Design Open and Secure Spaces with Smart Glass Technology

How can you design an open, connected space that is also safe and secure? Smart glass makes spaces feel bigger and brighter while providing privacy on demand. Learn how Smart Glass enhances security in schools, offices and public spaces.

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In today’s world safety and security are paramount when designing shared spaces such as schools, hospitals, airports and government buildings. Pandemics and acts of violence pose a threat to public spaces and designers and architects must keep this in mind. However, there is also an increased demand for openness, large windows, natural light and high ceilings in modern design. This creates a design paradox and has us asking ‘How do we balance the benefits of connectedness and transparency with the need for safety and security?’

One solution is to implement switchable glass technology. Smart glass is a building material that instantly transforms from transparent to opaque with the flick of a switch, providing privacy on demand. This adds an invisible layer of security to spaces that is not imposing or limiting for designers. 

Here are four advantages of designing with Smart Glass:

Instant Privacy

The most obvious advantage of smart glass technology is the ability to instantly achieve privacy. This adds unprecedented design value to vulnerable areas and lockdown procedures. Closing curtains or blinds wastes precious time in the event of an emergency. With smart glass technology, glass surfaces change to frosted in a fraction of a second (0.01 seconds to be exact). The remainder of the time, the glass can be transparent and foster a sense of connectedness in schools and public spaces.

Hygienic and Easy to Clean

Smart glass can enhance health and safety by acting as a physical barrier but not a visual one. The glass is clear when powered on, allowing natural light to flow through but not large respiratory droplets. Whenever privacy is required, the glass is simply switched to opaque, eliminating the need for curtains or blinds. The glass can be controlled contactlessly via voice and smartphone, this further minimizes contamination risk when compared with traditional window coverings that need to be touched to be altered. 

Cleaning smart glass is easy, it is cleaned with glass cleaner or alcohol just like regular glass. Smart glass and film can be cleaned multiple times per day to ensure surfaces stay as clean as possible. In contrast, curtains need to be removed to be cleaned thoroughly. 

Soundproofing Properties

In addition to providing privacy, smart glass and smart film dampen sound. Laminated switchable glass is manufactured by sandwiching PDLC film between two pieces of glass. This makes it more difficult for sound to pass through the glass. The degree of soundproofing can be increased by increasing the thickness and airspace in insulated glass units (IGUs).  Noise reduction makes switchable glass ideal for schools, noisy offices, government buildings and interrogation rooms. 

Non-Intrusive & Elegant

The best part about PDLC technology is it’s subtlety. While other security enhancing procedures can feel imposing and even ominous, smart glass simply looks like glass. This is especially important for schools and universities, where designs should promote a positive learning environment while protecting students and staff in the event of a lockdown. Smart glass provides additional security without serving as a constant reminder of the possibility of a school shooting and creating unnecessary anxiety. 

Any type of glass can be made switchable through our lamination process or the application of our Smart Film product. Our standard Smart Glass is stronger than regular glass thanks to the addition of the PDLC layer and the two glass panels laminated together. We can create switchable glass panels with bulletproof glass, blast resistant glass, fire rated glass and virtually any other type of glass you may require. We can also add protective coatings to our glass products such as antimicrobial coatings that further minimize the spread of pathogens on glass surfaces. 

Contact us  today to design smarter and more secure spaces with our premium quality switchable glass products. 

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