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In today’s world, energy efficiency has become a key focus in the design and construction of buildings. With the rising costs of energy and the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions, finding innovative solutions to optimise energy consumption is essential. Intelligent glass, also known as smart glass or switchable glass, has emerged as a ground breaking technology that not only enhances the aesthetics of buildings but also significantly contributes to energy savings.

What is Intelligent Glass?

Intelligent glass refers to a type of glass that can change its properties, such as transparency and insulation, in response to external stimuli. This glass is typically equipped with a special coating or embedded with tiny particles that can be activated to alter its appearance or performance. The transformation of intelligent glass can be controlled manually, automatically, or through a combination of both.

How Does Intelligent Glass Work?

The working principle of intelligent glass involves the use of innovative technologies, such as electrochromism, thermochromism, or suspended particle devices (SPD). These technologies enable the glass to change its properties by applying an electric current, altering the temperature, or adjusting the alignment of suspended particles within the glass.

When an electrical voltage is applied to the intelligent glass, the particles in the glass align themselves, allowing light to pass through and making the glass transparent. Conversely, when the voltage is turned off, the particles disperse, scattering light and rendering the glass opaque or translucent. This dynamic control over transparency enables intelligent glass to adapt to different lighting conditions, providing an optimal balance between natural light and privacy.

The Benefits of Intelligent Glass 

Energy Efficiency

One of the most significant advantages of intelligent glass is its ability to contribute to energy savings in buildings. By adjusting the transparency and insulation properties of windows, intelligent glass can reduce the need for artificial lighting, heating, and cooling. This, in turn, leads to lower energy consumption and reduced utility bills.

Natural Light Optimisation

Intelligent glass allows buildings to harness the power of natural light while minimising glare and heat gain. By automatically adapting to changing daylight conditions, intelligent glass ensures a comfortable and well-lit environment without compromising energy efficiency.

Privacy Control

Privacy is a crucial aspect of any building, whether it’s a home, an office, or a public space. Intelligent glass offers a convenient solution by allowing occupants to switch between transparent and opaque modes with a simple control mechanism. This feature is particularly valuable in areas where privacy is needed, such as meeting rooms, bathrooms, or bedrooms.

Sound Insulation

In addition to its energy-saving properties, intelligent glass also provides excellent sound insulation. The advanced technologies used in intelligent glass help dampen external noise, creating a quieter and more peaceful indoor environment.

UV Protection

Intelligent glass can effectively filter out harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun. This helps protect furniture, artwork, and other interior elements from fading or deteriorating due to prolonged sun exposure. UV protection also contributes to a healthier indoor environment by reducing the risk of skin damage caused by excessive UV radiation.

Intelligent Glass in Residential Buildings

The application of intelligent glass in residential buildings offers numerous benefits for homeowners. Let’s explore how it can transform the way we live and enhance our comfort and well-being.

Reducing Energy Consumption

By incorporating intelligent glass into windows, residential buildings can achieve significant energy savings. The glass automatically adjusts its tint based on the intensity of sunlight, reducing the need for artificial cooling during hot summer days and minimising heat loss during colder seasons.

Enhancing Comfort and Well-being

Intelligent glass creates a more pleasant living environment by optimising natural light and reducing glare. It allows homeowners to enjoy panoramic views without compromising privacy. The dynamic control over transparency also helps regulate indoor temperature, ensuring a comfortable and cozy atmosphere year-round.

Intelligent Glass in Commercial Buildings

The benefits of intelligent glass extend beyond residential applications. In commercial buildings, where energy efficiency and productivity are of utmost importance, intelligent glass can make a substantial difference.

Creating Sustainable Workspaces

Intelligent glass enables commercial buildings to reduce their carbon footprint and meet sustainability goals. By optimising natural light and minimising the reliance on artificial lighting and HVAC systems, intelligent glass contributes to a more eco-friendly and cost-effective workplace.

Increasing Productivity

A well-designed workspace has a direct impact on employee productivity and well-being. Intelligent glass plays a crucial role in creating a comfortable and inspiring work environment. The access to natural light, privacy control, and sound insulation provided by intelligent glass can lead to increased productivity, reduced stress levels, and improved employee satisfaction.

