IGMA Continues Annual Meeting with Dynamic Technical Presentations
March 26, 2010

The Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance (IGMA) 10th annual meeting continued yesterday at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas with technical presentations on wide-ranging topics - in part because an Ask the Expert session allowed members of the audience to have their insulating glass questions answered. Another panel of industry experts provided information on “Glass Performance for Energy-Efficient Fenestration,” giving the audience an overview of performance characteristics of attributes including coatings and gas fillings.

In addition, Helen Sanders of SAGE Electrochromics shared “Electronically Tintable Glass Case Studies” with the IGMA audience. She began by defining for her audience what dynamic glass is: glazings that change their transmission in response to an outside stimulus. Electrochromics, she explained, make up but one subcategory that includes glass that changes in response to electric voltage. She cited the benefits of this category of product as reduced energy and operational (lighting, heating and cooling) costs, as well as occupancy benefits in allowing building occupants to maintain a connection to the outdoors - as Sanders pointed out, the whole reason for having a window in the first place - as well as providing natural daylight.

Sanders next addressed the forces driving the market. First and foremost, she said, energy efficiency is a significant driving factor, especially as related legislation is leading to significant changes in the code environment. She also made a few predictions regarding where this technology is heading, saying that in the long-term façades will become “a lot more complex.”

Sanders added, “In order to meet the legislation and the energy reduction goals that the government has you can’t get there without going to these types of solutions.” Solutions, that is, such as mechanical shading, as well as double-screen curtainwall and exterior louvers becoming more common in Europe.

As far as thermal issues, she predicted, “We’re going to need triple pane further down in the U.S. and improvements in framing systems.”

More specifically, Sanders offered a few predictions for the future of electrochromic products: price will come down, further enhancements in terms of performance (color, control and dynamic range) will appear in the marketplace; the number of products available will increase (active and passive products, with ranging costs and applications).

“Over the last few years there’s been a lot more activity in this space,” Sanders added.

Among the case studies she cited - many of which were educational facilities, which, she said, really seemed to “get” dynamic glazing - was an office building in Connecticut (CLICK HERE to read the article in USGlass).

Wednesday afternoon the technical sessions continued (CLICK HERE for related story) with a meeting of the Thermal Stress working group. The group continues to solicit examples of thermal stress breakage and reviewed its field service inspection form and results. The group also reviewed contributions to the thermal stress bulletin in the making, which is pulling from various companies’ information on the topic with the goal of creating a matrix of risk factors leading to thermal stress.

The day ended with further work on the Design Consideration for Multiple Air Space IGUs document by the task group of the same name. The group reviewed for the first time together those sections that have been drafted, and the largely editorial comments on those sections, before assigning the remaining sections to group members to complete.

The IGMA annual meeting continues through Friday, and is co-located with the Glass Association of North America’s Glass Week (CLICK HERE for related story) and the Building Envelope Contractors Conference beginning on Saturday. Stay tuned to USGNN.com™ for updates from the conference.

CLICK HERE to offer your questions or comments on the meeting topics - or tweet @usglass.

Need more info and analysis about the issues?
CLICK HERE to subscribe to USGlass magazine.