5 Ways Window Film Can Benefit Your Building
BOOST BUILDING PERFORMANCE AT A FRACTION OF THE COST OF
REPLACING A WINDOW
tioning in the summer. Some can also reflect
infrared light back into the room to help heat
it, giving you additional winter savings.
2) Custom Views
Dual reflective films have made a big
splash in the last five years thanks to the
flexibility they offer building occupants,
"On the outside of the building, you may
want a reflective bronze look, but people
on the inside of the building looking out
may not want to see a bronze color," Smith
says. "Manufacturers can change the reflectance and transmission values so that you
see different colors depending on which side
of the glass you're on."
3) Aesthetic Benefits
Window film with decorative patterns is
growing in both variety and popularity, Smith
"You can now get window films that look
like frosted or stained glass or that has a
bamboo-style pattern. Some patterns are
actually screen-printed into the film itself to
accent a window. Those films can be specified with energy control or in a thick version
that holds glass together when it breaks."
4) Safety and Security
Window film buyers sometimes believe
that window film can make glass shatterproof, a longstanding myth in the market.
The truth is that window film can't prevent
glass from breaking, but it can hold glass
fragments together when the glass is broken.
That usually means that the broken glass
also stays in place in the window rather
than scattering everywhere, keeping wind
and rain out of your facility during a storm
and making it harder for an intruder to
get into your building through the broken
"It does mitigate the danger, but only in
terms of what's called glass hazard mitiga-tion," Smith says. "It reduces the dangers
of flying glass fragments. It will not prevent
glass from breaking. We've seen those
claims and we refute those statements
whenever we can."
The risks of flying glass shards are
considerable, however, so it's still worth
investing in security films if you have large
windows that put the inside of your facility
5) Producing Energy
New research on window film may allow
building owners to generate more energy
from their windows rather than reducing the
amount of energy wasted by the HVAC system. Engineers at the University of California,
Berkeley, developed a thin film that uses
pyroelectric energy conversion to turn low-quality waste heat into electricity.
"We know we need new energy sources,
but we also need to do better at utilizing the
energy we already have," says Lane Martin,
senior author and associate professor of
materials science and engineering. "These
films can help us squeeze more energy than
we do today out of every energy source."
The film is less than 100 nanometers thick
and can generate up to 526 watts per cubic
centimeter at 19 percent efficiency. The
research team will now focus on optimizing
the thin film materials to specific temperatures and waste heat streams.
Janelle Penny firstname.lastname@example.org
is a senior writer for BUILDINGS.
Large banks of windows are a popular building amenity, but the extra day- light can seem like a double-edged
sword on sunny days. Plentiful daylight can
contribute to productivity, but it can also
result in distracting glare and an influx of
heat that's expensive to manage.
Retrofitting your existing windows with
film can help you achieve your energy, aesthetic and productivity goals at a much lower
cost than a window replacement, according
to Darrell Smith, executive director of the
International Window Film Association.
Investigate these five ways window film
could benefit your building.
1) Less Glare and Waste
Some window films can block different
parts of the solar spectrum to minimize
glare, heat and dangerous UV rays, Smith
explains. Sunlight contains three parts.
Ultraviolet radiation: The part that contributes to skin cancer and fades interiors.
This section makes up about 3 percent of the
sunlight spectrum, according to Smith.
Visible light: Literally, the part that you
see. This section is about 44 percent of the
total and is responsible for causing glare.
Near infrared light: Invisible, but contributes to heat gain. This makes up the other 53
percent of the spectrum.
Understanding the difference between
these qualities is key to selecting the right
window film if solar control is a priority. Films
with high insulating values keep heat in your
building in the winter and seal in air condi-
WINDOW FILM can solve several common
challenges with windows, including solar
heat, glare and the security concerns
presented by breakable glass.