Glass is made out of basic ingredients - soda, sand and lime - which are abundant and widely available. However its production, which entails melting those ingredients at vast temperatures, is very costly in terms of energy. One saving grace is that glass is readily recyclable with no loss of purity or clarity, and schemes for sorting and collecting glass are well establishded in many areas. Although such recycling schemes generally provide material that is turned back into bottles and jars, recycled float glass for external facades and other uses is also available, along with recycled glass tiles that can be used as a substitute for ceramic tiles and cast glass tiles.
- Energy-saving glass comes in a variety of formats, the most popular being low-E glass that is coated with a microscopic layer that reflects heat back into the interior
- Virtually indistinguishable from sheer glass
- Enhanced energy-saving can be achieved by incorporating low E-glass in double or triple glazed units
- Framing and construction of glazed openings has a direct bearing on energy performance