Modern architecture is all about green building, thanks to the growing concern about the impact on the environment. The green building trends of today have included window films as a useful element that not only protects the inhabitants from the harmful UV rays of the suns but also for several other reasons. These reasons and benefits can be enumerated as under:
- It protects the interior furniture from fading
- It protects humans from skin cancer caused due to prolonged exposure to the UV rays
- It prevents an excessive rise in temperature inside making it comfortable
- It reduces the loss of heat reducing the workload of the HVAC system saving energy
- It provides privacy to the interior with no peeking from outside
- It is a cost-effective alternative to blinds, curtains, shades, and drapes.
In short, it is highly effective and useful element to incorporate into green building trends, irrespective of the wide variety of window films available on the market.
The use of window films in modern building design falls under the Passive Construction category. The reason behind this is that these modern window films reduce the need for heat during winter and the use of air conditioning during the summer months. Moreover, you do not need any artificial lighting in the interiors during the day thanks to the day-lighting film technology. In short, the use of window films cut energy consumption and cost simultaneously.
Trends to look out for
Green building trend is on the rise since the last decade or so and there are a few things you must look out for. In fact, green building is not a fashion anymore. It is the necessity to protect the environment and the future of construction, whether it is for new construction or any renovating or retrofitting purpose.
Use of window films in green buildings is not a surprising factor anymore as it is the growth factor in the recovering market, as explained by the World Green Building Council. There has been extensive research and studies that reveal that more and more consumers are willing to spend more to make their homes, offices and commercial spaces green.
The primary reason for this paradigm shift for greener homes and buildings is that such homes and offices provide a healthier living and working environment and at the same time increase the resale potential of the building. As for the current and continual effect, green buildings ensure low utility costs. Do you find any reason to blame for such an increase in demand for green buildings?
The hottest green building trends
All hottest green building techniques use window films for that matter. This fact is substantiated by the studies and reports of the World Green Building Council. Different new trends were you would see the use of window films extensively include:
- Healthful homes
- Net zero energy homes
- Affordable green constructions
- Passive construction and
- Designing for drought.
Components of window film
There has been a lot of research and development in window film technology to increase the performance and robustness of the window films. Whether it is for residential or Commercial Window Tinting, the components used in manufacturing these window films have improved the quality and construction of the films. With several microscopic layers embedded together, it has added to the UV inhibitors and also provided extended durability of these films. The essential components used in manufacturing modern window films include:
- Release liner with a silicone coating
- Adhesive multiple layers with UV inhibitors
- Tinted and clear polyester film
- Adhesive layers
- Metalized layers on clear polyester films to facilitate heat rejection and
- A scratch-resistant coating.
All these components have made the films more resilient and high in functionality and performance.
- The protective release liner is a film usually made of polyester that covers the adhesive to protect it from any contamination before its installation on the surfaces.
- The adhesive is of high quality having zero distortion. This helps the polyester film to adhere to the glass firmly even if it is double curved glass.
- The polyester film has specific physical properties that make it a durable plastic film of high clarity and quality. More than one layer of it is used with the laminating adhesive to make this multi-layered structure strong and resilient.
- The scratch resistant coating is made of hard acrylic that provides protection and prevents the polyester from any abrasion or scratches.
Different metals, dyes, UV inhibitors, and alloys are added to give the film the desired properties.
Technology for manufacturing
The process of manufacturing the window films have also evolved over the years, and now it involves five primary processes. All these processes are followed with utmost care to ensure the highest quality and functionality. The different methods include:
- Coating: This is the process where the materials such as adhesives and the scratch resistant coating material are transmitted from the container on a large roller and from there on the surface of the polyester film.
- Laminating: In this process, the window film is coated with suitable and strong adhesive to the second layer of uncoated film. A roller system is used to press and bind the two layers of films together.
- Metallizing: This is another process in which the entire roll of the polyester film is wound around a water-cooled roller. This roller is inside a big metal chamber. The air is pumped out of the chamber to create a vacuum inside. After this, a metal, usually aluminum, is evaporated all over the cold surface of the polyester film.
- Sputtering: This process is used when anything but aluminum is used for metalizing. This is because most metals do not evaporate in a vacuum. Sputtering is a slower process than metalizing in which different metal or an alloy target is used. The positive ions are bombarded to knock or sputter the atoms of the metal or alloy out of the target so that it spread on the cold polyester film surface. If Nickel is used for sputtering, it will serve as additional resistance to corrosion.
- Coloring: This is the last process followed in manufacturing the window films. Colors are added to the adhesive before the polyester film is coated with it. Sometimes, the entire polyester film is deep dyed to ensure better durability. The color used is a mixture of various dyes.
All these processes are followed under controlled condition and in precise measurements to ensure high quality, clarity, and functionality of the window film so that you get proper protection from the glare of the sun and privacy of your space.
Contribution to global energy environment
Modern window films have come under different scanners to ensure it produces what it claims. Its contribution to the global energy environment has been significant and has been recognized by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, WBCSD. The study says that around 40% of global energy is consumed mainly by the commercial buildings. This is the result of the excessive solar heat gain that results in roughly 1/3 of the total power consumption of these commercial building which is due to excess workload placed on the HVAC systems.
The only way to tackle this issue and reduce this vast and unnecessary consumption of power is to have high energy and high-efficiency windows. Using window films is the best solution as that will minimize heat loss from inside by about 25% through the windows and solar heat gain by about 50 to 75%.
All these benefits can be obtained without any drastic changes in the aesthetics of the building both from the interior as well as from the exterior view. The window films are specifically designed and engineered to reduce solar heat gain by controlling absorption, transmission, and reflection of the solar energy.
Energy saving factor
Ability to save energy is the primary factor that has made the modern window films so effective, useful and popular in modern building designs. It has made window films a retrofit solution that can also be the most cost-effective, quickest and simplest of all energy conservation measures or ECMs available. In this regard even to new construction, these window films are used as a useful alternative to boost energy control and performance of the glass without having to compromise with the desired look.
Use of E-film
You will be surprised to know that the window film industry uses a special software program called E-film. This software analyzes how the addition of window film changes the energy consumption level.
It runs on the Energy Plus 8.0 simulation engine of the Department of Energy. It is similar to eQuest and developed by the International Window Film Association.
It creates a 3D model of the building using distinct building parameters such as size, shape, type, age, location, weather patterns, HVAC, occupancy, lighting, equipment loads, hot water usage, schedules, daylight controls, and exterior and interior building construction.
Several manufacturers of window films use this software to design the window films to make it more useful and environmentally friendly. Therefore, modern technology has made the modern window films more effective and essential in green building design.