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View raises $100 Million for Smart Windows

View raises $100 Million for Smart Windows with TIAA Investments, a financial services company, led the Series G

View, Calif.-based startup, has raised more than $600 million since its inception eight years ago. The investors include Corning, Madrone Capital Partners, General Electric.

View’s dynamic glass uses electrochromic technology and changes through four different tints. The technology helps to save energy and improve use of light in commercial buildings. The windows are coated with metal oxides, which activate the tint when charged with a small amount of voltage. By reducing the heat and glare that’s allowed into a building, the company says it can cut HVAC and lighting consumption by up to 20 percent and HVAC peak load by 25 percent.

Standard curtain wall costs roughly $100 per square foot, while curtain wall that includes electrochromic glass can cost up to $140 per square foot. But the payback math requires a more holistic approach. Projects have to make financial sense and take into account HVAC, blinds and O&M.

As buildings move toward net-zero energy, integrating the building envelope as part of the HVAC system makes absolute sense. According to the firm, it can reduce air conditioning load by 89 percent in one local example — instead of 100 tons, it’s down to 20 tons.

View has raised considerable sums of money and landed some big-name clients and big-name investors, but smart glass continues to be a small market because an electrochromic window still costs about twice as much as a traditional double-paned window.

Market analysts could not manage to estimate the market’s value at more than a billion dollars. IDTechEx estimates the global smart windows market will be $700 million in 2024. That’s lower than the nearly $900 million Navigant anticipates in 2022. NanoMarkets estimates that of the different technologies available, electrochromic glass will do the best in the smart windows market.

Source: WSJ (7 Feb 2017)

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