Successful Applications of Intelligent Glass

To showcase the real-world applications of intelligent glass, let’s explore a few scenarios where this innovative technology has been successfully implemented.

Office Buildings

In an office building located in a bustling city centre, intelligent glass was installed to regulate the amount of natural light entering the workspace. The glass automatically adjusted its tint throughout the day, ensuring optimal lighting conditions while reducing the need for artificial lighting. As a result, the building achieved significant energy savings and created a more pleasant working environment for employees.


Hospitals require a balance between privacy, natural light, and patient comfort. Intelligent glass has been widely adopted in hospital designs to address these needs. By allowing patients and medical staff to control the transparency of windows, intelligent glass enhances privacy while still providing access to natural light. The ability to switch between transparent and opaque modes also facilitates a soothing and healing environment for patients.

Educational Institutions

Intelligent glass has found its way into educational institutions, where it offers multifaceted benefits. In classrooms, it helps optimise natural light, reduce distractions, and create a focused learning environment. In libraries or study areas, intelligent glass provides privacy for students while preserving a connection to the surrounding spaces. Overall, intelligent glass contributes to a better educational experience for both students and teachers.

Intelligent Glass: Cost and Installation

The cost of intelligent glass can vary depending on factors such as the size of the installation, the type of technology used, and the customisation options. While intelligent glass may have a higher upfront cost compared to traditional windows, its long-term energy-saving benefits and durability make it a wise investment.

Installation of intelligent glass should be carried out by professionals experienced in working with this specialised technology. The process involves carefully fitting the glass panels and connecting them to the control system. It is crucial to ensure proper calibration and functionality to maximise the performance of intelligent glass.

Future Trends in Intelligent Glass Technology

As technology continues to advance, the future of intelligent glass holds exciting possibilities. Some emerging trends include:

  • Integration with smart home systems: Intelligent glass can be seamlessly integrated with smart home automation systems, allowing users to control their windows through voice commands or smartphone apps.
  • Energy generation capabilities: Researchers are exploring ways to incorporate energy generation technologies, such as solar cells or thermoelectric devices, into intelligent glass, making it not just energy-efficient but also capable of producing electricity.
  • Enhanced customisation options: Intelligent glass manufacturers are working on providing a wider range of customisation options, including different tint colours, patterns, and levels of opacity, allowing for greater design flexibility.

In conclusion, intelligent glass is revolutionising the way we interact with our built environment. Its ability to adapt to changing conditions, optimise natural light, and contribute to energy savings makes it an invaluable asset for both residential and commercial buildings. By incorporating intelligent glass, we can create more sustainable, comfortable, and productive spaces that align with our energy efficiency goals.

Who We Are

Tecdur is the leading manufacturer of smart glass for the UK and Ireland. Tecdur Switchable Glass provides the best clarity, lowest power consumption and lowest haze currently available.  We can offer a wide range of specifications to meet project requirements with our switchable glass, cost is dependent on specification, application and design. Please get in contact with us to discuss further.

Please visit our portfolio for a look at completed projects. Keep up to date on our LinkedIn Showcase page

Frequently asked Questions

Our privacy glass works by utilising advanced PDLC (Polymer Dispersed Liquid Crystal) film. When an electrical current is applied, the liquid crystal molecules align, allowing light to pass through, making the glass transparent. When the current is switched off, the molecules mis-align, causing the glass to turn opaque or translucent, providing privacy.

Yes, intelligent glass can be retrofitted into existing windows, making it a viable option for renovations or upgrades.

Yes, intelligent glass is designed to perform well in various climate conditions, providing insulation in cold climates and minimising heat gain in hot climates.

Intelligent glass generally requires minimal maintenance. Regular cleaning using non-abrasive solutions and soft cloths is usually sufficient to keep it in good condition.

Yes, intelligent glass can be used in outdoor applications, such as glass facades or skylights, to provide dynamic control over natural light and privacy.

The lifespan of intelligent glass can vary depending on the manufacturer and specific product. However, with proper installation and maintenance, it can last for many years, providing long-term benefits.

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