Glazing Information

Solar Innovations® offers a wide variety of glass options to meet the many different needs of both residential and commercial applications. If you would like to discuss glass choices or have any questions about glass, please contact a Solar Innovations® sales representative at: or 800-618-0669.

With thousands of different glazing options on the market, it can often be difficult to determine the correct choice. Tinted and LowE glass are ideal for reducing solar heat gain, which is a must when a room will be used by people. However, when growing plants is a room’s main function, clear glass is the most beneficial. Dynamic, self-tinting glass will adjust automatically according to the sun and can assist with achieving LEED status. Solar uses safe, sturdy tempered glass for all of our doors and windows and laminated glass in our skylights and roof applications. Argon or krypton gases can be added to any window system for increased insulation. EZ clean glazing can also be applied which will reduce your window’s maintenance requirements. For all of our windows, we offer several decorative glass options for further customization.

Tempered glass is strengthened through heat and is less prone to breaking than traditional glass so it is used in Solar’s doors, windows, and walls. When tempered glass does break, it shatters into small squares and collapses, making it safer than other choices that will break into sharp, jagged pieces. Laminated glass is used in ceiling or other potential impact applications. Upon impact, laminated will break into a spiral, but it will not fall out of the frame; laminated glass also removes 99% of all harmful UV rays.

Units can include single or double pane glazing. Single, monolithic glass is not insulated, therefore it is only recommended for interior applications, such as a folding glass wall. Insulated, double pane glass consists of two pieces of glass with an air space between; air will have to travel through both panes of glass to reach the inside. Insulated glass is commonly found in all new windows.

Cardinal IG is a great source of information as well as great glass products.  If you are interested in more information, please read Cardinal’s technical bulletin.

Tinted Glass

There are several tinting options for the glass within your insulated or monolithic window. Blue, green, grey, bronze, purple, and red color tints are available. Grey and bronze color tints are used for privacy and controlling light.

Low emission (LowE) glass is used to control light and solar heat gain in a room. LowE includes a patented coating that allows daylight to pass through the window while filtering out solar heat. The LowE option has a slight, barely visible coating that is applied to the glass and delivers year-round comfort while maintaining indoor temperatures. Our standard LowE coating options include:

Clear over Clear

*No Tint

LoE 272

Clearest Glass

LoE 340

Controls the Most Glare

LoE 366

3 layers of silver provide the highest level of your-round comfort

LoE i89 – Coupled with LoE 272, 340, and 366 provides superior U-factor performance

The type of LoE glazing used depends on the room’s function

  • Plants require the most light, so plain clear glass with no tint is best for greenhouses and other glazed structures that will house plants
LoE 272
  • Ideal for tropical or house plants that flourish in medium light
  • Ideal for combination structures that will house plants and people
LoE 340 & 366
  • Best solutions for structures with no plants that will solely be used by people

Solar Innovations® provides so many custom options, there are far too many to display here.  Please download the updated 2015 glazing chart for more information, or contact a sales designer to speak about a specific combination.

Dynamic Glass

Dynamic Glass is an energy efficient and multifunctional glass type that can switch between clear and tinted states on demand and eliminate the need for shading systems. Dynamic Glass increases user comfort and decreases HVAC system requirements by preventing solar heat gain, reducing the need for cooling. The unique features of Dynamic Glass prevent intense sunlight penetration and allow more light transmission when less light is available. Solar Innovations® recommends using self-tinting glass in ceiling applications and areas with intense sun. We offer two Dyanamic Glass options: electrochromic glass and thermochromic glass.

Electrochromic glass

Electrochromic glass is a self-tinting glass that changes from transparent to opaque by passing low voltage electricity through the pane either manually or automatically using a control system. When connected to a control system, the glass will automatically tint to adapt to the changing sun intensity. Electrochromic glass can maintain levels of 4%, 20%, 40%, and 60% visible light transmittance (Tvis); even in the fully-tinted state of 4% Tvis, users will be able to see clearly through the window.

Automated electrochromic glass can be designed with different zones that can be independently controlled. For example, the roof can be set to 4% Tvis, while the walls are set to 40% Tvis.

Thermochromic Glass

Thermochromic self-tinting glass includes an interactive glass interlayer that lightens and darkens automatically according to the temperature of the glass and the changing levels of ambient temperature and sunlight. This type of glass tints on its own with absolutely no human or mechanical intervention and it can provide varying levels of shading, depending on the temperature and sun intensity.

Dynamic Glass can assist in projects seeking LEED certification

Possible LEED credits include: sustainable sites, indoor environment quality, energy and atmosphere, and innovation in design. Dynamic Glass units have been independently tested to the ASTM E2141-06 standard by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Test results show this glass has a life expectancy of over 40 years.

