+ Rejects up to 99.9% of UV rays, 97% of infrared light, and 60% of heat
+ Preserves natural daylight and views
+ Reduces energy costs
+ Offers broad network of authorized dealers and installers
— Film must be matched to glass type
— Professional installation highly recommend
— Cost must be considered an investment, particularly with large projects
Eco-minded designers and builders know that providing abundant natural daylight is a great way to conserve energy, but daylight can create computer screen glare and lead to excessive heat. Additionally, it contains harmful UV rays. Which is why, explains Tim Thorton, business director of 3M’s renewable energy division, 3M created its Prestige series of sun-controlling window films.
Window films address the solar heat that comes from two primary sources: the visible light you can see and the infrared light you can feel. “Window films were actually developed in the 1960s, and since then, the technology has continually improved,” Thornton says. That advanced technology has been employed by 3M to great effect. Using nonmetallized, multilayer optical film and nanotechnology, 3M’s Prestige line, which is available through suppliers such as the Window Film Depot, rejects up to 99.9 percent of the damaging UV rays, up to 97 percent of the infrared light, and up to 60 percent of the heat that penetrates windows—all without affecting occupants’ views and still letting in the daylight.
“We also do trials in different climate zones to show the kilowatt savings you can expect to achieve per square foot of glass,” Thornton says. “That allows any of our customers, whatever climate zone they’re in, to see what results they can expect.”
In addition to helping architects and builders create more sustainable buildings, 3M’s Prestige line is sustainably produced. “We’re a very environmentally conscious company, and back in 1975, we started our Pollution Prevention Pays, or 3P, program,” Thornton says. “With this product, as with all of our products, we look at our entire supply chain to identify areas where waste is created, and we redesign the process to eliminate it.” In fact, Prestige series window films become carbon negative in as short a period as six months from installation.