Is Dynamic Glazing the Future?
"We think the future is dynamic windows," said Marc LaFrance, the Department of Energy's technology development manager with oversight over the agency's windows and building envelope programs speaking at a recent Windows Technology Roadmapping Workshop. Dynamic glazing was also high on the agenda at the Window & Door Manufacturers Association Technical Conference, which preceded the DOE session.
The idea of windows that can go from clear to tinted or opaque is not new. Such products are on the market, but high costs and other issues have prevented widespread adoption for many years. The technology continues to advance, however, as do manufacturing capabilities for such products. So are they the future? Will the potential energy savings dynamic glazing offers–as well as such benefits as cutting glare, increasing comfort and enhanced privacy–enable these products to achieve significant market penetration?
That's our poll for the week, and specifically, we'd like to hear from you about the opportunities for dynamic glazing in the residential market. It is easy to foresee demand for dynamic glazing in offices and other commercial buildings, but will homeowners want these products or will they remain more wedded to traditional blinds and shades? Are there specific applications in homes where dynamic glazing is likely to gain favor? Is your company selling such products? Post a comment and tell us more.
Survey Results as 07/16/2012:
Is dynamic glazing the future?
Yes, I see it gaining significant market share in next 5-10 years.
No, I don't expect it will ever catch on.
Yes, but I think it will take more than 10 years for it to see significant demand.
The days of windows that switch from clear to opaque or tinted and back may be soon upon us. That's what much of the industry thinks at least, and I think this week's results reflect a fairly substantial change in attitude.
Ten years ago, I bet most window and door manufacturers and dealers viewed these technologies more as concepts. Now, it looks like electrochromic, thermochromic and "smart glass" products are seen as coming realities. It will be interesting to watch.