by Peter Davey
When temperatures plummet, Northeast window film installers typically settle into a seasonal slowdown. Not any more. Throughout the year, window film dealers are keeping busy — installing film on interior glass, walls, furnishings, and architectural objects within interior environments.
Advancements in technologies have generated a plethora of innovative architectural and designer films. Motivated by the films’ creative potential, architects and interior designers are collaborating with window film and specialty film dealers who work with graphic designers and digital imaging companies to enhance building aesthetics. The ability to plot, score, and cut film with precision with high-tech digital equipment has opened up opportunities to create visually stunning interiors to complement a building’s architecture and reflect a company’s image.
A quality designer window film applied to glass can capture the look of etched, frosted, or cut glass without the expense and permanence of actual glass etching. When ready for a change, the film can be removed and replaced. Choices range from opaque, semitransparent, gradient, patterned, textured, geometric, and solid films to achieve desired effects.*
Form need not compromise function. Requirements for privacy, increased security, and aesthetics can be satisfied by using one or multiple film types. Knowledgeable sales representatives can guide clients toward the best film to fulfill specific requirements. Skilled, well-trained installers who use quality films with reliable adhesives will ensure an accurate, durable installation. According to Dana Savoie, American Window Film, Inc. account executive, “Our installers are the unsung heroes of our business. It’s a huge part of why our company can deliver the product efficiently and professionally.”
Savoie helped satisfy multiple goals for his client, Rhode Island Nurses Institute Middle College (RINIMC) of Providence, R.I. RINIMC administrators’ goals were to improve classroom security and privacy and to express school pride by highlighting RINIMC’s logo. Ultimately, three films were installed. To improve safety and security, a 3M Scotchshield Safety & Security Window film was applied to the inside of classroom glass wall panels, door glass, and side lites. An opaque white 3M Scotchcal Electrocut film was applied to the hallway side of multiple glass wall panels — providing classroom privacy and the medium to showcase the NIRIMC logo. Experienced installers worked swiftly as they moved the installation along with required precision.
Colleen Hitchings, B.S., M.Ed., C.A.G.S, chief academic officer for RINIMC Charter High School, was pleased with the outcome. “The logo looks great, and the effect is as we expected and needed. It was enlightening to watch the process and the manner in which the films were installed. They made it look easy.” The safety, security, privacy, and aesthetics of the building’s interior were enhanced, the client’s goals were achieved, and the installation was completed with little disruption to business continuity.
Glass is not the only surface that can be enhanced with film. Durable architectural films that simulate a wide variety of finishes such as wood, steel, marble, and granite can be applied to flat and curved surfaces. Effectively resurfacing desks, doors, elevators, columns, and other structural elements, these films are more economical and less wasteful than replacement.**
Perimeter windows films for safety, security, solar control, and energy conservation continue to evolve, improve, and work hard all year long. The strength of a quality security window films need not depend upon thickness, but rather the technologies used in their manufacture. Highly engineered energy conservation films now address both solar and radiant heat gain and loss in one film — particularly effective in cold weather climates. When cold winds blow, New England window film dealers are keeping busy — moving inside where they can continue to install innovative architectural and designer films to interior spaces. A once seasonal business has turned year-round.
* Examples of designer films: americanwindowfilm.com/gallery
** Specialty film options: americanwindowfilm.com/specialty-films/#architectural
Peter J. Davey is president of American Window Film, Inc.