Glass privacy concerns: solved?

Architectural campaigners have recently expressed concern over the privacy issues caused when converting the empty shops into flats, claiming that big, floor-to-ceiling windows and fully-glazed doors can leave people feeling exposed. Polymer supplier Rehau has set out to address the issue with its forthcoming innovation, Smart Privacy, which enables full windows, or individual sections, to become non-transparent, at the touch of a button.

The solution is due to be launched later this year, and will be the first of its kind to be produced industrially. It can be implemented on both commercial and residential buildings. It can also be conveniently controlled via a specially developed app, or a Smart Sense window controller.

The concerns highlighted by campaigners also include the issues surrounding permanent shutters, blinds or curtains, which can create especially dark interiors and impact wellbeing due to a lack of daylight. Russell Hand, Rehau’s head of product management and technical, said: “The classic curtain option is not in vogue for many people, particularly when it comes to design options for certain target groups like city dwellers. Even existing, permanent, milky films are not an appropriate solution for privacy, as they permanently block the view and can make the room appear smaller. Finally, roller shutters cannot be applied to all window groups, and are even prohibited on certain buildings.” Smart Privacy is based on a shading technology.

Russell added: “We absolutely support the drive to refurbish and repurpose the abundance of empty office and retail units across the country, but this will not come without its challenges. This new architectural campaign is right to highlight the potential issues that could arise from conversions, and it’s down to the supply chain to reinvent solutions for this new modern way of living. Smart Privacy is one small example of how the Rehau Group is innovating and adapting for the future and to ultimately enhance living within the built environment.” For more information, visit