Architects often compete to design the tallest buildings. In major cities around the world there are no shortages of buildings that exceed 60, 70 or even 100 stories. Issues like energy consumption and sustainability are magnified in tall buildings, and they are beginning to change the way tall buildings are designed.
Glass is the current go-to material for “skinning” a tall building. It offers some obvious advantages, but it brings with it challenges that aren’t faced by less transparent architectural designs. Outside of safety, energy consumption is probably the number one concern of architects when proposing a new building. Building owners, cities and tenants are no longer just looking at the cost to build a tower. They want assurances that the cost of operating in the space is manageable, and that the space will be comfortable over the long haul.
Glass has the ability to trap heat. That might be a valuable quality, but heat also rises, so the top floors of a building may become unbearably hot without significant air conditioning. The power needed to cool spaces becomes a real concern because it not only makes the space more expensive to occupy, but it also (eventually) requires power companies to provide additional power generating capacity, or to buy power on the commodity market.
Building more power plants isn’t always an option, and power companies are feeling the pressure from governments to reduce carbon emissions, so that countries can comply with carbon emissions treaty agreements. In addition, developing countries are beginning to modernize their infrastructure. With that modernization comes an increase in consumption.
One effective way to reduce power consumption is to use specialized glass coatings to retain visible light while rejecting the light frequencies that promote solar heat gain. Glassprimer™ glass paint is a specially engineered paint that’s designed to bond permanently with glass surfaces. It offers exceptional UV protection and will not chip, fade or peel, even in direct sunlight. It can be used in both residential and commercial applications, and it is suitable for interior or exterior use.
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Photo Credit: DGriebeling, via Flickr.com