Breathing Life Back into an Old Office Building: A Case Study on Retrofitting Glass

Architecture, today, is exceeding the limits of imagination with the help of science and technology. Where once glass was a mere brittle material for windows now lies a plethora of possibilities in manufacturing and processing extremely functional glass for sound reduction, security, privacy, aesthetics, and most importantly, heat reduction. But the buck doesn’t stop here.
It is also possible to optimize the dysfunctional glass systems of existing and functioning buildings with a special variant of glass such as the AIS Renew which completely transforms the energy consumption scenario of the space. Retrofitting buildings is a specialty at AIS, and it is precisely what we achieved for the 6-storied office building which is the focus of our case study.
It is no doubt that solar and thermal control glass products are any architect’s go-to solutions for creating an energy efficient space. And energy efficiency is the primary requirement of an office where creating the most comfortable and sustainable environment for employees is paramount for productivity.
A six-storied office building featuring glazed windows prominently was facing issues due to increased energy consumption. The requirement was to convert the windows into more energy efficient envelopes, thus enabling visual and thermal comfort. However, converting an old/existing building built with a low performance glass by the traditional method of pulling down the existing glass façade and building afresh is very expensive.

In order to tackle this problem without disturbing and interfering with the day-to-day functioning of the building, the AIS technical team proposed our retrofitting solution, AIS Renew, as part of the AIS 4G solutions. AIS Renew is a unique product which is attached on top of an existing glass window and converts it into an energy saving insulated glass window – all in no time at all.
In order to do this, a particular AIS Renew glass model (Ecosense Exceed as mentioned in the table above) was compared against pared with clear 6 mm glass used in the existing building. An analysis was done on the basis of shade, visible light transmission, solar heat gain coefficient, and U-value.
Further, a building-specific climate simulation was also performed for the existing glass and AIS Renew glass. The results of this analysis are mentioned below.


As is clear from the reference table, AIS Renew with Ecosense Exceed performed better than the clear single glazed units and double glazed units in terms of cooling energy reduction ratio % and radiant temperature.  In brief, selecting AIS Renew for retrofitting would result in:

  1. Reduced solar gain in summer thereby reaching the set temperature sooner, thus reducing the load on AC operation.
  2. Insulation of the building against heat due to its lower U-value by influencing long wave infrared radiation while keeping the space cool in summer and warm in winter.
  3. A shorter payback period compared to extra glass cost which would have been used for replacement.

Thus, with a thoroughly scientific analysis of the retrofit, glass manufacturers like AIS ensure the most ideal retrofitting glass solution for your office building, resulting in substantial energy, cost and time savings.

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