About ClearCast Glass

ClearCast™ Glass is a new category in the ever expanding world of specialty architectural glass. There are a lot of things you can do with a sheet of glass, but few processes result in such a full array of visual effects and practical benefits.

Bill McColl was granted a U.S. utility patent for ClearCast Glass. This kind of thing happens occasionally when a designer / craftsman spends a lot of time alone in the studio and really gets into his work. This innovation was patented in two ways: first, as a novel article of manufacture; and second, as an improved insulating glass assembly based on the functional advantages of ClearCast™ Glass.

This is an evolutionary building product. ClearCast Glass can be seen as a contemporary extension of a long tradition in specialty architectural glass. Impressed graphic lines carry the legacy of lead lines in stained glass. Bands of optical refraction along the impressed lines visually recall the cut areas in beveled glass. The array of curved forms within one sheet of glass is a descendant of conventional bent glass. Simple grid and patterned building blocks of ClearCast Glass rejuvenate the concept of glass block. Beyond the visual fireworks, superior strength and thermal performance mark ClearCast Glass as a unique decorative safety glass with a wide array of potential architectural applications.

In the specialized field of architectural cast glass, ClearCast Glass is distinguished by its high degree of transparency and a deep, smooth, seductive texture. But it is the pairing of dynamic aesthetic qualities with superior functional performance that really vaults this innovation into a new category of specialty architectural glass.

What this means for door owners  is that their contemporary art glass doors are not only beautiful, but smart, too.

Thermal Performance is enhanced by additional air space created in compartmentalized hollows within the unique internal geometry of a ClearCast Glass IG unit. This can result in more than double the amount of insulating air space compared to an equivalent spacer sized IG unit. Low-E coatings may be incorporated into a ClearCast insulating glass unit for exceptional thermal performance. The energy cost of the glass forming process may be more than offset by life cycle energy savings, creating a net energy gain over the life of the product. It’s easy being green with ClearCast Glass.

Acoustical Performance: Increased air space has a positive effect on reducing sound transmission levels. Deeply textured exterior surfaces and differing vibratory rates for each panel of glass in an insulating unit also have a positive effect. A laminated glass may be used as the inside lite for superior acoustical privacy.

Strength and Safety: The ClearCast Glass used in your Sculptural Glass Door is itself classified as a safety glass. ClearCast Glass is fully tempered and meets architectural safety standards (ANSI Z97.1 and 16 CFR 1201) for tempered glass products. Tempered glass is generally considered to be about 4 times stronger than ordinary annealed glass. Additionally, convex forms have inherent structural characteristics that may further enhance the strength and impact resistance of a tempered ClearCast Glass panel.

Psychological Comfort: ClearCast Glass presents a strong, robust front to the outside world. From an interior point of view, there is a feeling of security and protection from the external environment. Traditional glass lites divided by wood muntins are appreciated because the division of glazed areas into smaller units provides human scale and increases the comforting and protective sense of enclosure. ClearCast Glass provides for these human needs in a new way, enhancing a person’s psychological comfort and sense of security.

Smart performance and practical benefits are at the functional core of ClearCast Glass. An array of dynamic visual properties completes the total package.

Sculptural Texture: Our forming process produces a light bending, deep relief glass panel of great clarity, a composition of swelling curved forms, all within a single sheet of glass. This is pure glass, nothing added but the beauty of form. Integrated with this large-scale textural relief, a linear graphic element is embedded in the glass, forming the structural bones of the sculptural relief.

Optical Phenomena: Bands of optical distortion, created by the stretching of the glass in the forming process, run parallel to the impressed graphic lines. They enliven the glass and involve the viewer in a kinetic relationship with the glass surface and the environment beyond.

Reflective Qualities: ClearCast Glass accentuates the reflective qualities of glass. An up close view of a ClearCast Glass sculptural surface offers a visual “fun house” of environmentally reflective effects. From a distance, ClearCast Glass presents an array of reflective highlights that act as a visual barrier, effectively increasing daytime privacy levels for a given opening.

Light and Space Effects: ClearCast Glass panels create delightful atmospheric effects when transmitted light rays are bent through the various glass curvatures of each design. The sculptural forms of the glass are extended into interior spaces by interference patterns which create a subtle, shifting composition of light in space. Direct rays of sunlight cast rippled patterns onto nearby interior surfaces, making invisible light visible.

Curb Appeal: ClearCast Glass can be a powerful means of articulating a building facade. The pattern of reflective highlights and shadows reads well at a distance. The convex forms seem filled, and convey a sense of emergence, expansion, and strength. Coordinated night lighting can heighten the drama.

A Different Point Of View: ClearCast Glass architectural design elements create a new kind of inside/outside dialog between an interior space and its surroundings. The sculptural glass forms have a strong presence from the outside, yet act as quiet guests from an interior point of view, rewarding attention, but not demanding it. Exterior visionscapes are clearly present, but are filtered and slightly deconstructed in a visual sense.

All of these wonderful qualities are innate in the material, integral in the expression, all part of the character of ClearCast Glass. There is nothing added, nothing faux, no one material pretending to be another. As a design medium, ClearCast Glass embodies the combination of art and function in glass, the signature architectural building material of our time.

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