The Environmental Benefits of Glass in Net Zero Design

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As the global conversation turns to sustainability, more and more architects are choosing the benefits of Net Zero design. Increasing pressure from directives such as the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is calling on corporations large and small to reduce their carbon footprint. At Gray and Dick, we believe in doing this from the ground up – and it all starts in the design.

What is Net Zero design?
The concept of ‘net zero’ refers to preventing global warming by not contributing to the overall carbon footprint. In the context of design and architecture, this means using sustainable materials, lean manufacturing processes and low energy alternatives to look after the planet.

In principle, net zero design could include practices such as:
•    Reducing water and electricity consumption
•    Using the circular economy in manufacturing processes
•    Using sustainable end of life manufacturing processes.


How glass improves sustainability
With principles of energy-saving as its core, net zero design naturally lends itself to the use of glass. As one of the most versatile building materials available, glass is tough, durable and weather resistant.
One of the best properties of glass is its ‘greenhouse effect’ – increasing the heat value of natural light and helping to keep buildings warm. In addition, glass is a fantastic insulator, helping businesses and residential buildings to save on their energy bills while heating the interior.

This is made even more effective thanks to specialised glazing, helping to keep heat in and push energy consumption down.

The circular economy
The benefits of glass from a sustainability context go beyond heat alone. Glass is also fully recyclable, making it a key contributor to the circular economy. The ‘circular economy’ refers to eliminating waste and reusing resources where possible.
At present, around 71% of Britain’s glass is recycled – putting us on the right track towards sustainable construction in the long term. That which is not used for glazing can be added to concrete instead for eco-friendly construction.

It also takes less energy to recycle glass than other materials such as plastic, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint.

As glass is so flexible in terms of building methods, we can apply the most sustainable manufacturing practices to create beautiful results. From blowing to drawing and pressing, there are new developments all the time to make glass more sustainable. Likewise, the manufacturing process for glass uses fewer pollutants than other building materials, helping us to push those net zero design goals even further.


The building of the future
As passionate innovators, we believe that glass is the catalyst for positive architectural change. Get in touch with us for your sustainable building project today.

Our services
Gray & Dick is the market leader in the design, supply and installation of high-end structural glazing. With more than 40 years’ experience, we partner with the best brands to deliver a long-lasting product that will transform commercial properties.

To find out more about structural glazing from Gray & Dick, call us on 0141 952 9619 or send us a message via our website contact page.

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