Serge Martin

FINEO makes it possible to design a new generation of high-performance windows and renovate existing windows.

Short biography

Short Bio

Serge Martin is in charge of two emerging business units at AGC Glass Europe: Fineo Glass and RenoWindow. Upon completing his engineering studies, Serge spent a few years in R&D and architectural consulting before joining AGC in 1999. From 2007 to 2016 he worked in marketing, sales and general management for both processed and unprocessed glass at AGC Glass Europe as well as AGC Glass North America. As a member of the Industrial and New Business Development team, he is now focusing his efforts on developing two promising – and disruptive – initiatives.

Can you explain the secret behind the vacuum technology used in FINEO?

„The ‘vacuum gap’ is the secret behind the FINEO magic. In a conventional double glazing unit the 12mm or 16mm space between the sheets of glass is filled with desiccated air or insulating gas. FINEO, however, has a mere 0.1 mm gap in which there is a vacuum (i.e. no air or gas). In other words, the FINEO unit consists of two sheets of glass, each of which is 3 to 6 mm thick, and one of which is coated with a super-insulating coating.(1) The two sheets are separated by the vacuum gap. Small, nearly invisible cylindrical micro-spacers distributed throughout the gap prevent the two sheets of glass from touching under the force of external pressure. The entire unit is less than 1cm thick!“

(1)A very thin and practically invisible low-emissivity metal oxide coating applied to the surface of the glass that enhances its cold-weather insulation performance by reflecting outgoing heat back into the interior of the room.

What gives FINEO better insulation performance and what makes it brighter and more environmentally?

„FINEO has a lot to boast about – starting with its thermal and acoustic insulation performance, which is as good as or even better than triple glazing. And for a unit of a given size, it is just one quarter to one fifth the thickness and only two thirds as heavy. Moreover, since it's so thin, it delivers better light transmission (80%), letting in 15% more natural light than triple glazing – because less glass means more light. More light also means more free solar heat gain inside the building, which in turns means less need for heating. FINEO is also fully recyclable, unlike double/triple glazing units that include spacers, glues and other components.

Lastly, it’s more attractive than the few rival products on the market, since it doesn’t need an unsightly evacuation port to create the vacuum.“

Can FINEO be used in different kinds of projects, such as newbuilds, renovations and restorations?

„Vacuum insulating glazing can be combined with solar control glass, safety glass, acoustic glass and other types of glass to deliver the perfect multifunctional solution for a given project. It can be used in newbuilds (tertiary and residential) and in renovation projects. Renovation projects represent a major potential market in Europe since FINEO can be easily installed in existing frames – simply remove the existing single glazing or first-generation double glazing and replace with FINEO, provided, of course, that the frames are still in good condition.

Vacuum insulating glazing is an ideal solution for preserving the authenticity of historic facades that have simply not been designed to accommodate modern windows. When combined with different types of restoration glass, FINEO harmonises seamlessly with the original aesthetics of windows installed between the 1880s and 1960s.“

What makes FINEO such a forward-looking product?

„At a time when there is so much attention on the European Green Deal and carbon neutrality, FINEO makes it possible to design a new generation of high-performance windows and renovate existing windows by upgrading them with the most efficient and greenest glass technologies available – all for a reasonable cost. This major advance in the energy transition for buildings is enabled by a product that won the 2019 Belgian Energy and Environment Award in the Sustainable Energy category.“

Evolution of insulating glazing over time

The thermal insulation coefficient of glazing (Ug value) is expressed in W/(m2K), which represents the heat loss per m2 of glazing for a given temperature difference between inside and outside. The lower the value, the lower the heat loss and the better the insulation performance.

Originally, single glazing typically had a Ug value of 5.8. Then, in the late 1970s, came the first generation of ordinary double glazing, which had a Ug value of 2.8. In other words, its insulation performance was twice as good as single glazing. A couple decades later, this in turn gave way to high-performance super-insulating double glazing with a super-insulating coating(1) on the inside of the glazing unit, bringing the Ug value down to nearly 1 – in other words insulation performance nearly six times better than ordinary single glazing.

Which brings us to today’s vacuum insulating glazing, a revolutionary type of double glazing with a spectacular Ug value of just 0.7 – in other words, the same performance as triple glazing but only one quarter to one fifth as thick.