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Smart glass innovations for smarter buildings

Glass and Glazing

Smart glass innovations for smarter buildings

Researchers explore the use of ultrathin photodetectors and augmented reality thin films to expand smart building applications. 


By C.C. Sullivan, Contributing Editor | August 24, 2021
Smart glass innovations for smarter buildings arab-2700579

Photo: Pixabay

   

The category of glazings collectively termed “smart glass” are adding to the interior and enclosure applications.

New techniques developed for smart glass include thin films that can display augmented reality (AR) information in compatible devices or convert solar energy into electricity, or both.

Similarly, ultrathin photodetectors—used in many smartphones—hold promise for glazings with automated sensing properties, according to Corning, which collaborated with Penn State’s Materials Research Institute on a novel way to integrate the light detectors with the manufacturer’s chemically strengthened Gorilla Glass.

While glazings with instant smarts will one day grace building façades and interior partitions, current commercial applications are focused on optimizing daylight, according to Brad Pfahler, Project Manager with Studio Ma.

“We are working on residential and institutional projects exploring very high-performance solutions such as net-zero energy and water, and advanced techniques are necessary to get to net zero, and one of the options is electrochromic glass,” says Pfahler.

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For glass openings, how big is too big?

Advances in glazing materials and glass building systems offer a seemingly unlimited horizon for not only glass performance, but also for the size and extent of these light, transparent forms. Both for enclosures and for indoor environments, novel products and assemblies allow for more glass and less opaque structure—often in places that previously limited their use.


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