Self-Cleaning Solar Glass Is A Lazy Man’s Dream

I’m glad we no longer live in a time of pervasive gender stereotypes, because I’d be a miserable failure. I hate to clean. I can barely pick up after myself and get the dishes done when they’re climbing out of the sink. Extra chores like vacuuming or washing the windows? Yeah, that’s a negative.

So my fingers are crossed that in the future, technology will take care of these mundane tasks for me. Much to my delight, a newly constructed apartment complex in Newport News, Va., proves that that future may already be on the way. The Radius Urban Apartment complex windows fabricated with Solarban 70XL glass and SunClean self-cleaning glass by PPG Industries. That’s right, windows that will shrink your energy bill and clean themselves. And they’re both Cradle-to-Cradle certified. Sounds like heaven.

According to the company, Solarban glass is a transparent solar-control, low-emissivity glass that lets light through while also acting as thermal insulation. By transmitting high levels of daylight while blocking the sun’s heat energy, windows made with Solarban 70XL glass can reduce summer cooling costs by as much as 25 percent. PPG also claims that Solarban 70XL glass can cut furnace heat loss through windows in half, which can lower heating bills significantly in the winter months.

And now for the best part: SunClean glass is formulated with a proprietary coating that becomes “photocatalytic” and “hydrophilic” after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Photocatalysis enables the coating to gradually break down organic materials that land on its surface, while hydrophilicity causes water to sheet when it strikes the coating so that decomposed materials are naturally rinsed away when it rains. So, if you’ve got a mischievousness little kitty like mine who likes to press her nose on the glass, you might still have to bust out the glass cleaner now and then, but at least it’s only one side of the window. I’ll take it.

Beth Buczynski is a freelancer writer and editor currently living in the Rocky Mountain West. Her articles appear on Care2, Ecosalon and Inhabitat, just to name a few. So far, Beth has lived in or near three major U.S. mountain ranges, and is passionate about protecting the important ecosystems they represent. Follow Beth on Twitter as @ecosphericblog

1 Comment

  • Reply February 14, 2013

    Pepper Cee

    Great stuff for renters looking to live green and save time in cleaning! I would love to have this at my apartments in Tempe Arizona!

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