Ruth Slavid talks architecture

Glass buildings may have a future

Posted in glass by ruthslavid on March 27, 2012

Might there still be a future for the glass building? Amongst all the pronouncements that the glass building is dead because of environmental considerations, there is one manufacturer who is determined to prove this is not the case. Step forward Fraser Haran, chief executive of the Westcrowns Group. His company sells glass, so he is pretty worried about its disappearance.
He thinks he has come up with the answer though. Just add Lumira. This is the magic stuff sold by Cabot Corporation. It used to be called nanogel, until they decided that this was an inaccurate name that was starting to feel a little creepy. It is a fantastically good insulator, working differently from any other insulation (it is all about the nano-pores, not nano particles apparently) and is also translucent. Hence Haran’s interest.
He came up with the idea for using Lumira simply sandwiched between two glass panels. It would do away with the need for multiple layers of glass and for special coatings, so should actually be pretty affordable.
Haran is aiming at the retrofit market, and is investing in some serious research before making the much bigger investment in manufacturing. We are told now that buildings should be no more than 35 per cent glass. Haran wants the other bits. ‘I’m not competing with visibility,’ he says.

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