Gas Insulation

Double pane glass units can be further protected with insulating gas as opposed to atmospheric air. Argon and Krypton are the two most common insulators. Both options resist hot and cold temperature swings to improve the energy efficiency of the window system. Argon is the most common insulation choice; it is a cheaper option compared to Krypton because it is more commonly found. Argon is a great insulator because it is an inert gas that doesn’t react with many other elements, and it is 25% more dense than air. Argon is used in most double pane windows and works well in spaces up to ½”. Krypton is also a stable and chemically non-reactive gas. Krypton is more dense than Argon, giving it better insulating performance. Krypton occurs in only trace amounts in the atmosphere, making it the more expensive option. Krypton is commonly found in triple pane windows with a ¼” – 3/8” gap.

It is important to note that superior insulation and energy efficient windows may also lead to condensation.

Condensation appears as frost on a surface and occurs when water vapor and humidity convert to liquid water when there is a sudden decrease in temperature at that surface. Bathrooms, laundry rooms, greenhouses, and other rooms with a water source often fall victim to condensation. Condensation can easily be controlled with proper ventilation.

Read More: Download Solar’s Understanding Condensation PDF below.

Polycarbonate featuring Lumira® Aerogel

Polycarbonate is insulated using Lumira® Aerogel, one of the lightest and most effective insulating materials in the world.

Polycarbonate is over three times more effective at insulating a structure when it is filled with Lumira®. Lumira® Aerogel eliminates the trade-off between natural light vs. insulation by providing superior insulation that reduces heat gain, while still maintaining optimal light transmission. Energy conduction is also drastically reduced with Lumira®, which in turn saves money and increases comfort.

Lumira Testing Documents

Thermal Performance
Visible Light Transmittance
Solar Heat Gain
Acoustic Properties
Sustainable Building
Reflectance Report
Lumira Brochure
Lumira Cut Sheet
Lumira MSDS

View more information about Solar Innovations®‘s Polycarbonate Products

Solera Glass

Solera glass is a completely recyclable glazing option that reduces glare and diffuses sunlight.

This glazing product includes a durable UV barrier within the glass panels that controls light and heat transmittance, creating a more energy efficient system. The UV barrier also prevents the material from becoming brittle or fading over the years, increasing the life span of the product to a range of 60 – 100 years.  Solera glass is available in several thicknesses, all of which feature a white color. For higher insulation values, Nanogel can be used to fill Solera units.

Solera glass can assist projects working toward LEED certification

Implementing Solera into a project can earn several points for Environmental Quality (LEED 2.1, 2.2, AND 2.3) as well as points in the Energy and Atmosphere category.

Decorative Glass

Solar Innovations® offers several decorative glass options, including, but not limited to:

Frosted and fogged patterns are added to glass through acid etching. Standard pattern glass includes: pattern 62, rain, single chip, and English reeded. Other patterns are available upon request.

Pattern 62
Single Chip
English Reeded

Leaded glass is the addition of a leaded grid on the glass.

Antique window grid work was done with leaded grids. This is a replication of the antique grids. Various configurations are available for the grids.

View more available patterns on the decorative elements section of the website

Blinds are added to the space between the glass in a double pane IGU unit.

This special glass combination, where blinds are placed in the air space of an insulated glass unit, reduces strong glares and heat transmittance. The blinds are fully functional and can tilt or be pulled up/down. There are several colors available for the blinds.

Art glass is essentially any special order of glass. The glass can be hand-blown or machine made, contain colorful swirls, and even have an actual picture imposed onto the glass. Art glass is useful when companies are looking to have logos and other words on their windows.

Encapsulated organic material creates an artistic view

Organic materials are fully encapsulated into a composite of glass and resin that is 100 times stronger than regular glass. Ensoglass can contain flowers, bamboo, grass, papyrus, leaves, and any other material you desire.

V-Groove Glazing is often featured in Transoms

Decorative glass is a perfect way to add aesthetic or privacy to your glass and can be used for the entire project or just for a small section.

EZ Clean Glass

All of the listed glass options can also include a special EZ clean coating.

EZ clean technology consists of a patented coating of titanium dioxide and silicon dioxide that fills the tiny pores of the glass. Silicon dioxide makes the glass exceptionally smooth so water disperses evenly and evaporates quickly. The titanium dioxide undergoes a chemical reaction with the sun’s UV rays, causing organic materials on the glass to decompose. Then, when it rains, the decomposed dirt is washed away, leaving the glass clean and streak-free.

EZ Clean Glass is recommended for sloped glazing to simplify maintenance requirements.

If you have any questions about any of the Solar Innovations® products or information presented here, please contact a knowledgeable sales designer for more information.