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Does new report signal future problems for window cleaning industry?
Industry analyst firm NanoMarkets has this week issued a report titled, 'Self-Cleaning Windows Markets - 2013', in which the firm projects that the market for self-cleaning windows will triple in revenue from current levels to around $1 billion (USD) by the year 2018.
Self-cleaning windows will experience increased demand because of building codes that require much higher levels of energy efficiency. Zero-energy building mandates for self-cleaning windows - prevalent in Europe - are especially important because solar energy transmission through windows must be finely optimised. Energy efficiency in solar homes and offices can also be boosted by using the same self-cleaning coatings that have been developed for windows on solar panels.
Meanwhile, self-cleaning windows continue to improve in performance. Entirely new kinds of self-cleaning coatings are beginning to emerge that will offer enhanced capabilities and attract a wider customer base for self-cleaning windows. Reactive Surfaces is developing self-cleaning surfaces using special enzymes, while Lotus Leaf Coatings is developing self-cleaning surfaces using nano-patterning.
Even conventional self-cleaning technologies have now reached 'industrial strength' and their performance is good enough for commercial buildings whereas before they have been used previously primarily in residential buildings. Higher performing self-cleaning windows are finally able to make a serious contribution to lowering maintenance costs, which will attract professional building managers and not just homeowners. For similar reasons, self-cleaning windows will also be of growing usefulness in regions where the population is becoming elderly. While sales of self-cleaning windows outside of the residential sector are not sizable now, they will head towards $350 million by 2018.
The report also notes that self-cleaning windows technology fits in well with the general trend towards more multifunctional intelligence. NanoMarkets foresees the growing incorporation of self-dimming, self-repairing and photovoltaic capabilities into a single glazing unit designed for maximal energy efficiency. And the firm also believes self-cleaning windows as being a perfect fit with such combinations. The report projects that by 2018, advanced multifunctional window systems of this kind will generate around $100 million in revenues.
29th November 2012