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What’s the Best Vacuum Glazing on the market?

best vacuum glazing

What’s the Best Vacuum Glazing on the market?

What’s the best Vacuum glazing available in the UK? Vacuum glazing has been commercially available for over 20 years and is […]

What’s the best Vacuum glazing available in the UK?

Vacuum glazing has been commercially available for over 20 years and is in widespread use throughout Asia. However, it is only recently becoming popular in the UK marketplace.

The best vacuum glazing is obviously very subjective; each Vacuum Insulated Glazing product has its own characteristics and features which may make it more suitable for one application over another. So here we break it down to compare the most commonly requested attributes. Reference to Pilkington Spacia is for comparison only as it was the first and original Vacuum Glazing. Unfortunately it has been withdrawn from the European market so is no longer available. We reference it purely as the benchmark

Best vacuum glazing for energy performance?

This is a pretty straight forward comparison. LandVac 8.3mm Vacuum Glazing is a clear winner. It offers a U-value of 0.4W/m2K exceeding Pilkington Spacia® (1.0W/m2K) and AGC FINEO (0.7W/m2K). In fact, a piece of LandVac 8.2mm glass delivers U-values in excess of a solid brick wall and is efficient enough to be used in Passiv-Haus projects.

Best vacuum glazing for noise performance?

Vacuum Glazing performs well acoustically due to the vacuum space. In data terms, LandVac outperforms the others with Optimum glazing offering 41 dB sound reduction, Heritage glazing reducing by 39 dB and Fineo only giving 35 dB sound reduction. Also, LandVac uses 4mm glass, Spacia® was 3mm and FINEO less than 4.0mm. As we know thicker glass absorbs sound across a wider range of frequencies so it is likely that LandVac will out-perform the others.

Best vacuum glazing for appearance?

AGC FINEO has no visible plugs on the face; however, it isn’t that simple. FINEO also has a thicker cavity, which can give a slight double reflection. LandVac has the fewest micro-spacers per square metre of glass, FINEO and Spacia® both

There are 4 attributes to aesthetics.

  1. Vacuum Extraction port. AGC FINEO has no visible plugs on the face which is an advantage, especially in small panes. Spacia had a cap which was very visible and LandVac has a port in the far corner of each pane.
  2. Micro-spacers. LandVac is the clear winner in the micro-spacer arena. Spacia® and FINEO are on an approximate 20mm grid and LandVac a nominal 55mm grid, so far fewer.
  3. Getters. The getter with LandVac comprises a small disc in the corner(s) of each pane. FINEO has a line approximately 10mm in from the edge. The line has a length equal to the size of pane so the bigger the pane the longer the line.
  4. Face Markings. LandVac has no markings on the face of the glass, while Spacia® has a CE marking number and FINEO features a QR code for traceability.

On balance, the plugs are the most obvious aesthetic problem, so I would lean towards FINEO as the most aesthetically pleasing product.  However, by utilising shuffle glazing in new window manufacture, the plug on LandVac can be concealed in the rebate and in this scenario, LandVac has the best appearance of any vacuum glass.

Best vacuum glazing for warranties?

There isn’t much to choose on this side. Both LandVac and FINEO offer 15-year warranties and both companies give expected longevity of over 25 years. Vacuum Insulating Glass is an established technology and the failure rate is absolutely tiny compared to regular glazing units (and particularly to slim double glazing units which they are often in competition with). LandVac has been on the market longer, so there might be a slightly lower risk to that product, but I do not think it’s significant.

Best vacuum glazing for safety?

Here LandVac stands alone. LandVac is toughened safety glass as standard. Spacia and FINEO are not toughened and would need to be laminated or have a film applied to upgrade the performance.

Best vacuum glazing for sustainability?

Sustainability is a balance between the performance of a product in service, the lifespan of the product, the level of ongoing maintenance, the initial manufacture of the product and then the end of life disposal of the product. The first thing to note is that Vacuum glazing is far and away the most sustainable glazing type on the market. Conventional Double or Triple glazed units require Noble gases in the cavity and the creation of these gases is hugely energy intensive. The ongoing performance is lower and as the gases escape through the semi-porous seal, the units become progressively less effective. The lifespan and performance of Vacuum glazing also far exceeds the standard industry expectation for insulated glass units.

When comparing our three Vacuum glazing options, there are a couple of key differences to be considered.

  • The performance of the units in service – LandVac clearly retains more energy within the building through having the lowest U-value by some distance, followed by FINEO, then Spacia®.
  • Light transmittance of the units in service (this is the percentage of natural light that can pass through the unit and warm the inside of the building) – FINEO has a marginally better transmittance than LandVac and Spacia®.
  • Manufacture and shipping – it is very difficult to judge the manufacturing efficiencies of the three products. FINEO is produced closer and requires less shipping. However, it is worth noting that once a product is loaded onto a ship, the energy required to move it across the water is a very minor factor.
  • End of life disposal – both LandVac and FINEO are fully recyclable and would take the same amount of energy to recycle.

In conclusion, there isn’t much to choose and any Vacuum glazing is superior to any non-vacuum glazing unit.

So, in summary, what’s the best Vacuum glass on the market?

From our consideration of all of the factors, we decided that the best vacuum glass is LandVac. With an exceptional balance of performance, warranty, sustainability, and aesthetics, it delivers across the board. FINEO is a good option for replacement glazing into existing sashes where the plug can’t be concealed and where other performance factors are less important.

Data amalgamated from reviews of product brochures and web information freely published online. We cannot take responsibility for changes to or inaccuracies in this data.