Climate Friday | Glass, how can we do things better?

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In the latest of our Climate Friday mini bites, Glass Director Ian Langham explains the work we're doing to help make glass a material fit for the future.

"The sustainability of structural glass is a subject which we at Eckersley O'Callaghan have been working on over a number of years. By making glass stronger and working with fabricators to make the glass making process more efficient we have taken the first steps to making the material fit for our future. But the journey is far from over.

Here at EOC alongside our structural and facade embodied carbon assessment tools, our specialist glass team has made a concerted effort to take the next step in making this transformational material greener.

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Given our position as key collaborator on glass technology focused projects we feel that we have a responsibility to lead and develop ideas and studies around sustainability and embodied carbon associated with this material. A key part of our recent team R&D away day was identifying research topics to obtain useful data and metrics that will make a real difference in helping clients and architects making decisions on which types of products and manufacturing processes they should adopt. These include options for recycling of glass and associated products such as interlayers and coatings and obtaining more detailed information for specific processes beyond the standard assumptions used for ‘typical’ glass products.

For a material often associated with simplicity, there are so many choices and products and the options are getting ever more complex. This a problem when trying to make general assessments on embodied carbon and although the work done on some of the more typical products is a great start on the macro scale, we feel that having a more nuanced approach to glass will have a greater impact long term. We are continuing our valuable discussions and debates within our network of manufacturers and contractors and for all of us to ask ourselves ‘how can we do things better?’."