PPG's Solarban 70XL Passes Milestone

March 3, 2009

PPG Industries reports it has shipped its 20-millionth square-foot of Solarban 70XL glass, said to be the world’s first triple-silver-coated, solar control low-e glass. Introduced initially in the commercial market, the product is making strong inroads into residential windows and doors now too, according to Margie Hahn, residential segment manager for the glass maker.

The glass has been offered to residential window and door makers for about two years, she notes, and it has made steady progress in the market. That progress, she notes, is likely to accelerate with the tax credit provisions in the recent stimulus package. The company has seen a notable uptick in inquiries from manufacturers regarding the product since the tax credits went into effect.

Paul Bush, PPG's technical services manager, notes that the high-performance low-E coating enables many vinyl and wood product manufacturers to meet the .30 U-value/.30 SHGC requirements without going to triple glazing. 

It may also help companies meet new Energy Star criteria, he suggests. Many manufacturers targeting Southern climate zones, for example, can meet the requirements set forth the Department of Energy's last proposed criteria with only a change in the glass package, he notes.  

DOE has yet to announce the final criteria, but Bush expects they will encourage the use of high-performance low-E, as well as more triple-glazing. Glass manufacturers, he continues, have reached "the limits of physics" with low-E coatings as far as U-value is concerned. "We're already limiting 96 or 97 percent of the heat transfer," he says, noting that next generation coatings are more likely to produce improvements addressing solar heat gain and visible light transmission.  

In hitting the 20-million-square-foot milestone, Solarban 70XL glass has been specified for thousands of buildings, encompassing projects with less than 1,000 square feet of glass as well as towering skyscrapers featuring hundreds of thousands of square feet of glass, the company reports. More than 170 new projects in the United States alone, totaling another 7 million square feet of Solarban 70XL glass, are currently slated for construction.

“Acceptance of Solarban 70XL glass is widespread in the United States and increasing around the world," says Scott A. Follett, director of new products and services for PPG Performance Glazings. "We expect that trend to accelerate as sustainable building principles become part of international building design standards.”