Mock-up evaluation is a critical element of working with insulating glass units (IGUs). While a 12” x 12” sample can certainly give you a good idea of the glass’s aesthetics in a general sense, there’s no replacement for evaluating a full-size glass mock-up.
Vitro Architectural Glass recommends evaluating full-sized mockups in natural daylight—ideally in situ, at the job site or in similar building surroundings—to ensure that all variables reflect those of the finished building. Although the absence of interior walls and shades during construction may affect perception of glass, full-size mockups address the majority of variables required to make an informed decision and move forward with fabrication—it allows architects, designers, contractors and owners to assess a three-dimensional representation of the IGU, so that functionality, aesthetics and quality can all be evaluated. This can prevent callbacks and other large-scale problems, saving you and your client time and money.
Review the following considerations before working with full-size glass mockups:
Many Variables, Many Chances for Inaccuracy
Glass color is a blend of transmitted and reflected color that is influenced by many factors, including light source, the properties of the coated glass, interior and exterior lighting conditions, viewing angle and differences in observers’ eyesight. Ensure consistency across all of these variables prior to mock-up evaluation.
Balance Transmitted and Reflected Color
Viewing glass samples against a white surface overly emphasizes transmitted color, while a very dark background emphasizes reflected color. Glass installed on buildings includes components of each blended together, which is why Vitro recommends evaluating mock-ups in situ.
Avoid Artificial Light
Always evaluate glass samples in natural daylight, as artificial light may emit wavelengths that can skew perception of glass color.