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Performance Coatings & Retail

We are all familiar with performance coatings to maximize solar and thermal efficiency, but new coatings continue to become available and influence the market. Find out how to optimize storefronts with coatings and garner a high-end look.


Download this handy 1-page information sheet!

The topics to discuss with retail partners:


Glass thickness is driven by wind load and size. Thicker glass will slightly reduce thermal loss due to conduction, but it is not significant. Laminated glass does not bring more insulation than monolithic.


Creating a cavity between two pieces of glass vastly improves thermal efficiency. This is because dry air is 55 times less thermally conductive than glass. With an Insulated Glazed Unit (IGU) you greatly reduce the thermal conductivity.

Single glaze Double Glazed Triple Glazed
U Value (BTU/h ft² °F) 1.0 0.5 0.3
Improvement Baseline 50% 70%
Surface T° room side (Outside=0°F) 16°F 44°F 53° F


Adding a metallic coating inside an IGU reduces radiation (i.e. heat) losses.  There are two factors to consider:

  • Low-e will reflect long infrared (heat energy) back toward the interior.
  • Solar control low-e will also cut the energy coming from the sun that is prone to heating a room due to the greenhouse effect.
Double glaze with low-e #3 Double glaze with Solar control low-e #2 Double glaze with Solar control low-e #2 and argon
U Value (BTU/h ft² °F) 0.29 0.28 0.24
Solar heat gain (max value 1) 0.57 0.29 0.29
Surface T° room side (Outside=0°F) 53° F 54° F 56° F


Argon is less thermally conductive than air, therefore, it further increases the thermal efficiency.


Larger storefronts require thick glass. Using regular clear, a noticeable greenish tint will be evident. The retail industry continues to adopt the use of ultra-clear glass to remove tint and improve light transmission, resulting in greater visibility into and out of the storefront.

Advancement in coating technology now brings museum-quality anti-reflective (AR) coatings to large storefronts. This means that customers will see inside the store instead of seeing the outside surroundings and visual clutter. A study, undertaken by Guardian Glass, showed an 18% increase in people who stopped in front of an anti-reflective coated storefront. Using a product such as Guardian Glass’ Clarity reduces the reflection to less than 1%.

½” Clear glass ½” Ultra-clear glass ½” Ultra-clear laminate with Clarity AR
Light transmission 87% 90% 96%
Front Light reflection 8% 8% <1%
Colour rendering index (Ra) 96.7 99.4 98.1