Erion Sico, Architectural Design Manager at Guardian Glass talks at Glass Forum Edition about new technologies in glass manufacturing, the changes that the pandemic has brought to building construction and the importance of glass in the future of architecture.
Interview with Alexia Kalogeropoulou
Mr. Sico, thank you for this interview in Glass Forum Edition, in an issue that is dedicated to energy, solar power and thermal insulation. In which ways can glass contribute to thermal insulation?
Glass can contribute in all possible ways. I could mention here that without glass, the world ends at the wall.
Large applications of double and triple glazing changed the way of architect selection of building construction material. Τhe excellent thermal insulation providing Ug value of 0.5 W/m²·K has motivated architects on increasing glass surface and replacing other building materials. Today as we speak, we see that architects are designing a complete wall made out of glass which can ensure the full comfort of the final user.
Are there any new trends or new glass products that are promising a better future?
Overall, worldwide glass has become the first architect’s choice compared to any other construction material. The trends of architects nowadays are, high light transmission, neutral appearance, lower out and in light reflection, and most important the lowest possible Solar energy radiation. In Guardian, we are constantly investing in new technologies to adapt to architect vision by providing new design products. For example, lately, we have invented SNX 70 on Ultra Clear which can reach all aspects of architect expectations. SunGuard® SNX70 glass offers some of the highest levels of selectivity, with outstanding solar control and light transmission approaching 70% – plus high thermal insulation.
You have a significant experience in the glass field and architecture, in several countries. How do you see the glass market in Greece in comparison to other countries? Which are the main differences and challenges?
There is no significant difference in between Greece and other surrounding countries, because the pandemic drastically changed the way of the architectural construction industry. Home office which started during the Pandemic time was proven good for most of the companies worldwide including Greece and is there to stay. This has created a significant increase in residential building construction, and at the same time, the trend of commercial buildings is decreasing. Architects are designing more residential buildings with the same attributes as commercial ones. Practically this means that small classic windows are slowly disappearing, and new residential architecture with large glass surfaces and large sizes of sliding door systems are coming strongly. Replacing a work office with a home office requires the same comfort conditions. Finally, the new residential architecture includes high towers 200-300m tall which are very attractive, easily sold and not subjected to any crisis.
Can you make any predictions for the future of the glass market?
We have witnessed many different crises over the past 20 years, what we have learned during this period is that tourism as an economic branch has been least affected. People will always try to find a budget for vacations no matter what the economic situation is. Therefore, I sincerely believe that Greece as a tourist power will always have the need to provide the infrastructure (investment of new buildings, hotels etc).
Erion Sico is an Architectural Design Manager at Guardian Glass S.A.
As a glass façade advisor, responsible for different countries including Greece & Cyprus, Erion, has left his fingerprint on a large scale number of projects in the region and not only.
Over 10 years in Guardian, and his previous experience in aluminum industry at ETEM S.A, have given him great knowledge, especially in the expertise of the windows, doors, and glass façade structures.
Source: Glass Forum with additional information added by Apazone