The Evolution of Commercial Glass


Evolution is inevitable; everything is destined to go through stages of refinement in order to create a more optimized version built to improve the overall user experience, for that particular era of time. Glass is no different.

Innovations over the past 30+ years have made the glass of today used for commercial purposes, something to marvel at:

‘By the 1980s, reflective glass and insulating glass units, as well as thermal barriers for aluminum frames, were quickly embraced. Thermal barriers in particular, evolved: from poured-and-debridged aluminum extrusions; to polyurethane-poured-and-debridged barriers; to the current state-of-the-art, polyamide-strip systems. The ultimate in efficiency was demonstrated by ultra-thermal curtain walls designed for extreme weather climates, with triple-glazing, thermal-barrier and back-pan design options.

Meanwhile, architects designed newer, taller glass buildings that stretched ever higher. From the Sears Tower of Chicago and the World Trade Center in New York City, later demolished by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, to other great buildings worldwide, high-rise construction required curtain-wall systems that included ease of fabrication, low installation costs, multiple inside or pre-installed glazing options, high thermal and structural performances and, of course, spectacular aesthetics.

For the North American glass industry, innovations on the horizon will most certainly include very low-heat-loss glazing. Insulation-filled glazing will result in highly insulating windows with novel transparent materials such as aerogel, honeycombs and capillary tubes. The drive for innovation also takes place in Europe, where passive solar applications incorporate such new products. Researchers experiment with switchable glass and shading systems to respond to an environmental signal. In the future, double-envelope window-wall systems will include variable optical and thermal properties. This technology has the potential to reduce peak electric loads in commercial buildings by 20-to-30 percent.’ (Bob Leyland,

Only time will tell exactly what the future will hold for the glass industry, but here at Cornwall Glass your Cornwall glass professional, we’ll always be committed to providing quality products/services, and be transparent about everything we’re doing.

Glass for commercial