Groundbreaking Glass or Marketing Stunt?
As you may have noticed over the past few months, the PLANITHERM brand is being actively advertised in the UK-marketplace both on prime-time TV and on the radio. The advertising consists of two women, Pam and Fern, discussing the installation of PLANITHERM windows in a neighbours house. To complement this approach, Saint-Gobain Glass (SGG) has also built a ‘PLANITHERM network’ with over 600 installers in the UK. These installers are required to use PLANITHERM TOTAL + as their preferred energy-efficient glass product.
The PLANITHERM glass range has been on the market for a number of years and so understanding of the specification and performance is quite well understood. In this blog posting, we will review the claims made by the company and assess whether people should be taking notice.
SAINT-GOBAIN GLASS describes the product on their website;
“…Renowned for its extremely neutral appearance, SGG PLANITHERM very effectively reflects long-wave heat radiation back into the room, thereby minimising heat loss through a window while also maximising solar heat gain and natural light transmission.”
Most glasses used in modern construction are low-emissivity (low-E) units. This is the property that reduces the heat loss through the window, while maximising the amount of the sun’s heat energy passing into the building. When replacing or buying new glazing, you should always find a supplier who offers low-E glass. PLANITHERM does offer slight improvement in U-value over its competitors.
“Manufactured on SAINT-GOBAIN GLASS UK’s ‘magnetron’ coater, a combination of microscopically thin multiple metal oxide layers are applied to high quality SGG PLANILUX clear float glass using a magnetically enhanced cathodic sputtering process under vacuum conditions.”
The process described above is very technical and complex, and it does create a clearer finish than its competitors. The SOLARGLASS range has a slight blue hue, while the PILKINGTON K range has a slight green hue. Although today’s glass standards are very high and all of these products will offer a very transparent finish, PLANITHERM is clearer.
…“Depending on the composition of these transparent coating layers, several different products can be produced, distinguishable by the thermal performance, spectrophotometric values and processing characteristics.”
This is common for all the major ranges of glass; transparency, opaqueness, toughness and lamination can all be altered to deliver the desired effect.
Our main question when selecting glazing units for our customers is; ‘does the level of performance get fairly reflected in the price?’ In the case of PLANITHERM, we believe it offers better characteristics and performance, with a lower purchase cost than top competitors. For this reason, we do use it as a standard unit in our products.