SolarAdapt tested during Melbourne’s heatwave

SolarAdapt Glass has further proven why it is Australia’s highest performing energy saving glass when the heat wave hit Melbourne this summer.

As temperatures soared above 40 degrees, SolarAdapt maintained its cool, preserving comfort levels and air-conditioning loads of households and business’.

Glassworks commissioned an engineer to measure the actual performance of the Glassworks Australia head office in Dandenong Victoria during this period and the following results were reported.

They found that when the outside ambient temperature of 42.5 degrees Celsius hit at 3:30pm, the external glass temperature rose to 77.3 with the internal glass temperature being 33.5. The building was air conditioned at around 24 degrees C as normal.

The windows were measured in the middle of the day, at 3:30pm and at 5:00pm. The sky was blue with a northerly wind. The elevation was facing west and the external glass construction was 5mm Grey/SolarAdapt/5mm Clear – 6mm Argon- 6mm LoE3-366.

A Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) of a mere 0.07 was also reported at this time, compared with a SHGC of 0.58 for commonly installed 6mm Grey tinted glass

“In our office, the employees were not uncomfortable and were easily reading their computer screens next to the windows,”” said Michael Gleeson, General Manager of Glassworks Australia.

The VLT dropped to 2% and the company also managed to save on operating costs, as the air-conditioning could run as usual without working overtime. “SolarAdapt would be a perfect fit for projects seeking superior sustainability performance,” Michael added.
Essentially, the SolarAdapt Solar Responsive Thermochromic (SRT) technology uses the sun’s own energy to cause the tinting of the window. As the sun strikes the window it absorbs and adapts the tint level based solely on the amount of direct sunlight, thereby reducing heat gain.
The other windows also performed well; for example Glassworks LoE3-366 Grey 6mm achieved a VLT of 31% and an SHGC of 0.17.

Can the right type of glass provide energy efficiency? The Whitepaper

Choosing the right type of glass is becoming more and more than just about the clarity and aesthetics.

With up to 40 percent of a home’s heating lost, and more than 87 percent of it gained through windows alone; the thermal performance in glass is a crucial element to consider when cutting down on energy costs and consumption.

The right type of glass possesses the unique ability to retain heat in the winter, all the while ensuring that a building is also kept cool in the warmer months. The challenge is then balancing this thermal performance with the clarity and the ability the let in natural light, to further save energy not only of cooling and heating loads, but also minimising artificial lighting.

We have developed a Whitepaper examining in detail how glass gains and loses heat and the emergence of low-emissivity glass and the options available to improve a building’s energy efficiency as well as provide comfort and health benefits for building occupants.

Performance Glass explained in these handy guides

Glassworks prides itself on pushing the boundaries with performance glass in the Australian market. Although we are not subject to the most extreme weather conditions like some other continents, Australia and New Zealand both have arguably the harshest solar rays thanks to our lack of ozone layer. This means a greater need for solar blocking properties in glass for the warmer months. And contrary to popular belief, not all of Australia experience mild winters, winter temperatures in states like Victoria and Tasmania also require thermal insulating properties that keep buildings at naturally comfortable temperatures despite the outside weather conditions.

We travel the globe and collaborate with some of the most sophisticated producers of the latest Insulated Glass (IGU) interlayer and coating technologies tried and tested in bigger markets with a demand for higher performing glass. This allows us to be ahead of the eight ball, so to speak, as Green Building requirements evolve and certain clients demand more from glass, and as some features progressively become a standard requirement in new building design.

Taking away the pure jargon and the tech-talk, we have developed two brochures to educate the market on what’s available for what type of application and exactly how to interpret the plethora of performance figures, essentially the only way to truly differentiate one IGU from the next.

PERFORMANCE GLASS GUIDES

Performance Glass (Commercial) brochure - a commercially targeted brochure designed for architects, project builders and specifiers.

Performance Glass (Residential) brochure - developed by popular demand and in collaboration with our project home builder clients. It acts as a great education piece for home builders/renovators.

The Australian Catholic University

While denoting an environment of research, study and the Catholic identity, the 4,000m2 space is “welcoming, inclusive and invites people to stay,” says Jeroen Hagendoorn, HASSELL’s Lead Architect on the project. 

Taking its distinct design cue from the structure of the former 1920’s bank note facility, Schiavello completed the industrial-natured refurbishment in four stages. This included the lower ground, ground floor and addition of a six-storey external staircase enclosed in a glazed facade. Making the first impression from the exterior, Glassworks supplied their pioneering LoE-366® low-emissivity glass in 6mm – becoming more and more recognised for it’s solar control and high visibility.

Making up such a significant portion of the exterior, LoE-366 really was a wise choice as it means occupants can enjoy a more naturally temperature controlled building with less glare and full view from the inside out – all conducive to studying and concentration. The client can also enjoy reduced electricity costs and less cleaning thanks to the added Neat® easy-clean coating.

