun rays start to hit, dimming the lights within and regulating temperature.

At Pyramid, our loyalty lies with buildings, but the commercial real estate/architecture industry isn’t the only one adopting smart glass technology. Like Virgin Atlantic, cars, ships, and trains are also integrating smart glass for long-term benefits. According to Technavio’s 2014 Article, the architectural/construction industry makes up 11% of smart glass consumption. Due to increased demand, that percentage will rise by another 23%.

Here are just some benefits for smart glass in buildings:

  • Save Energy

  • Provide Temperature Control

  • Eliminates the use of blinds or curtains (which is a huge plus given that blinds and curtains require regular cleanings because of the amount of dust it can hold)

  • Convenience (Did you read the part where we mentioned “At the switch of a button?”)

  • Contribution to LEED Certification: Depending on the company you’ve purchased your new and hip panes, you can acquire LEED points based on the percentage of energy saved! (That makes you a little more desirable for tenant retention and acquisition)


How Stuff Works: Smart Windows

Science Mag: New Smart Windows Darken Sun and Generate Electricity At The Same Time

Glass App Source: Benefits of Smart Glass Windows

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