Channel: Glazing / Insulating Glass
Pilkington Spacia: A renovation innovation with vacuum glazing

2012-03-09 | Glazing / Insulating Glass

One of the biggest challenges facing architects, heritage trusts and homeowners today is improving the environmental performance of listed and period buildings. While the cost and energy-saving benefits of such improvements are obvious, making changes to a building’s façade without compromising on its aesthetics or historic integrity is a difficult balance to strike. Fortunately, there is glass technology readily available to help achieve this balance.

Archibald Place, Edinburgh
The challenge
For too long, the threat of compromising a building’s character meant that many renovation opportunities were not realized. With 40 per cent of all energy consumed in the EU used in buildings, and existing, non energy-efficient buildings being replaced at a rate of just one per cent per year, there is huge money-saving potential in retrofitting energy-efficient glazing.
An independent study on low-emissivity glass commissioned by European trade association Glass for Europe shows that, within the EU alone, fitting energy-efficient glazing
to existing and new buildings could save up to 97 million tonnes of CO2 emissions annually by the year 2020. The reduction in energy consumption would result in vast cost savings for building occupiers, and equates to almost a third of the annual carbon emissions reduction target of 300 million tonnes set out in the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive.
There are also tangible comfort benefits on offer. Improved glazing provides greater comfort levels to the occupants of a building; cutting down on the draughts, damp and noise that often accompany older windows, maintaining a controlled internal temperature and keeping the space light and airy.
While the argument for energy-efficient glazing is clear, there are additional factors that complicate the debate. Older, listed and period buildings usually have the least energy-efficient glazing, but traditional Insulating Glass Units (IGUs) are often an inappropriate o...


Article taken from Glass-Technology International bi-monthly magazine (6 issues per year)
Year: 2012 number: 1
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