Glass Industry News

The EU COVID Recovery Plan includes more than €750 billion for an ecological transition

, NSG Pilkington

Glass products that reduce pollutants and save water and electricity can make a major contribution to this common effort.

The global situation is far from rosy. Not only have CO2 emissions largely exceeded the pre-pandemic values, but also the pollutants caused by human activities are often above acceptable threshold levels, especially in areas where difficult landscapes and geographical characteristics may cause particular problems.

Moreover, in our towns and cities, traffic and central heating release dangerous pollutants into the atmosphere, primarily nitrogen oxides, widely known as NOx.

Worryingly, a new study suggests that exposure to these nitrogen oxides and particulate matter in childhood may cause mental illness and disorders in early adulthood.

Tests verifying the photocatalytic action of Pilkington Activ™, the first glass to be certified for its self-cleaning performance, show it can make a major contribution towards reducing NOx levels in the atmosphere. 

It is a well-known fact that the titanium dioxide coating on the glass uses the action of sunlight to decompose organic dirt, and then the hydrophilic behaviour facilitates its removal by the next rainfall.

Additionally, the Pilkington Activ™ coating is able to break down nitrogen oxides. For example, on a 2,500 m2 Pilkington Activ™ façade, as much NOx as emitted by up to 20 cars travelling an annual distance of 14,000 km per year, can be absorbed - depending on the type of engine.

Furthermore, Italian research has shown that the photocatalytic surfaces placed on a façade are able to break down all volatile organic compounds (not only NOx), due to their oxidative action.

The same benefit is obtained by installing the dual-coated Pilkington Activ Suncool™ glass, which can also take credit for increasing the environmental performance of building façades with solar control characteristics, as well as reducing internal radiation and avoiding the use of air-cooling systems.

At the moment of writing we do not know how each Member State will define its Recovery and Resilience Plan, nor how much the final cost of the individual measures will be.

We can, however, say that as well as improving the aesthetic appearance of a building, this type of glass provides energy efficiency, safe and efficient cleaning operations (less water and detergent are required) and occupier comfort. Thus, it is the ideal product for curtain wall glazing, creating consistent and cost-efficient attractive glass façades and giving clearer, better-looking windows.

, © NSG Pilkington

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