Smart Glass Technology Is Set to Thrive With the Growing Green Building Initiatives

smart glass market

A smart glass, also, known as switchable or electrochromic glass works on the principle of electrochromism where materials switch from opaque to transparent by applying electric voltage. When an electric current pass through the smart glass, in few minutes, the glass turns transparent. 

The market is projected to grow during the forecast period with the growing green building construction round the globe. With the growing drive for green building development, smart glass offers a better solution for controlling solar heat gain, glare, and sunlight, in comparison to the installation of permanently tinted glass or blinds. Smart glass technologies available include passive or thermochromic and active or electrochromic type. The dynamic class has gained popularity in green building construction as these glasses provide overall energy savings and also save huge amount of energy by lowering load on HVAC systems. Also, these glasses contribute to lowering greenhouse gases emissions as well.

The growing trend of utilizing materials that help in power consumption is further contributing to promoting the market demand during the forecast period. According to the International Finance Corporation (IFC), sister organization of the World Bank, and a member of the World Bank Group, green buildings represent an investment opportunity of around USD24.7 trillion by the end of 2030, it also stated that this is low-carbon investment opportunity especially for the developing economies of the world. This is because of the fact that in order to keep pace with the expanding population base and rapid urbanization, the floor area of the buildings is predicted to increase by two-folds in 2060. As per the United Nations, the global urban population increased from 751 million in 1950 to 4.2 billion by the end of 2018. The Asian region constitute around 54% of the total urban population in the world, followed by the European region and the African region comprising 13% each.

Most of the growth is predicted to occur in the residential sector. Hence, to meet the demand for new building construction, green building holds a lucrative opportunity resulting in spurring low-carbon economic growth and also will assist in creating employment opportunities in the emerging economies of the world. By the end of 2030, the Asia Pacific region, Latin America, Eastern & Central Asia, Middle East & North Africa, and Sub-Saharan Africa is poised to hold significant investment opportunities for green residential building construction. Hence, such opportunities are contributing to surging the growth of the smart glass market during the forecast period.

Furthermore, significant investment opportunities for green building construction indicates that the construction is of higher-value and lower-risk compared to the standard structures. Apart from less energy consumption, green buildings are achieving higher sale premiums and gaining traction and retaining more tenants, thus, ensuring a continuous revenue generation source. Additionally, the green buildings are capable of helping investors and owners in management of the risks that are associated with the shift towards a low-carbon economy.

The emergence of startups in smart glass is further augmenting the smart glass market growth over the next five years. A startup based in Milpitas, by the name View, according to 2017 information has closed a deal of around USD200 million round of funding, the total raised till date account to around USD700 million. The startup View designs self-tinting glass that are capable of automatically darkening as the sun passes from one side of the building to the other side. Also, individuals can switch the window through command, in case of privacy requirement. The startup has installed its smart glass products in around 350 buildings, as of 2017. Additionally, the San Francisco International Airport was ready to be installed with 66,000 square feet of View Dynamic glass in the redevelopment of its Terminal 1. The project started in June 2018 converting over 58,000 square feet of windows to dynamic glazing. The initiative occurred as a result of more public and private organizations moving to look forward towards the adoption of smart technologies that are more efficient and user-friendly.

Another startup named Kinestral Technologies, a manufacturer of smart tinted glass for residential and commercial purposes is based in Hayward, United States. Its Halio smart-tinting glass is capable of delivering shade and protection from the sun’s glare in seconds. This achieves the desired tint through the use of an app. The product comes with a backup power ensuring that the windows continue to turn opaque or transparent, even when the building loses power. It helps in keeping excessive heat aside and contributes to lowering the HVAC costs, in addition, helps in the protection of artwork and furnishings from damage through sunlight.

Furthermore, the growing home automation is favouring smart glass market trend, offering strong prospects for the market to thrive during the course of the forecast period.

The current covid-19 scenario is projected to impact the global construction industry severely. The main reasons being, workforce shortages, closure of manufacturing operations in adversely impacted regions of the world, resulting in causing disruptions to the construction component supply chains. All these factors have resulted in delays in the construction activities worldwide, further putting a strong impact on impeding the market growth in 2020. It has been noticed on a wide scale that many construction companies, site owners, and contractors have implemented restrictions on travel for employees that come from high-risk regions, further leading to the shortage of skilled workers, restricting the progression of construction projects. In addition, places where construction activities are essential, specifically, in public places there is requirement of timely renovation and improvements, the restriction and closure of public places have further impacted the market growth in a negative manner.

By assessing the long-term impact of the covid-19, it is expected that construction companies dealing with high levels of depth and low cash reserves are projected to face liquidity crisis. Also, contract management may gain attention as customers may focus on terminating and contract renegotiation. Internationalization might be viewed as not economically acceptable as companies would reconsider the regions they would like to continue to operate. Hence, this may lead to putting restrictions on international companies.