Setting the standard for vacuum glass

News Item
16 Nov 2015
An international standard for vacuum glass products such as Pilkington Spacia™ is in development to fill a gap in the standardisation framework. This should help establish minimum requirements and make it easier for architects to specify these products on projects.

The group tasked with delivering the standard is Working Group 10 of International Standards Organisation (ISO) Technical Committee 160 for glass in building. Reflecting the global appeal of vacuum glass – also referred to as vacuum insulating glass – there has been input from experts in Japan, China, Australia, the USA and several countries in Europe. These experts have represented manufacturers, test laboratories, research institutes and universities, bringing knowledge, experience and data from a wide range of backgrounds.

The scope of Part 1 of ISO 19916 includes defining a method for determining the U value and g value (or, solar factor) and introducing durability tests. Further parts of the standard are envisaged in the future, addressing characteristics such as mechanical strength.
Phil Brown, Technical Advisory Service Manager for Pilkington United Kingdom Limited and Secretary of the Working Group, explains the background to the standard.

“There is increasing interest in vacuum glass, particularly to improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings. Existing standards do not adequately cover this product. In some countries, standards organisations and trade associations have been looking at standards and guidelines for vacuum glass, but what is needed is one globally-recognised standard. ISO accepted this argument and the Working Group is working hard to deliver within the three-year timeframe.”

A draft document is expected to be agreed by the Working Group in the first half of 2016 for possible publication in 2017.

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