Guardian’s latest advanced architectural glass products are front-and-center at the company’s newly expanded Science and Technology Center (STC) in Carleton, Mich. The STC is one of the company’s driving forces behind its commitment to innovation that creates value for its customers and delivers products that improve people’s lives.

With this 27,000-square-foot addition, the STC can accelerate the rate of product design and development. Highlights include a full-size vacuum coater, a glass product showcase wall, an electrically wired, full-scale demonstration wall for advanced glazing technologies, and an upgraded and expanded laboratory space.

Of particular note on the addition is the cutting-edge curtain wall designed to achieve net zero energy results using Guardian’s high performance commercial glass products, SunGuard SNX 51/23, SunGuard Spandrel HT, and building-integrated photovoltaic panels.                     

“This high-performance building is a working demonstration of Guardian’s commitment to advancing glass technology,” said Sheldon Davis, vice president of research and development at Guardian Industries Corp. “We have built the exterior walls using our next-generation low-E glass—SunGuard SNX 51/23—along with electricity-generating photovoltaic glass. There are very few buildings today with this kind of facade technology.”

Independent Guardian Glazier Connection member Bagatelos Architectural Glass Systems designed and installed the façade system, which includes a full-size working model of Bagatelos Net Zero Envelope.

“All of the possibilities that are available today to tune a wall are available for integration onto the STC building,” said Bagatelos President Nick Bagatelos.“The walls can be used to gather information on current products that are available, or new product concepts.”

“The project was exciting and fun because of the technical complexity of the job, and the opportunity to collaborate with a group of cutting-edge scientists from the STC,” he adds. “It’s not every day, as a glazier, that you have the opportunity to work with such a talented set of people.” 

Fabricated by independent Guardian SelectFabricator Thompson I.G., the building features thermally broken curtain wall, energy-dense vertical wall PV, rooftop PV and high performance glass to tune the performance per elevation: Guardian SunGuard SNX 51/23 contributes 51 percent visible light transmission and a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.23 to that performance.

No other commercial glass on clear float produced in North America today offers this much light with so little heat. And the beautiful, glossy black spandrel on the south façade is one of the first applications for the new Guardian SunGuard Spandrel HT. PV modules are also installed in the spandrel area to increase the building’s energy efficiency.

“This investment in glass innovation is going to create value for Guardian and our customers for a long time to come,” said Chris Dolan, director of marketing, North America, Guardian Industries Corp. “The wall is extremely flexible and will accommodate multiple sizes of low-E and advanced glazing insulated glass units. It will allow Guardian to easily change out and test different glazing technologies.”

The company’s InGlass interior products are also featured as part of the STC addition on applications from tables to white boards, credenzas to countertops. These include Guardian Reveal switchable privacy glass, Guardian DiamondGuard—which protects glass from scratching up to 10 times longer than ordinary glass, and Berman Glass editions, patterned glass designs created by renowned glass artist Joel Berman and exclusively manufactured and distributed by the company.

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