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Ballistic Glazing UL 752 Level 2

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Our Solutions

Riot Glass® retrofit systems consist of custom-made security glass and framing designs that provide maximum protection against forced entry and ballistic threats.

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Forced Entry

Virtually unbreakable retrofit solutions

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Ideal protection against active threats

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Hurricane & Windstorm

Great protection against storm damage

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Energy Efficiency

Sustainable, reliable and affordable Low-E solutions

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Blast Mitigation

Security window film to a complete retrofit

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Window glazing ideal for blocking external noise

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Our Clientele

Riot Glass® can be used to secure any building. Virtually invisible yet nearly indestructible, it blends seamlessly in almost any existing window, door, or

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The Benefits of Using Security Glass for Sustainable Commercial Architecture

Written By: Brad CampbellJune 7, 2023

Sustainable commercial architecture, also referred to as green architecture and environmentally-friendly architecture, aims to reduce the carbon footprints of commercial buildings and lessen their negative impact on the environment.

Although sustainable architecture is not a new concept, it has gained more popularity in recent years, and commercial building owners and architects alike are increasingly looking for ways to make their buildings more green, especially in terms of energy efficiency.

While security glass is primarily designed to increase the safety and security of commercial buildings by protecting people and property against various threats, it can also be used to improve a building’s overall sustainability.

security glass for sustainable architecture

How To Use Security Glass for Sustainable Architecture

When it comes to making commercial buildings more energy efficient using security glass, there are a few main ways you can do so:

  1. Retrofit security glazing over existing glass doors and windows
  2. Install security insulating glass units (IGUs)
  3. Use security glass with low-emissivity (low-e) coatings

Retrofitting security glazing over existing glass surfaces

One of the most cost-effective ways to improve the energy efficiency of commercial buildings is to retrofit security glazing over all the existing exterior glass.

When you retrofit security glazing over existing glass, there’s no need to remove and replace doors and windows or their framing systems.

Certain types of security glazing can be fixed into or onto existing framing systems using retrofittable framing adapters. 

When you do this you’re essentially adding a pane of glass, which improves the energy efficiency of doors and windows by making it harder for hot and cold air to pass through them.

In other words, you could use security glazing to turn a single-pane window into a double-pane window. 

Windows with more panes of glass and some air space between the panes reduce solar heat gain (infrared heat from the sun coming through windows) and insulate better, thereby reducing your reliance on heating and cooling systems and cutting down on your property’s energy use.

Installing security IGUs

Another way to make commercial facilities more green with security glass is by using security IGUs, such as ArmorPlast® IGUs.

These unique insulating glass units combine the energy efficiency and insulating properties of standard IGUs with virtually unbreakable ArmorPlast® security glazing.

The ArmorPlast® glazing goes on the outside of the insulating units to protect against impacts and security threats, while the inside surface can be made of security glass, tempered safety glass, or standard annealed glass.

armorplast igu

ArmorPlast® security IGUs can be used in new construction or to upgrade existing doors and windows. 

As with adding a sheet of security glazing on top of existing glass surfaces, these self-contained IGUs improve energy efficiency because of the two panes of glazing and the insulating space between them.

Additionally, ArmorPlast® security IGUs contain a Riot Glass® shock spacer, which helps the glazing disperse the force of impacts towards the edges of the windows even more efficiently.

Using security glass with low-e coatings

A third way to use security glass for sustainable commercial architecture is to install security glazing with low-emissivity coatings.

Low-e coatings on security glass are designed to reflect infrared and ultraviolet light, which helps reduce the amount of heat that is transmitted through the glass. Low-e coatings also help trap warm air inside, insulating buildings better in cold weather.

By reflecting solar heat and preventing warm air from escaping through windows, security glass with low-e coatings can help commercial buildings shrink their carbon footprints by reducing their energy consumption related to running HVAC systems.

low e windows

Summary of how to use security glass for sustainable architecture:

  • Three main ways to make commercial buildings more energy efficient with security glass:
    • Retrofitting sheets of security glazing over existing glass surfaces
    • Installing self-contained security IGUs 
    • Using security glass with low-e coatings
  • Retrofitting security glazing over existing glass surfaces is a cost-effective way to improve energy efficiency by adding a pane of glazing
  • Installing ArmorPlast® security IGUs combines the energy efficiency of IGUs with the high security of virtually unbreakable security glazing
  • Security glass can be used in new sustainable construction or to upgrade existing doors and windows
  • Security glass with low-e coatings reduces the amount of heat transmitted through glass and helps trap warm air inside
  • All of these methods can help commercial buildings reduce their reliance on heating and cooling systems to shrink their carbon footprints and cut down on energy consumption

Other Benefits of Using Security Glass in Sustainable Commercial Architecture

Besides making commercial buildings more green in order to achieve the sustainability goals of building owners and architects, there are many other reasons to use security glass. These include:

  • Commercial security glass protects against a full range of security threats and safety risks:
    • Forced entry
    • Burglary
    • Smash-and-grab theft
    • Rioting and looting
    • Vandalism
    • Storm damage
    • Blast damage
    • Accidental impacts
    • Active threats
  • Security glazing doesn’t shatter into sharp, jagged pieces if broken (reduces the risks of glass-related injuries)
  • Security glass can help mitigate noise pollution by blocking outdoor noise
  • Security glazing is less likely to require repair and replacement than tempered or annealed glass

The primary purpose of commercial security glazing is to protect people and property against the many day-to-day threats that all types of commercial properties are at risk for. It does this by providing access denial, or in other words, keeping bad guys out.

Whether it’s for retail burglary and smash-and-grab theft protection or active threat mitigation in schools, government facilities, and religious buildings, implementing security glazing is the best way to secure vulnerable doors and windows against would-be intruders.

Security glazing also reduces the risk of glass-related injury due to windows breaking from storm damage, blast damage, and other impacts (whether accidental or intentional).

Unlike standard annealed glass, which breaks apart into sharp, dangerous shards that can fly inwards and cause serious injury, security glazing maintains its form, even if it cracks, spalls, or gets riddled by bullets.

Another extra benefit of using security glass to make buildings more energy efficient is that adding extra panes of glazing and insulating spaces between glazing helps block out noise, such as that from traffic, airplanes flying overhead, or construction.

Lastly, security glazing is less prone to breaking or getting damaged than other types of commercial glass, so it’s less likely to require repair and replacement. This even contributes to sustainability by reducing the materials required to maintain commercial buildings over time.

Make Your Commercial Building More Sustainable with Riot Glass

At Riot Glass, LLC we work with commercial building owners and architects to improve the security and sustainability of their buildings all at once.

Contact us today!

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