By Cassandra Balentine
Windows are essential to a building’s architecture, providing ventilation and light. To help control these elements, films are utilized to perform a number of functions like reducing UV rays, providing solar heat, offering privacy, and improving lighting. They also dress up windows with graphics or tinting.
Sunset Glass Tinting is a 34-year-old business with 23 employees. Headquartered in Houston, TX, the company specializes in high-end residential, commercial solar, security, and decorative films and graphics projects. It innovates, manufactures, and distributes a range of protective, functional, and decorative materials-based solutions including films, coatings, and laminates for various industries nationwide from automotive and architecture to healthcare and aerospace.
Focused on architectural films, the business started printing all of its own films more than five years ago. “Being flexible, fast, and responsive is crucial to our success as the graphic package may change late in the project,” offers Eddy Russell, president, Sunset Glass Tinting.
The ability to design, print, and install in house is critical to its success in winning projects for major brands like Amazon, Aramco, Exxon, Microsoft, Shell, and Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL).
Contracting Window Film
Recently, a general contractor, O’Donnell Snider Construction, hired Sunset Glass Tinting to install window film for JLL’s new corporate headquarters in Houston. The client is a professional services firm specializing in real estate and investment management.
“We often recommend this type of application from a general contractor perspective. From a material procurement and installation standpoint, using the product and the team at Sunset Glass Tinting we are in control of the product and the installation time so we can meet demanding schedules,” says Kimberly Barrow, project executive, O’Donnell Snider Construction.
This particular job met that criteria. JLL wanted to include tasteful, high-tech designs on its windows. Glass and etching were not an option due to limitations in design, cost, and timing.
The creative was mostly put together by the project’s design, architecture, engineering, and planning firm, HOK. However, the experts at Sunset Glass Tinting stepped in to help select the best opacities for the application.
“After printing exclusively with wide format UV inks for the last five years we knew that we could offer the architect opacities on this project or any other from one percent white to 100 percent white,” shares Russell. “This allows the architect total design flexibility regarding privacy and a finished look, design, and style.”
“The architectural firms love the flexibility in design and opacity so they can modify the film to meet the design aesthetic,” adds Barrow.
Sunset Glass Tinting is a Madico, Inc. dealer. For this project it used Madico film printed with white ink using a CET Color three-meter wide UV printer.
It also installed the entire project, which involved three full floors and thousands of square feet. The media is expected to remain in place for ten years.
With all of its in-house capabilities, Sunset Glass Tinting can generally print and install window film within two weeks of receiving approved submissions. For this project, it had to hold off on completing its installation until the client’s wall company finished its work.
Barrow notes that energy compliance codes in Houston can be challenging to meet, but this film offered both the architect and engineering firm the flexibility in office layout and lighting to optimize the building’s exterior light. “The product is durable and easily replaceable if changes in the wall systems are needed, or if damage is done to the finished product.”
Overall, the JLL headquarters project was a success.
“In a nutshell, reasons why we went with this type of application include cost, energy compliance, design aesthetic, material procurement control, and product durability and flexibility,” notes Barrow.
Adding to Architecture
When designing a new headquarters for JLL, Sunset Glass Tinting utilized its expertise and in-house printing capacity to offer architects the flexibility to achieve a desired finish. With a variety of opacities and trusted media, the end result is durable, energy complaint, and aesthetically pleasing.
Feb2022, Digital Output