Featuring open batten ceilings to reveal exposed structural and services elements, a new reception, security office, bookstore, cafeteria and lounge areas – all newly constructed for the open space. The lower ground also incorporates a new state-of-the-art radio room, Student Council Office, Facilities Department amenities and mail room. Utilising a neutral palette of stone and timber, the highly durable materials were chosen to weather high traffic use. Glassworks were pleased to be engaged for works on the external staircase which additionally embraces the building’s original window fenestration.

The new ground floor also maintains the building’s heritage integrity by replacing existing aluminium framed windows with steel frames created by Schiavello subsidiary, Metcon.

Bairnsdale Library Project using LoE-366

More than just a library, the recently completed Bairnsdale library project by NOWarchitecture is the winner of multiple awards including Best Commercial Building ($3M-$6M) and Glassworks is proud to have supplied their pioneering LoE-366® glass, integral to the energy performance, comfort and natural light aspects of this building.

The project brief stipulated that the design must uphold the connection to the Heritage Hall. As the Heritage Hall ran along the full length of the northern edge of the site, taking up the entire desired northern aspect, NOWarchitecture elected to make use of east facing glazing on the front façade and for this reason, the glass performance was paramount and this is where LoE-366 came in. “LoE-366 provided the best combination of insulation, natural daylighting and transparency with low reflectance”, says Neville.  He added that in combination with the timber structure and the Raico Therm + glazing system, the LoE-366 made for an extremely high value system, with higher insulation levels and lower cost than conventional aluminium facade systems.

Beyond its function as a traditional library, this building serves as a community hub with meeting rooms, a cafeteria and a range of formal and informal reading and research spaces. The new building respects the urban form of the heritage building by replicating its scale and form.  Receding the extension has retained the streetscape focus on the heritage facade and creates a community plaza space with a cinema, children’s play area and a sheltered outdoor meeting place.

Innovative and holistic environmental design has reduced operation and energy costs and provides a warm aesthetic based on an exposed plantation timber structures. The high performance of the LoE-366 glass facaded atrium and a passive hydrothermal air conditioning system provides excellent natural lighting, thermal comfort and air quality.  “The glazing of the facade has been a crucial factor in the success of the building by providing a facade with a U value of 1.36 while providing high levels of natural lighting”, says Neville.  The high level of transparency has also been important in engaging the public and in the aesthetic response to the heritage building. The high level of visibility into the building from the street and the use of LED internal lighting ensures security of the plaza forecourt and promotion of the Library at night.

Neville notes that the product and material selections were based on value for money both in construction and ongoing costs, for example; the joinery quality structure allowed secondary finishes to be significantly reduced which then in turn reduces costs and increases value; the glazing system incorporating approximately 140 sq.m of performance LoE-366 glass, timber framed, double glazed facade ensures that daylighting levels are increased whilst heat gain and loss is reduced, and the LoE-366 glass, with its Neat® easy-clean coating, is practically self-cleaning.
NOWarchitecture and the client are currently monitoring on-going energy usage and have observed significant reductions in energy use. Michael Gleeson, General Manager of Glassworks, notes that “while low-emissivity glass is nothing new and LoE-366 glass is already being adopted across Europe and America, the fantastic result of the Bairnsdale Library could well be an Australian landmark project, demonstrating the performance and aesthetic potential of this low-e glass”.

The Bairnsdale Library Upgrade was opened on 10 April 2014, with over 3000 community members in attendance on that day. The client stated, “since the opening, the number of people using the facility has essentially tripled, there are many more individuals and community groups enjoying the very high quality public and welcoming space that has been created. Council is extremely happy with the outcome achieved”.

Formed Vision™ expands the range

The Formed Vision range of formed and 3-dimensional textured glass panels in organic textures, labelled the Earth Range, has expanded to include other dramatic impressions, known as the Structure Range of patterns.

Structure Range
Four mechanical based patterns on a larger or smaller scale ideal for large commercial applications or more intricate applications such as doors or shower screens. Matrix is a bold vertical and horizontal line pattern while Chicane is an erratic curved pattern. Fortuitous Square is an array of larger and smaller soft squares while Petite Square is a smaller square based pattern. They can have cut outs and holes as required for installation and are toughened for safety and are therefore suited to a plethora of applications including:

Showerscreens
Splashbacks
Wall cladding
Internal and external balustrading
Feature windows
Screening and partitions
Bars and nightclubs

To really celebrate and exaggerate the pattern, Glassworks recommends LED lighting or cladding to a coloured wall. For a more natural classic look, cladding to neutral colours or concrete surfaces has a stunning effect.

Custom patterns, LED lighting and painting still available
For impactful signage solutions and other installations, Formed Vision offers LED lighting, custom painting and custom forming, including custom etching logos.
Ask Glassworks about customisation on a project-basis as results and conditions may vary.