Smart Glass for Architects and Interior Designers – A Comprehensive Product Guide

Smart Glass for Architects and Interior Designers – A Comprehensive Product Guide

Smart glass is quickly cementing itself as a breakthrough technology, already being adopted by world leading architects and interior designers around the world. First developed in the 1980s, smart glass was used to regulate the amount of heat and light entering a building. It also served to maintain views and reduce glare while offering a sleek, modern aesthetic, reducing energy consumption, and providing a comfortable environment for those using the space.

Smart glass is as relevant today as ever, due to the worldwide demand for efficiency and energy savings in built spaces. Because of modern design’s emphasis on minimalism, natural light and versatile spaces, smart glass has become the material of choice for architects and interior designers.

In this article focusing on smart glass for architects and interior designers, we explore the many ways in which smart glass products help architects and interior designers expand their vision by incorporating them into their design schemes in clever and innovative ways.

 

Types of Smart Glass for Architects and Designers

Two active smart glass technologies, PDLC (polymer dispersed liquid crystal) is ideal for privacy or projection and SPD (suspended particle device) is ideal for tinting. Gauzy’s PDLC and SPD based LCG® smart glass technologies offer unique benefits and features that satisfy the evolving need for shading and privacy in interior and exterior applications that are glass filled. They both allow glass to change its transparency and opacity using an electrical supply to control various types of light. The unique particles or molecules inside the film scatter when the electricity is turned off, blocking light and creating opacity. When it is turned on, they align, creating transparency that allows light to pass through. Knowing the basics on how these smart glass technologies operate can help architects and designers specify them into their plans:

SPD

Gauzy’s SPD technology consists of an emulsion made of molecules synthesized in its production facility, which is coated between two PET films with a conductive material such as Indium Tin Oxide (ITO) and then laminated between outer glass panels, to create a complete piece of smart glass. This smart glass provides a cutting-edge shading solution that allows glass to dim and tint from opaque to transparent for user-controlled shading and glare mitigation. SPD smart glass blocks up to 99% of visible light with a switching speed of as little as 3 seconds, letting users tint glass for dynamic shading without blocking views to the outside environment. It can be implemented into various IGU configurations to be used in building envelopes.

PDLC

Gauzy’s PDLC is Indoor and outdoor grade liquid crystal smart glass available as a laminated glass panel or an adhesive smart film that can be applied to existing glass. It supports opaque to transparent switching for privacy, projection and IR reflection. It contains liquid crystals that are dispersed into a polymer glue-like material. It is coated between two pieces of PET with ITO coating to create a film, which is paired with glass or other transparent materials. Because it has a light transmittance of 80%, it is ideal for light filled privacy or to be used as a projection screen in its opaque state.

Premium Smart Glass Add-ons for Architects and Designers

While the benefits of on demand shading and privacy bring numerous benefits for architects and designers, smart glass offers additional features that can be used to integrate smart glass in creative and energy-saving ways. Here are just a few of the latest developments changing spaces in the built environment:

Invisible Patterned Designs

Both SPD and PDLC films can be patterned to create segments or designs for specific light-controlled zones. To achieve this dynamic patterning effect, standard smart glass films can be patterned with custom shapes and designs using a proprietary etching machine that enables the segmentation of glass for precise light control.

Gauzy’s patterned SPD smart glass is the only SPD technology available in architectural glass widths and compatible with curved and slanted glass and is ideal for facades, skylights and atrium windows. This smart glass option opens up a world of opportunities for interior designers and architects by providing an even greater possibility for customization and light control. SPD films enable designers to take smart glass to the next level, limited only by their imagination.

Patterned PDLC smart glass provides endless possibilities to merge form with function, allowing glass to turn clear, or opaque for privacy to endless types of patterns and shapes. By incorporating custom designs and patterns, the glass can serve as a statement piece and enhance the overall aesthetic of a space. Whether it’s a geometric pattern, a nature-inspired design, or a corporate logo, the glass can be customized to match the style and theme of the interior.

Pair with Printed Glass

Pairing PDLC film with printed glass combines the aesthetics of decorative glass with switchable features. When smart glass is turned off, printed graphic colors appear fully saturated and opaque. When smart glass is on, a transparent atmosphere is achieved, while still allowing printed graphics to show. This combination offers both privacy and transparency, custom printed graphics, including branding, logos, designs, patterns, art, and photography, give designers unlimited options to express their creativity when designing for and promoting a brand.

