Glass is now among the most widely used construction materials in various types of architectural projects. What is the reason for its popularity? It creates many design possibilities, it can be a basic design element or bring out from the space its specific characteristics. However, the final effect, both visual and strictly functional, depends on its type. When it comes to innovative solutions, combining unique functional qualities and the highest level of aesthetics, active glass with variable translucency comes to the fore. How does it help redefine the outlook on designing exceptional interiors?
Variable transparency, constant privacy
Found in Saint-Gobain Glassolutions' range of active glass, PRIVA-LITE, which is manufactured in Poland, has been on the market for more than thirty years. Its main asset is the ability to provide the user with privacy on demand - at the touch of a button. It comes in four variants - PRIVA-LITE CLASSIC, PRIVA-LITE XL, PRIVA-LITE COLOR and the new version PRIVA-LITE SWITCH P. It is a laminated glass that consists of two sheets of de-ironed DIAMANT glass, joined by a film containing liquid crystals. Under the influence of an electric current, they become organized and the glass surface becomes fully transparent. When the power is cut off, it returns to its opaque state.
Another advantage of PRIVA-LITE active glass is that it provides a constant, extremely high level of access to daylight regardless of the state of translucency it is in - the difference in the level of light transmission (Lt) in ON/OFF mode is only 2% (75% for ON mode, 73% for OFF mode), which eliminates the need for additional interior illumination with artificial light. In this context, it is also worth mentioning that in transparent mode, PRIVA-LITE CLASSIC glass has a low haze level (Haze from 5.7%). PRIVA-LITE also guarantees excellent acoustic conditions, effectively suppressing sounds coming from outside - for glass of 55.4 (12 mm) construction, the Rw is even 38 dB.
As for the management of the transparency mode, the user can control it remotely, using a remote control, as well as a dedicated mobile app or, with the use of appropriate solutions, also by voice. The transparency change itself is soundless and takes less than 0.1 seconds. Importantly, in the case of PRIVA-LITE XL and PRIVA-LITE COLOR glass, the investor can take advantage of a new solution, which is the possibility of gradually dimming the glass - from full transparency, through translucency, to total opacity.
Headquarters of the French Association of Private Enterprises AFEP in Paris, photo: Saint-Gobain
Arrangement under complete control
Glass with variable translucency is a modern solution, allowing to create a unique design of the space, while affecting the comfort and functionality of its current use. At this point it should also be emphasized the versatility and many possibilities for its use, such as partitions, glazed doors, exterior windows, interior partitions and facades, as well as storefronts or glass floors. It will be perfect for the rearrangement of offices, where - due to new sanitary standards, as well as the increasing expectations of employees in terms of safety and hygiene after returning from home office - there is a gradual move away from open spaces of the open space type. With its help in the design of a house or apartment, we will also separate a private workspace conducive to efficiency and concentration, which, due to the remote or hybrid working model increasingly used by companies, is slowly becoming one of the requirements of investors.
PRIVA-LITE glass can be used even in the most complex architectural projects. It will work well in various types of spaces where privacy should play a key role. This is influenced, among other things, by the fact that it is available in a number of dimensional variants, reaching 1000x3750 or 1400x3500 mm for PRIVA-LITE CLASSIC, 1500x3500 mm for PRIVA-LITE SWITCH P, while in the PRIVA-LITE XL version - 1820x3500 mm. PRIVA-LITE glass also offers unlimited decorative possibilities - it is available in twelve different color variants, printed or bent glass. In opaque mode, it can be used as a rear projection screen, while also becoming an extremely visually appealing, interactive medium for advertising content.
DLJM building, Krakow, photo: Saint-Gobain
Ecological and safe
PRIVA-LITE also boasts extremely low power consumption. Depending on the type of glass, it can consume as little as 2.5W/sqm in translucent mode. Confirmation that this product meets the requirements of sustainable construction and, above all, the expectations of investors in terms of concern for the state of the environment, is the Environmental Product Declaration EPD, thanks to which the investment can apply for international green certificates such as WELL, LEED or BREEAM.
As for the safety aspect of the solution, PRIVA-LITE is impact resistant to Class 1B1 (EN 12600 for PRIVA-LITE 55.4), and as for the IP rating, it is IPX 7 (an IPX 4 option is also available). PRIVA-LITE glass is also characterized by a safety level in accordance with EN 356 (for PRIVA-LITE 55.4 it is P5A, while PRIVA-LITE 66.8 is class P6B). Depending on the variant, it exhibits Class I or Class II protection against electric shock, according to IEC 60950-1.
A proven solution
The sales network of PRIVA-LITE active glass now covers dozens of countries. The qualities of use and the extraordinary design possibilities offered by the use of PRIVA-LITE variable-transparency glass have led it to be used in projects in many countries around the world, for example, on the facade of one of the shopping malls in the city. It has been used in projects in many countries around the world, including the facade of a shopping center in Tokyo, numerous office buildings in the Middle East, the intensive care unit of Canisius Wilhelmina Hospital in the Netherlands, and dozens of projects in Poland - the DLJM office in Cracow and Kupper Glass in Gdansk.
Glass with variable translucency is the answer to today's market expectations. Due to its parameters, both in terms of guaranteeing a high level of access to light, privacy, hygiene, security or, last but not least, the possibility of immediate space management, it works well in both residential and public buildings. PRIVA-LITE will be the perfect complement to modern smart homes, as well as offices, hotels or hospitals. The possibilities for the use of active glass are limited only by the imagination of the architect.
Kupper Glass office in Gdansk, photo: Saint-Gobain
For more information, visit the company's Saint-Gobain Glass page on the PdA portal.