Dedicated to sustainable,
high performance building

Interview with Greg Clarahan

Greg Clarahan,

President and CEO of LiteZone Glass Inc. in Nisku, Alberta [] has come up with what may be the world’s best-performing insulating glass, an achievement recognized by the Canada Green Building Council which recently awarded the company its 2016 Green Building Product of the Year Award.

SABMAG: How did it happen that you started up LiteZone?
GC: I have spent more than 25 years in the business of manufacturing windows, curtain walls and high performance insulating glass units. That experience made me very aware that weaknesses in the basic design of traditional insulating glass severely limit the overall insulating values that window and curtain wall systems can achieve. I believed a better design could be found to overcome those weaknesses and this became the mission of a new company I
founded, LiteZone Glass Inc.

SABMAG: Just off the top, what does LiteZone offer that can’t be found in other insulating glass which has been on the market for a long time.
GC: Windows using LiteZone™ insulating glass can achieve much higher overall window insulating values than is possible with conventional IGUs. The key to this is LiteZone’s™ proprietary system to equalize the air pressure between the inside and outside of the glass unit without letting water vapour in. This allows LiteZone™ to be much thicker which is necessary to achieve very high insulating values.The increased thickness dramatically improves the insulating value achieved at the glass unit’s edge and through the frame around the edge of the glass unit. A thicker glass unit can be configured with multiple layers of suspended PET films. As the number of films and/or low-e coats are increased, higher insulating values can be achieved. LiteZone™ can achieve up to R20
centre of glass and up to R17 for an overall window, including both the glass and the window frame.

SABMAG: Briefly, what are some of the main features which you feel set your product apart?
GC: LiteZone™ can achieve overall window insulating values about 250% greater than typical argon-filled triple-pane windows. It only uses air fill which eliminates the problem of deteriorating glass unit performance with escaping argon. LiteZone™ weighs less than triple-pane units because its suspended films have negligible weight. LiteZone™ can be configured with between 1 and 8 films making it customizable to suit project performance and budget requirements. In addition, LiteZone™ has been designed for extreme longevity. Its unique edge seal is impermeable to water vapour and has twice the normal strength. Stress due to differential thermal expansion has been nearly eliminated by only using materials with similar coefficients of expansion. It is pressure equalized to further reduce stress. These and other technical advantages give LiteZone™ an expected life of more than 60 years.

SABMAG: Life Cycle is an important product attribute. Where does LiteZone stand in this area?
GC: A LiteZone™ glass unit with about the same performance as higher performing triple pane units will have comparable costs, however, because its expected life is more than 60-years, more than 3 times the life of typical triple pane units, its life cycle cost will only be about 40% of the life cycle cost of triple pane.

SABMAG: How do you distribute your insulating glass, and how has it been accepted?

GC: We manufacture LiteZone™ in Canada for sale directly to anyone wishing to purchase truly high performance and long lasting insulating glass. LiteZone™ was introduced to the market earlier this year with an enthusiastic reception especially by people who care about green buildings. A growing number of window and curtain wall manufacturers are now offering high R-value systems using LiteZone™. We are also selling LiteZone™ directly to home owners to replace failed IGUs. By simply repositioning glass stops, fixed wood windows can use thicker LiteZone™ glass units to achieve 85% reductions in window thermal losses and improve home comfort.