Multifunctional Storm Glazing

Glass trends rely on multifunctionality with storm protection

Glass continues to dominate the world of architectural design in the United States, even as external forces such as energy concerns, violent storms, man-made threats, and glass breakage must be continually considered. The beauty of glass, with its abilities to let in light and visually connect indoor with outdoor spaces, ensures that glass will always play a significant role in design and sustainable buildings. Enhancements to glass, including the use of high-performance interlayers and coatings, ensure that this favored material continues to have a bright future in a variety of applications. But as the global economy slows, the future of architectural glass lies in the concept of multifunctionality—glass that can achieve a number of design and code-driven objectives in one product.




With hurricane season upon us in many parts of the world, thoughts of storm protection in the shelters we use can be a top priority

Many areas, especially along the coastline, have a mandate for buildings to have some type of storm resistance. Although there may be several options to meet code and weather a storm, one of the most convenient methods is to specify and install impact-resistant glazing. When a glazing system has been properly vetted through performance protocols and the glass is capable of withstanding impact and subsequent cyclical loads, it is ready to protect 24/7. One of the attractive attributes of a hurricane-resistant glazing system is that nothing needs to be done before the storm to ensure protection is in place. There is also the comfort of knowing there is nothing to remove after the storm or storm season to be in compliance with local removal1 ordinances. The key is that the glass in those window systems needs to be impact resistant, which typically means using enhanced glass like laminated glass.


When considering how to enhance the performance of glass, few architectural products pack as much power as the simple laminated glass interlayer. Using Saflex® and Vanceva® polyvinyl butyral (PVB) interlayers in laminated glass provides many added benefits to glazing, including safety, security, storm protection, acoustic performance, and structural stability. In past decades, advanced interlayer products from companies like Eastman have furthered the science of interlayers. Many of these advanced interlayers can be combined into one laminated glass unit or incorporated as one or more lites of an insulating glass unit to provide strength, impact resistance for hurricanes, and security in applications such as schools and high-risk facilities.

The hygienic aspects of glass and ease and efficiency of cleaning versus more porous façades and wall coverings have also added to the appeal of using multifunctional glass. Glass surfaces are easy to clean with germicide and disinfecting solutions with virtually no impact on the durability of the glazing when following manufacturers’ recommended practices.

Another important attribute of multifunctional glass is found in aesthetics, which are highly valued. Since the glass edges are exposed to varying weather conditions, these interlayers have been designed to be robust, preserving the beautiful appearance. Acoustic and safety benefits as well as an impressive range of colors are also achieved using Saflex and Vanceva interlayer systems.


While trends come and go, multifunctional glass has long-lasting, impactful staying power


High-performance interlayers add to the stability, design flexibility, and adaptability of architectural glass. Meeting building codes and providing strength, sound damping, solar control, visual beauty, and impact resistance for safety, security, storm protection, and post-breakage performance are all attainable with laminated glass when using proper design. The multifunctional capabilities of Saflex and Vanceva PVB interlayers can help meet changing guidelines and building safety codes. In the 28 years since Hurricane Andrew, laminated glass for hurricane impact resistance has demonstrated its protection capability. Now, thanks to Saflex and Vanceva, coupling that capability with sound control, color options, solar control enhancements, and structural and security performance in a multifunctional glazing is not just easy to do—it’s a sought-after option that continues to grow in popularity.

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