Tinted & Reflective Glass

Tinted and reflective glass types are designed to compliment building facades and improve solar performance.

Tinted and reflective glass types are designed to compliment building facades and improve solar performance. ITI Glass stocks tinted and reflective glasses from several suppliers.

With striking visual aesthetics, tinted and reflective glasses are widely specified for a variety of commercial glazing applications. Both products achieve improved solar performance values compared to clear glass, resulting in greater efficiency.

Reflective Surface Application and Aesthetic

Specifying a reflective coating on the inboard (second surface) or outboard (first surface) application changes the visual appearance of the glass. When reflective coatings are glazed facing inboard, the coating reflects less visible light. Inboard reflective coatings produce an understated, warmer reflective aesthetic with greater visibility of the tinted substrate. Outboard surface applications produce a crisp, metallic aesthetic that reflects greater amounts of visible light and mutes the color of the tinted substrate.

Building designers should consider the surface application of reflective coatings based on a project's desired aesthetic and solar performance. While inboard coatings reflect less visible light from the exterior, outboard coatings achieve better Solar Heat Gain Coefficient values and afford clearer views to the outside with less interior reflectance.

Comparing Reflective Glazings

There are many reflective glazings available in today’s architectural glass market. Each type can achieve specific aesthetic and performance goals for your project. Vistacool and Solarcool by PPG Industries are two distinct categories of reflective glazings fabricated by ITI Glass.

The relationship of transmittance and outdoor reflectance demonstrates the differences between Vistacool and Solarcool. As illustrated in the chart (below), Vistacool glazings transmit more visible light, resulting in higher natural daylighting than traditional reflective Solarcool glazings. First-surface Solarcool has a higher outdoor reflectance compared to Vistacool, which has a more understated reflective aesthetic.

PPG Vistacool

Vistacool is a subtly reflective, color-enriched glass that transmits more visible light than traditional reflective glass, achieving higher levels of natural daylighting.

Unlike traditional reflective glass, Vistacool has no mirror-like appearance. Instead, due to its color neutrality, the second-surface-only Vistacool coating amplifies the color of the glass substrate underneath, creating a crisp, clean exterior aesthetic. Its subtle reflectivity and also makes it ideal for harmonizing vision glas with non-vision spandrel glass.

» Vistacool Data Sheet (PDF)

PPG Solarcool

Solarcool is a traditional metallic-oxide reflective glass that provides maximum flexibility due to the durability of its coating.

The glass can be glazed with the reflective coating on the first or second surface of an insulating glass unit. When Solarcool is installed with the coating on the first surface, the glass has higher exterior reflectivity, and improved performance with a lower solar heat gain coefficient. When installed with the coating on the second surface, the glass has lower exterior reflectivity and maintains the substrate glass color.

» Solarcool Ocean-Inspired Series Data Sheet (PDF)
» Solarcool Nature-Inspired Series Data Sheet (PDF)

Spectrally Selective

The United States Department of Energy states any glass that achieves a light to solar gain (LSG) ratio of 1.25 or greater is spectrally selective, a desirable characteristic for buildings in climates. Uncoated clear glass and many darker tints cannot achieve this performance mark. Spectrally-selective performance is achieved by some tinted and reflective glasses. PPG Industries' line of spectrally-selective tinted glasses includes Azuria (1.56 LSG), Atlantica (1.50 LSG) and Green (or Solexia, 1.41 LSG).