If you're facing repair or replacement of the windows in your office building, you may be mulling over your options. Although you can always go with the standard regular or double-paned clear glass windows, with today's concerns about employee security and workplace violence, you may wish to look into alternative types of glass that will help keep your employees safe. Both frosted and reflective windows can help keep your employees concealed from outside viewers, while still letting in sunlight. Read on to learn more about the different types of windows available so that you can make an informed decision.
Frosted glass can be created using several different methods. Traditional clear glass windows can be etched with acid or sandblasted to create a rough surface -- allowing light and shadows to flow through the glass without allowing you to actually be able to see what lies on the other side.
There are also surface decals and spray paints that can help create the appearance of frosted glass but can be removed if necessary. This can be a great option if you're only repairing -- not replacing -- your office windows.
Frosted glass is especially useful for security in offices with large windows around desk spaces -- often, the frosted area will cover only the center horizontal strip of glass, allowing outside spectators to see employees' feet and the room's ceiling, without being able to pick out or identify specific employees.
Reflective glass is another effective security measure. Similar to the one-way mirrors used in police interrogation rooms, reflective glass is available in a variety of strengths -- from fully mirrored to slightly opaque. One advantage to reflective windows over other types of windows is that your employees will be able to clearly see outside, while still enjoying privacy from outside eyes.
Perhaps the most high-tech window available, "smart glass" is equipped with electronic sensors that can instruct the window to immediately frost, become reflective, or even darken (like a pair of sunglasses). Smart glass is made by applying a thin layer of liquefied magnetic particles between two window panes. When an instruction is electronically transmitted to the window, these particles will react accordingly.
Although smart glass is the most versatile type of window available, and provides the widest variety of options for employee safety, if you are outfitting a large space or replacing multiple windows, this option can be cost prohibitive. Contact a commercial window company like Ken Caryl Glass, Inc. for more information and options.