Barbara Vergetis Lundin – August 26, 2013
The future of energy-efficiency holds some interesting technology. In fact, Navigant Research is predicting that smart glass, which can help improve energy performance while increasing occupant comfort and satisfaction, will grow to an annual market value of $899 million by 2022 — up from $88 million in 2013.
Building glass, both in the form of facades and windows, is one of the most susceptible to energy loss. Driven by the need for better insulated zero-carbon buildings, a new generation of actively controlled components is replacing conventional materials. Smart glass, which provides dynamic glare, light and heat control based on manual controls or ambient conditions, is able to respond to seasonal variations in temperature and solar radiation and will increasingly be used in the building sector as building codes are becoming stricter and energy performance is growing in importance to building owners.
“The past year has seen several positive developments for the smart glass sector, including the establishment of new industrial-scale production capacity, increased levels of investment, and partnership announcements between smart glass technology companies and upstream and downstream suppliers and participants,” said Eric Bloom, senior research analyst, Navigant Research. “Still, this sector is in formation, and growth is likely to accelerate in the years after 2022.”
Currently, the biggest barrier to the adoption of smart glass is price, which is a least double what the end user would be paid for static, high-performance glazing, according Navigant.
While there may be ways to drive down the overall budget impact of selecting smart glass — for example, through selective use of the glazing on certain building elevations or through savings on HVAC based on the reduced cooling loads afforded by smart glass — cost will remain a limiting factor.