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Can U Believe it? Award-winning Pilkington Spacia™ Sets New Performance Standard

3 Oct 2012

The latest results from independent tests at leading Notified Body IFT Rosenheim confirm Pilkington Spacia™ achieves a U-value of 1.1W/m2K. At just 6.5mm thick, this means it offers the best energy efficiency performance by far in a mass-produced ‘slim’ glazing product, setting a new standard for both ‘Heritage’ style double glazing and other specialised applications across the glazing industry.


The world’s first commercially-available vacuum glazing product, Pilkington Spacia™ was voted ‘Product of the Year’ at last year’s World Architecture News Awards for its strong energy efficiency performance and versatility.


Following the win, IFT Rosenheim subjected a sample of Pilkington Spacia™ to ‘hot plate’ testing in a controlled lab environment. These tests determined the new U-value of 1.1, lower than the 1.4 previously listed. This result has been confirmed by ‘in situ’ evaluations run by Changeworks at Archibald Place in Edinburgh, which established a U-value range of between 0.9 and 1.1


The independent Changeworks evaluations pitted Pilkington Spacia™ against a wide range of slim profile glazing products installed at the site. Pilkington Spacia™ outperformed all other ranges, with the next best competitor product only achieving a real-world U-value of 1.7


Changeworks also established another important benefit of Pilkington Spacia™. When transported by normal means via container ship, analysis demonstrated it contained the lowest embodied energy of all slim profile glazing products evaluated. This is because it does not use noble gases such as xenon or krypton for cavity filling, which require high energy input for extraction & processing. This means that Pilkington Spacia™ is an alternative, greener option than the xenon and krypton filled insulating glass unit (IGU) ranges currently on the market.


Tony Smith, UK Business Development Manager for the NSG Group, said “We’re delighted that the IFT Rosenheim test has confirmed this improved U-value figure. The ‘Product of the Year’ win was based on the assumption that Pilkington Spacia™ had a U-value of 1.4. This independent confirmation by lab test and in situ measurement of a U-value of just 1.1 goes to show just how far ahead of the rest of the field it is. We’re all very proud that it continues to offer our customers and end users such strong energy efficiency performance in such a thin and versatile IGU.”


Pilkington Spacia™ consists of an outer pane of energy efficiency glass and an inner pane of clear float glass, separated by a vacuum cavity of just 0.2mm. A Pilkington Spacia™ IGU has a thickness of just 6.5mm, compared to 24/28mm for standard double glazing IGUs. The vacuum also offers improved sound insulation performance compared to single pane glass of similar thickness, and depending on temperature and humidity may also have a significant effect on lowering the onset of condensation on the glazing.


This means it offers a new solution to help improve energy efficiency performance and comfort levels where frame limits are a consideration. It can blend almost seamlessly into any façade, in keeping with original building designs where conventional double glazing will not fit or where secondary glass panels are not appropriate.

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