By Michael Mancini
Window film as a building retrofit solution can be one of the quickest and simplest energy conservation measures available, as well as the most cost effective.
Here are five reasons facility executives should consider window film when developing or revamping their buildings:
- Energy Conservation: Managing a facility often comes with large utility bills. Keeping the building cool in the summer and warm in the winter is not an easy or cheap task. Up to 30% of any building’s cooling and heating load is through windows. Installing window film reduces the stress on a facility’s HVAC system. Many films block up to 80 percent of the sun’s heat, helping to cut cooling costs. Professionally installed window film can also reduce a facility’s heating needs in the winter by helping to maintain interior warmth. Over time, window film goes a long way in conserving energy for facilities of all sizes.
- Safety and Security: Windows and doors are the most vulnerable parts of any building. They are easy points of entry for people who may mean harm to the occupants, the building itself, or its contents. Glass is an inviting target for vandals intent on mischief or worse. Protecting the inhabitants of any facility is as important as the business practices going on inside. When professionally installed safety film is added, the glass doesn’t shatter, delaying the intruder’s entrance, and allowing local authorities to get to the scene in a timely matter. It also reduces the impact of a nearby blast or natural disaster, by holding the glass together and preventing dangerous shards of glass from flying about.
As with any safety measure, there are limitations to what the product can do. Today’s safety films are marketed and thoroughly tested for improving glass performance for safety glazing, intrusion, extreme weather conditions, and blast mitigation. However, although film can reduce glass hazards upon initial impact and slow the intrusion process, with repeated impacts they will eventually allow access, as do many anti-intrusion products.
- Health and Comfort: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends solar control window film to protect healthy skin and prevent premature aging. Window film lets natural daylight in, but blocks up to 99% of the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays, and up to 80% of the sun’s heat protecting the building’s occupants and preventing interior furnishings from fading. Employees are also more productive and comfortable thanks to window film reducing solar glare, not only on their computer screens but throughout the entire building.
- Green Benefits: Nearly 75% of windows are not energy efficient, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Replacing windows is often considered when revamping a facility, but it’s not always the best choice. Window film installation costs a fraction of new window replacement, and accomplishes many of the same goals, as well as going a long way in reducing a building’s carbon footprint.
- Aesthetics: Window film can improve the aesthetics of any commercial building. By improving the look of dated windows with film, the whole building will appear as though it had a modern facelift. Many manufacturers also offer decorative films that can add style, privacy and create a unique interior design. With certain styles of decorative films, facility executives can even achieve the look of etched glass at a fraction of the cost.
Professionally installed window film provides an array of benefits for facilities and their occupants. When choosing a window film provider, make sure you work with a company that’s experienced. A professional installer will be able to determine if there are unique or unusual circumstances within your facility that would make one film choice better than another.
Michael Mancini is the director of marketing for Madico, Inc. in St. Petersburg, FL.