Blue sky thinking

By Michael Butterick, marketing director Saint-Gobain Glass.

Blue skies, beautiful landscapes and cute puppies, are among the top things that make Britons happy.

Commissioned in 2020 by artist Doug Hyde, the research asked 2,000 people what in life brings them joy. Unsurprisingly, sunny days came out on top. The window industry can’t conjure up the sun all year round, but we can certainly offer our customers blue tinted roof glass to help brighten up their day, as they enjoy time in their conservatories, orangeries or glazed extensions.

Tinted glass have been available for some time and blue is a particularly popular choice as it triggers positive emotional and psychological responses that enhance wellbeing and mood.

Comfort and wellbeing

After the stresses of the recent pandemic, there is an increased focus by homeowners on comfort and wellbeing in their homes, as they invest in lifestyle upgrades.

This involves replacing or converting old conservatories, or creating new extensions which include bi-fold doors, skylights and large overhead lanterns to enhance their home and quality of life. This desire to create beautiful, calm and luxurious sanctuaries with lots of natural daylight makes it even more important that we help homeowners choose the right performance glass to meet their comfort needs.

Aesthetics is one thing – making our grey skies appear bluer and more appealing – but the tinted glass needs to be more than mood-enhancing. It needs to deliver practical benefits too such as energy efficiency, heat reduction, safety and low maintenance.

We are all too familiar with the traditional perception of conservatories and glazed extensions being too hot in summer and too cold in winter.

And with the 40-degree heat we experienced in the UK last summer potentially set to become the norm, overheating in homes is a very real problem that consumers are aware of due to the intense media scrutiny whenever a heatwave occurs.

Lower-maintenance glass

An issue that doesn’t hit the headlines but can be a strong benefit for homeowners is lower maintenance glass with self-cleaning properties.

The special coating helps keep the aesthetic qualities of the glazing for longer without the need for such regular cleaning. The coating harnesses the sun’s rays to break down the dirt into smaller particles then, due to the nature of the coating, it forms a sheet across the glass when it rains rather than droplets which allows the rain to wash the dirt away.

This benefit can sometimes be overlooked but is most welcome in hard-to-reach applications such as glazed roofs, lanterns and extensions.

Bioclean is Saint-Gobain’s range of low-maintenance glass and can be combined with its range of Parsol tinted glass which is available in blue, bronze, clear, dark grey and green – specially selected to complement different window frames or enhance the view to the outside world.

However, for maximum comfort, particularly in the increasingly hotter summer months, the Bioclean+ range has additional properties to minimise overheating. It is the additional coatings, rather than the tinted glass on its own, that provide solar control or low-maintenance benefits, and make the difference for homeowners looking for solutions.

Bioclean Azura+ is the name of Saint-Gobain Glass’s blue tinted glass with lower maintenance and solar control properties which reflects and absorbs up to 83% of the sun’s heat, reducing the need for costly air conditioning and reducing the threat of overheating whilst minimising uncomfortable glare from the sun.

It also reduces the bleaching effect of the sun by blocking 92% of the sun’s UV rays, prolonging the life of furniture and soft furnishings.

The right conversations

Homeowners want all the positives of having natural light in their homes and none of the negatives and our industry has the solutions.

It is in nobody’s interest to see reduced glazed areas being used in homes simply because we aren’t having the right conversations at the point of sale and offering the right advice and solution. It’s a missed customer service and profit opportunity.

Solar control products are very important in premium residential applications such as bi-fold and sliding doors, roof lights, lanterns, orangeries and glazed extensions where direct sunlight and solar energy is intense.

Fabricators and installers owe it to themselves and their customers to have those conversations about the added value benefits of glass and choose the right glass for the application.

Your customers will thank you when they are sitting comfortably in their newly extended home looking up through their rooflights into blue skies – also known as lower maintenance, solar control blue glass.

Saint Gobain Building Glass
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