Glazing’s green potential

In 2030 European buildings would consume nearly 30% less energy if all of them were glazed with high performance glass, according to the latest research commissioned by Glass for Europe.

Research for The Glass for Europe report ‘Glazing Potential Energy Savings and CO2 Emission Reduction’ was carried out by TNO and presents the analysis of two hypothetical scenarios, which assume that by 2030 or 2050, all buildings in the European Union will be fitted with the recommended type of glazing.

In the first case, they would consume annually 29% less energy, which would translate into the reduction of CO2 emissions by 28%. According to the scenario for 2050, the potential energy saving would be at the level of 37% with a similar reduction of CO2 emissions.

Estimates for The United Kingdom are even more optimistic. The use of the right type of glass could in 2030 reduce the amount of energy consumed by buildings by 32%. In 2050, it could be as much as 42%.

Almost half of potential savings forecast for 2030 could be achieved in the first 10 years if we used highly selective glass in new buildings and doubled (from 2% to 4% annually) the coefficient of replacing old glazing with high performance glass.

Highly selective glass products from the Guardian SunGuard range provide high light transmittance while also controlling solar radiation transmission. This helps to create well-lit spaces and to prevent overheating during summer months. In winter, on the other hand, the buildings may be effectively protected from the negative effects of heat transfer by thermal insulation coefficient Uw = 0.5W/m2K (in triple glazing). These properties make these products a common choice for modern and energy efficient buildings.

The products can be found in the facade of London’s iconic, BREEAM Excellent certified Cheesegrater building with a 75,000m2 facade featuring a curtain wall that is double glazed to allow for a high solar protection on neutral-looking glass. Two of Guardian’s products – SunGuard SN 51/28 and SunGuard SN 62/34 – were used to help keep the building and its occupants cool thanks to their low g-value.