Founded in 2007, View Inc. is the country’s leading producer of energy-saving smart windows, also known as dynamic glass. Focused primarily on the commercial market, the Milpitas, California-based company is working to revolutionize the building industry from their headquarters in the cradle of innovation that is Silicon Valley.
Promoted as a means of increasing energy efficiency and occupant comfort and productivity in the workplace, View has completed hundreds of projects across the country for clients as large and diverse as Overstock, CenturyLink, NASA, Southern Methodist University and The W Hotel. View recently announced it has completed more than 200 projects, with another 100 in various stages of construction.
Today View is able to produce more than a million square feet of switchable glass curtain walls, windows, doors and skylights that use electrochromic technology to control light and heat while maintaining views and reducing glare. The technology was pioneered more than 50 years ago, but took decades of refining to become commercially available.
“The promise of dynamic glass has been around for a very long time. Much of the switchable glass we see today is made using one or more layers of organic compound – after a while these layers begin to lose their properties due to UV exposure from the sun,” says Brandon Tinianov, vice president of business development at View.
Over the last decade, View has perfected the technology through the use of inorganic compounds, a more stable solution that allows the company to produce products that will continue to function for 50-plus years.
View also has a distinct market advantage when it comes to the size of its smart glass products. Since 2013 the company has steadily increased the size of the panels it is able to produce, from 4-feet by 8-feet in 2013 to 5-feet by 10-feet in 2014 and 6-feet by 10-feet in 2015.
“Originally we didn’t have the manufacturing controls in place to make sure we had uniformity to the last inch, and now we do,” says Tinianov. “No one else on the planet can produce anything as large as 6 X 10 feet, which allows for greater design flexibility and access to a wider range of buildings and projects types for architects.”
The company has also placed an emphasis on offering superior control systems that seamlessly integrate View’s products into the everyday life of a building through the use of an intelligence algorithm that analyzes user preferences and tailors its performance.
“We’re really pushing the envelope in creating a user interface optimized around users’ behaviors, comfort and well-being. The coating itself is a piece of technological magic, but I think it would be a failure if it just tinted at the wrong times or wasn’t responsive,” he says.
Advocating for new window technology
When a cutting-edge technology such as dynamic glass comes along, it can often take some time for the industry to adapt. View Dynamic Glass gained an early following among progressive architects, but initially had difficulty garnering attention from large developers and property managers.
“We started small and we found that through proven success in some initial projects and a track record of reliability, we’re starting to move from early adopters to the mainstream of the real estate development community,” says Tinianov. “We’re really trying to transform an industry and it’s a fundamental challenge to get people to rethink the ways buildings are put together and the way they perceive risk.”
The scale of View’s projects has increased accordingly, with the average size of a job increasing fivefold in only two years. And it’s not just progressive developers and sustainably-minded companies requesting dynamic glass for their latest building projects; developers of spec buildings are increasingly turning to View’s windows to attract top companies. “It’s increased the leasing velocity and really started to move the levers in the financial model of spec buildings to make them much more profitable,” Tinianov says.
View has completed a number of marquee projects to top companies across the country, including the Overstock headquarters in Salt Lake City. Named the Peace Coliseum, the 230,000-square-foot office features View windows covering more than 30,000-square feet. While the dynamic glass windows cost 50 percent more than regular windows, …many customers find the energy savings and benefits to worker productivity well worth the price, as it eliminates the need for blinds and ends up paying for itself in a number of years due to the occupant gains and CapEx reductions.
“Overstock’s CEO projected that the glass would increase productivity by 2 to 3 percent. Buildings are machines and we should measure their efficiency in making people productive, because that’s the whole purpose of the building,” says Tinianov.
Products such as View Dynamic Glass are especially in demand among those working to construct Net Zero buildings. In Sunnyvale, California, View converted an existing office into a true NetZero structure through the installation of 3,800 square feet of dynamic glass. The project helped to reduce the building’s HVAC costs by 80 percent and the entire structure was leased out in an unprecedented three months. “There are a few Net Zero energy projects that would have not made Net Zero without our windows,” he says.
As View continues to grow into an industry leader, the company is looking to expand its manufacturing capabilities. If the company keeps along its current growth trajectory, more factories could soon be in the works. “In addition, we’re not even close to the physical limit of the technology; in the future the market can expect even bigger glass with a growing set of connectivity features as we push to deliver on the promise of smart cities,” he says.
As a four-time exhibitor at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo, Tinianov is eager to connect with industry leaders and promote a technology that is increasingly joining the mainstream of the construction industry. “I think it is important to be a part of the community and be a part of the trends that are shaping the green building movement. You can only do this by being there, talking to, and most importantly, listening to people,” he says.
A market-leading product, ever-increasing production capacity and growing interest from major industry partners will keep View Inc. at the forefront of the dynamic glass market well into the future.
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