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3M window films: clearly a smart choice. (EDITORS' CHOICE: PRODUCT REVIEW Spotlight.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Prestige Series window films from St. Paul, MN-based 3M are the first clear, metal-free window films that measurably reduce the heat and UV rays that enter commercial buildings while still allowing natural light through. Leveraging world-class capability in nanotechnology, adhesives, multi-layer optical films, and precision manufacturing, 3M has created window film that is comprised of hundreds of layers while being thinner than a Post-it[R] Note. The spectrally selective Prestige films reject 97 percent of the sun's infrared light, keeping your space cool and lowering your energy bills. The films also protect furnishings and carpet from fading by blocking 99.9 percent of UV rays. Prestige films can be specified to let in more or less visible light, and there is now a Safety 8 Security version available that protects against burglaries and flying glass from natural disasters. For more information about 3M window films, visit (www.3M.com/Prestige).

Effectiveness The version we tested, PR 70, transmits 69 percent of visible light and rejects up to 59 percent of solar energy, reducing glare and the negative effects of fading, heat, and discomfort often caused by bright sunlight. One editor called the spectrally selective film "remarkable" for its ability to reduce heat gain even in peak sunlight.

Aesthetics It's amazing that something so invisible can make such a big difference. Once the film is applied, windows take on a slightly bluish tint that's virtually unnoticeable, unlike other window films we've seen. This near invisibility doesn't detract from aesthetics or deter viewers from looking in (an important point in retail settings).

Available Options This line of window films offers enough choices that you can stick with the same brand and still get what you need for each and every window in your portfolio. Industry-wide, its safety and security attributes are pretty typical; what's atypical is the flexibility in visible light transmitted with these 3M window films. Imagine how these tweaks can maximize building performance based upon site exposure (northern vs. southern).

Energy Savings This film blocks 97 percent of the sun's infrared light. That equals big savings on AC during hot weather (the less heat that penetrates the building, the less often your cooling kicks on). Without a doubt, this product will save money- in more ways than one. It also helps interior products/ furnishings (window treatments, flooring, furniture, artwork, etc.) last longer by reducing fading.

****       Effectiveness
**** 1/2   Aesthetics
*** 1/2    Available Options
*****      Energy Savings
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Title Annotation:3M Co. 3M Optical Systems has created window film
Comment:3M window films: clearly a smart choice. (EDITORS' CHOICE: PRODUCT REVIEW Spotlight.(3M Co. 3M Optical Systems has created window film)
Publication:Buildings
Article Type:Product/service evaluation
Date:Apr 1, 2008
Words:407
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