Dynamic Glazing Market Heats up with Pleotint-PPG Alliance
September 20, 2011

By Sahely Mukerji, smukerji@glass.com

With the marketing alliance between Pleotint of West Olive, Mich., and PPG Industries of Pittsburgh, dynamic glazing becomes a viable alternative for building envelopes and not just a niche product, says Glenn Miner, director of construction and marketing for the flat glass business of PPG.

The dynamic glazing market in the United States has only a few big players, with SAGE Electrochromics Inc. in Faribault, Minn., being the name likely most familiar to the glass industry. The new commercial window glass system, which combines sunlight responsive thermochromic technology from Pleotint and Solarban low-E glass by PPG, "will absolutely compete with Sage's product," Miner says.

The window installs like any other window; there are no wires power supplies or control systems required, says Fred Millett, director of sales and marketing at Pleotint. "In addition to solar control, the Pleotint interlayer, when laminated, retains all of the properties of traditional laminated glass, impact resistance/safety glass, sound reduction and brings enhanced fading resistance."

"The technology and innovation that Pleotint has developed will access the architectural knowledge and glazing contractor relationships that PPG has to offer," Miner says. "Hopefully, the industry will find this a good value package."

"PPG, through its glass architectural and marketing team has continuous access to major trade and architectural media sources and architectural firms, and they will identify our SRT interlayer on their ppgideascapes.com website," Millett says.

Other than jointly marketing the commercial window glass system, the companies will exclusively promote each other in all commercial projects in the U.S. and Canada, but this agreement will not prevent either party from using alternate sources of supply where an architect or other customer has specified another supplier, Millett says.

"Our dialogue with PPG has been in place for many years and was recently accelerated when PPG glass was chosen by our customer in our first large commercial installation - roughly 300 windows of sizes up to 5-foot-by-10-feet, constructed with Optiblue and Solarban 60 - completed earlier this year," Millett says.

"We've looked at where the future of the industry is in the next five to ten years, and there has to be a step change," Miner says. "Static design will end in the foreseeable future. For net-zero buildings, we have to look at building integrated photovoltaics and dynamic windows."

The cost has been a detriment for widespread use of dynamic windows, but this product mitigates a lot of that extreme cost pressures, Miner says. "This will be more than static glazing, but it offers a set of values, such as sound attenuation and security. It will penetrate the market better than any of the other dynamic technologies."

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