February 20, 2023

Can dual coatings improve the performance of glass?

Written by Rebecca Clayton

Improve glass performance with dual coatings instead of triple glazing

Good news is yes! Dual coatings can improve the performance of glass in several ways. The specific benefits depend on the type of coatings used and how they are applied. Some examples of how dual coatings can improve the performance of glass include:

  • Improving energy efficiency
  • Reducing glare
  • Improving UV protection (protecting interiors from UV fading)
  • Improving scratch resistance
  • Improving safety

Orchard House is shortlisted for British Homes Award 2023 with glazing that enables the landscapes to be brought in framing exceptional views

What is a dual coating on glass?

A dual coating on glass is when two different types of coatings are applied to the surface of the glass. These coatings can be applied to one or both sides of the glass and can serve different purposes. Dual coatings are often used to improve the performance of the glass in terms of energy efficiency, glare reduction, UV protection, and more.

Can using dual coatings improve Ug values?

The most common application of dual coated glass is using a low-emissivity (low-e) coating on one side of the glass and a solar control coating on the other side. The low-e coating helps to reduce heat loss through the glass in cold weather, while the solar control coating helps to reduce heat gain through the glass in warm weather.

The double coating improves the Ug value of the glazing by a few points which can help on projects looking to achieve a slightly better performance but do not need the levels of insulation provided by triple glazing.

However, for large increases in thermal insulation, triple glazing is still the most viable option (unless your project is suitable for Vacuum Glazing…).

a frameless oriel window on the 1st floor of a modern white rendered house

Is there a benefit to dual coated solar control glass?

It is possible to use two solar control coatings on a double glazed unit, however, it may not be necessary or the best option depending on your specific needs and the type of coatings used.

A minimal glazed link bridges the gap between the two buildings, which both feature large fixed frameless windows and slim sliding glass doors to capture the stunning views of the surrounding coast and sea in this AONB

Solar control coatings are typically applied to the outer surface of the glass to reduce the amount of solar energy that enters a building. By having two solar control coatings on a double glazed unit, it would likely result in a greater reduction of solar energy entering the building, which can help to improve the energy efficiency and thermal comfort of the space.

However, it’s important to consider that applying a dual solar control coating on the same unit could lead to less natural light entering the building, which could compromise the aesthetics and the visual comfort of the spaces.

It’s also important to consider that having a dual coated solar control on a double glazed unit could add extra costs to the project, and the performance benefits of having two coatings may not justify the added cost.

Other useful coatings to consider in your glass specification include non-reflective coatings on glazing as well as protective coatings.

It is always best to consult with a professional architectural glazier with experience in glass coatings and glazing to determine the best option for your specific glazing specification needs and requirements. The team at IQ will be able to evaluate the existing conditions of the building and recommend the best solution.

Contact the team today for further information about achieving your project’s performance requirements with glazing.