Discussing BIPV Glass with Vitro ’ s Emily Losego
In recent years , photovoltaic glass has emerged as a next-generation sustainability solution for commercial buildings . Building-integrated photovoltaic ( BIPV ) glass modules not only generate clean energy but also seamlessly integrate into the building structure — and even can be used with low-e coated glass products . These capabilities mean BIPV modules unveil new possibilities for designers , combining aesthetics , CO2-free power generation and protection from the elements , all while reducing air conditioning costs and replacing cladding materials .
In this episode of the commARCH Weekly Podcast Series , Emily Losego , MSVD Product Manager at Vitro Architectural Glass , discusses the design and sustainability possibilities of BIPV glass modules and other innovative glass solutions .
CA : I love your background — you started out as an architect . Then went to Vitro Architectural Glass at some point . What were you thinking when you were in architectural school ? What were your goals and ambitions , and then how did you do the transfer to work at a building product manufacturer ?
Emily Losego : I started working in firms when I was in high school through internship programs . I had worked in a firm since I was about 16 and really liked the challenges of the creativity , the analytical . For me , that was the right path to go on in college . And then I went to grad school as well .
Once I entered practice , I was very fortunate to land at a small residential and small commercial firm . I got to do a lot of pieces of the business side , which I started to enjoy more than the architectural work itself . That kind of set [ off ] the trigger in my mind that there may be other ways I want to spend my days .
I wanted to pivot to a building material and be related to the project yet have a different seat at the table … I love glass . I can get really nerdy about glass . In architecture school , one of the first things you learn about is solid void : glass vs . wall . I love that you can be an inch away from a thunderstorm and be completely safe and comfortable .
It ’ s the best building material out of the whole project , right ? It ’ s so cool what architects are doing with it . I got lucky that I could be in glass , but also contribute in ways to architectural projects through the way the building looks ... And [ also thinking about ] performance , because now there ’ s the energy savings , the sustainability , and the performance side of glass as well … I get jazzed to contribute to how projects work in the world and how we can make them better .
CA : It ’ s all about collaboration . Taking all that you know about the science of glass and allowing a vision that probably couldn ’ t have been realized otherwise .
EL : Right ! I feel like it ’ s helping other architects — who are much better architects than I ever would have been on my own — understand what glass can do for their building and help their vision meet all their project goals .
CA : When I think about Vitro , I think about low-e . There are a number of different products within that . Can you walk through the offerings and collaborations ?
EL : I ’ d be happy to ! The Magnetron Sputtered Vacuum Deposition is the technology and the process to put the low-e coating onto the glass itself . With an MSVD coating or low-e , we float the glass . We ’ re making sheets of glass — similar to sheets of plywood or drywall — in our plants .
Then we move the glass to our MSVD coaters . From there , we feed the glass through and in different chambers and put it under a vacuum where we deposit metallics of different layering and thicknesses to produce our Solarban Low-e coating product family . And that ’ s where we can … boost energy performance . Silver is the effective ingredient ; that ’ s what gives us our solar control . We see that through the solar heat gain coefficient .
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