PMX Guide To Solar Films
Solar films solve a number of glass-related problems commonly found in commercial and domestic buildings, including excessive heat, glare, privacy and fading issues.
Benefits for clients include improved productivity and morale, reduced energy consumption and significant improvements to the look of a building.
Selecting the correct film should always start with identifying the current pain points of the occupants.
Glare issues should be addressed with a fairly dark film with a visible light transmission (VLT) of 20% or less, whereas heat can be tackled with a medium or light film, especially if externally installed.
Recent technological advances include a range of nano-ceramic (also known as IR or Spectrally Selective) films which can be very light yet offer 99% UV reduction, as well as filtering infra-red heat.
A major advantage of nano-ceramic films is they are non-metalized which reduces surface reflectivity, making them ideal for showroom windows and museums.
Although silver is still the most commonly used finish, neutral-grey films are ideal if a discreet look is required but the client still requires high levels of glare, heat and privacy performance.
Alternatively, if the client wants to incorporate a radical approach there are colour finishes such as blue, green and gold that also provide excellent solar performance.
During selection, always ensure a film is compatible with the glazing type. Laminated and non-toughened glass may need an external application and partial installations (such as ‘sun-strips’) should be approached with caution due to contrasting absorption levels.
Solar Film Case Study
Glare and heat issues in an Uxbridge office building, on behalf of a large refurbishment and maintenance company.
We were asked to advise and quote for applying film to the front elevation as solar issues were affecting reception staff and visitors.
After a site survey we advised Silver 20 film which would accentuate the already tinted glass. The installation was carried out over a weekend to avoid disruption.