Smart Glass walling for Buildings.
Glass as a walling element increases the aesthetic appeal for a building, be it residential , office or institutional usage.
Thickness of glass wall.
For large surfaces, this will require a thicker glass pane.
For smaller surfaces with closer glass frames, a thinner glass panel can be used.
Laminated glass has a thin layer of film on one side. This layer prevents glass from shatering in case of breakage eg car windscreens.
Lamination also improves security in that it becomes hard to break into a laminated glass wall.
Smart glass consists of 2 layers of glass with liquid crystal in between. When the button is switched on, current flows within the liquid crystal, forcing the crystals to align to the current, making it easy for light to pass through. When the button is off, the crystals get randomly scattered and arranged, creating an opaque glass wall.
See smart glass picture here
The liquid crystal can come in various colors and patterns.
Price ranges from usd 500 to 800 per m2 FOB China.
Smart foil has the same properties as smart glass. The foil is stuck on the glass . Using an on and off button, someone can change the glass from clear to opaque.
The price is same as for smart glass, usd 500 to usd 800 per m2 FOB China.
Advantage is that it comes on rolls and can easily be stuck on existing glass.
This ability to control clear/opaque abilities come in handy for the user to control their indoor privacy levels depending on the activities .
See video here
Indoor Temperature regulation.
Smart glass can be preset such that during the day, sunlight is allowed in until a certain preset temperature is reached.
At this temperature, the glass becomes opaque.
The glass then disallows heat to escape outside the room, keeping the indoors warm.
Using combination film on glass, light and heat is allowed in and heat is prevented from escaping from the room.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.