Projection

Smart glass sets a new standard in digital displays by allowing communication, connection, and entertainment messaging to be used on any glass surface in the built environment. Compatible with any type of projector and all PDLC product lines, smart glass instantly turns windows and glass partitions into dynamic HD displays that become transparent when turned on. This smart glass for architects is ideal for retail environments by enabling time- and location-based ads to appear on glass, creating an immersive and memorable user experience.

Integrating Smart Glass into Architecture and Interior Design Projects

There’s practically no limit to how architects and designers can integrate smart glass into their design scheme, regardless of what type of project they are working on. Cut to fit and made to order according to specifications by certified partners, PDLC and SPD smart glass technologies are available in varying sizes, with holes and notches to accommodate special hinges and handles that support wiring and control.

Touch Panels and Remotes

Incredibly versatile, smart glass can be operated by wall mounted touch panels, RF remotes, or synched with automation applications to accommodate customers’ control preferences for privacy, ambiance, and shading. Each control method is paired with a patented controller, allowing on/off or dimming functionality of single or multiple smart glass and/or segments (for patterned smart glass). The technology is also compatible with smart systems like Lutron via Wi-Fi or RS485 for more diverse control options.

Industry Applications

Smart glass for architecture can be used in any type of built space, from offices and hospitals to retail stores and high-end homes.

Offices

In a time when office spaces need to be agile and multi-functional, smart glass is the perfect solution. Because of its ability to switch from opaque to transparent and back again, it creates privacy or an “open” atmosphere on demand, thereby enhancing employees’ health and well-being. In a transparent state glass affords access to natural light, which 78% of employees say improves their wellbeing and 70% report improved work performance.

Retail

Smart glass for interior design ushers in a new era of retail displays that will motivate shoppers in ingenious new ways. When paired with protection, Gauzy LCG® can be used to create dynamic window messaging that will get customers to notice and invite them in without blocking the view of the merchandise. Digital signage and window displays are known to significantly affect consumers’ propensity to enter stores, especially those brands they aren’t familiar with, with 76% of American consumers entering stores they had never visited before simply because of the signage.

Residential

There are endless uses for smart glass in today’s high-end residences. Its sleek, modern look complements diverse design styles, while its practicality elevates a home’s functionality to new levels. Easily connected to smart home automation systems such as Alexa and Lutron, smart glass supports fully integrated homes for complete control while offering natural light, dynamic shading, views, and privacy.

Hotels

In addition to adding a sophisticated aesthetic to hotel rooms, smart glass offers innumerable features that designers are looking for, including comfort, safety and cost savings. From eliminating the need for costly and hard-to-clean fabric curtains, to making rooms feel larger, enhancing views and providing tons of natural light, smart glass is the right choice for hospitality interior designers. In public areas, PDLC provides secure privacy for enhanced comfort.

Hospitals

Smart glass can help hospitals adapt to rapidly changing needs, treat patients more efficiently and ensure the safety of staff, patients, and visitors. Eliminating the need for HAI harboring fabrics used for privacy and shading, PDLC and SPD technologies allow for light-filled privacy, shade with a view, and sound isolation for greater comfort and enhanced well-being that contribute to faster healing.

Why Designers and Architects Should Choose Gauzy

Gauzy’s smart glass for architects and designers has always provided the best optical, mechanical, and electrical performance in the industry. But good design also means forward thinking and innovation. That’s why we have continued to develop new technologies so that designers can bring their design dreams to life using the most reliable smart glass materials.

In addition to world leading technology, Gauzy is the number one choice among architects and designers because of how easy it makes the specification process and selecting the most appropriate smart glass technology for their clients’ needs. Gauzy’s global research and development, sales and technical support is available twenty-four-seven, throughout the entire smart glass process from concept to installation and beyond.

Gauzy, a world leader in the development and manufacturing of smart glass technology, has remained on the cutting edge of smart glass for interior design. We are the only material science company in the world to develop and manufacture two out of three active light control technologies: SPD (Suspended Particle Devices) and PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal).

Our global team of smart glass specialists are available to support you with any questions you might have throughout the process form concept to specification to install – and after install support.

Want to learn more about Smart Glass or receive a quote? Contact the Smart Glass experts at Gauzy today.

Disclaimer: The content provided on this website is intended for informational purposes only and should not be considered as a technical document. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is important to consult with your smart glass representative for the most current and final details regarding the benefits, services, and performance of our products