Trends in Commercial Architecture

Trends in commercial architecture include lots of glass. Glass walls are bigger than ever.  Glass walls create lots of opportunities to use natural light and open spaces.  Along with these glass walls, come new innovative uses in design using 3M Fasara frosted and decorative window films.  These films allow in light while adding just the amount of privacy wanted by the inhabitants.  The design elements are limited only by the imagination. (solutions.3m.com) Not only does the decorative films allow light and beauty in these spaces, they also add safety.  The film lets someone know the glass is there and will not be walked into.  In case a window is broken the fragments will hold together.

The glass with film is easy to care for.  It can be cleaned as any other glass after 30 days.  A plus is that finger prints do not readily show.


3M Fasara San Marino Film

3M Fasara Milky Milky (San Marino) Film SHMAMM (solutions.3m.com) was used on this restaurant in the newly renovated Union Station in downtown Denver.  San Marino film can add privacy or in this case a decorative accent.  The film on the glass gives just the right touch to add to the ambiance of the restaurant. 3M Fasara Glass Finishes come in 50+ designs.  Fasara provides the advantages of etched, sandblasted and textured glass at a fraction of the cost.  When styles change or occupants change, the film can be removed.  The window can remain plain or a new type of design can be applied to the window.  This can be done at a much smaller cost than replacing  windows.

Benefits Include:

  • Beauty of the glass is enhanced by transforming plain glass into the look of cut or textured glass.
  • The amount of privacy provided can be tailored to the clients needs.
  • The film is easily applied and is beautiful and durable.
  • The film is constructed of durable and flexible polyester.
  • The glass can be cleaned like any other window after 30 days.

    3M Fasara Milky Milky

Die-Cut Decorative Film


Solar Vision applies a lot of Die-Cut Decorative Film.  The film is applied in new construction sites as well as sites that are remodeled.  Most of the film we use is 3M Fasara Film.  The 3M Fasara is easy to work with and gives excellent results. Occasionally, we do apply other brands.  It all depends on the contractor, decorator, or owner.  Decorative film is used in place of etched or sandblasted glass because the expense is much less.  Also if styles change or a new company moves in the film can be professionally removed and replaced. Decorative Film Provides:

  • Privacy in offices or conference rooms.
  • Light from outside can still filter to other parts of the room.  People are more productive in natural light.
  • If their would be a natural or other physical event, the glass would be held together and there would not be flying shards of glass.
  • The decorative film creates a modern look and adds to the ambiance of the building
  • Consistent look throughout the building
  • Branding of company is established through out the area
  • Money savings
  • A creative environment is established which draws customers and increased employee productivity and satisfaction.

    Decorative Film at St. Anthony's

  • Decorative film application at St. Anthony's

Window Film Products


There are many window film products.  The technology to create these new films is continuing to advance.  We can look forward to many new uses for window film to save energy and to improve safety.  The way we use window film to create beautiful working and living environments will continue to improve.  I'm sure my list is not complete, but here is a good start to what is available in the window film industry. Anti-Fog Window Film is a film that is used in areas of high humidity. The glass does not fog.

Anti-Graffiti Window Film is used as a sacrificial layer when vandals use acid, permanent markers, paint, etc. The film is removed and replaced and protects the glass.

Anti-Spy Window Film protects computer information from hackers or communication from being overhead by listening devices.

Blackout Window Film is film that blocks almost all light.  It is used in places like sports viewing rooms or to completely block a view.

Bomb Blast Protection Window Film is used in buildings where there may be a risk of an explosion or terrorist attack.. The film holds the glass fragments together and greatly reduces injury. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqUjGNmh0zg)

Bullet Proof Window Film prevents or slows the ability of a bullet to penetrate the glass.

Daylight Redirecting Window Film controls the light coming into a room, directs the light to the ceiling and down into the room, reducing the amount of artificial light needed in a room.

Decorative Window Film is used to provide privacy and beauty to a room. It comes in patterns and a number of degrees of frost. It can be die-cut to do branding or almost any custom design.

Dichroic Window Film has a shimmering color shifting effect. It comes in warm and cool colors. The cool have a range of purple and blues and the warm yellow to red.

Exterior Window Film is film applied to the outside of the window when it is very difficult or impossible to apply it to the inside.

High Impact Rear Projection Film is film that transforms any window or glass partition into a digital display screen.  It can be any shape or size.  (multimedia.3m.com/mws/.fn=PROJECTION%20COMBINED.pdf)

Gradiant Window Film starts with frost on the bottom and gradually goes to clear. It can also have a color on bottom and go to clear on the top.

Graphic Window Film has any picture printed on it and at any size.  The picture can be seen on one side and a clear window on the other.

One Way Mirrored Film has a mirrored surface and one can be see through from the other side undetected.

Photovoltaics Window Film has tiny solar cells to convert sunlight into direct current electricity.

Reflective Window Film has a metallic look.

Smart or Switchable Window Film changes from frosted to clear when it is turned on or off.

Safety and Security Window Film prevents intruders from getting into a building easily. Also comes with attachments to increase effectiveness.

Solar Control Window Film is the most common window film. It is used to reduce glare, eliminate UV Rays, protect furnishing, increase comfort, and provide energy savings. There is a wide range of this film.  (solutions.3m.com)

View Controlled Window Film is a film that controls what is seen through the glass. There are 3 different view control films that offer 2 angles of view. The product is applied vertically or horizontally giving a different view. This can accent one space over another. This product is put out by Lumisty.

Most of these products are offered by 3M.  Other brands also carry some of these window film products.  Solar Vision is a dealer for the 3M Prestige line.  We know that the 3M company stands behind all their products.  The reputation of the 3M company is unsurpassed. We are, however, able to install other brands as well.

Linen 3M Fasara Film


Linen  3M Fasara Film was applied to glass pieces and shipped to the Ritz Carlton in St. Thomas.  The film has a texture of white coarsely woven linen.  Linen SH2FGLN gives a soft, natural look.  The film was applied to the glass and then covered with another sandwiching it in between the 2 pieces of glass.  This type of glass can be bought with real linen but is extremely costly.  The film gives the glass the same look. Linen Fasara Applied in Shop

The Linen Fasara Film is one of more than 50 types of Fasara Film.  It resembles Japanese Rice Paper.  The film combines eastern design and today's technology to create a tranquil and very classy modern look.  The Fabric Japanese Rice Paper family of 3M Window film has patterns with the look and feel of fabric or Japanese Rice Paper.  They have the look of etched, cut, textured or sandblasted glass at a fraction of the cost. The film is used in most cases on glass already present.  Glass does not have to be removed and replaced with a custom glass.  They also give privacy and light still enters the room.  The films provide UV protection as well filtering out more than 99 percent of the UV Rays.

Decorator Uses:

  • Glass partitions
  • Window panes
  • Can be die cut
  • Can be used on whole glass partition or customized
  • Use limited only by imagination
  • Used as an interior film only

Linen Look Fasara was applied in the shop to be shipped

Fasara 3M Films should be installed by professionals.  When they are applied, they are Considered permanent solutions.  When designs needs change, they can be removed and replaced.

This decorative film offers:

  • Easy cleaning
  • Privacy or can hide places less attractive
  • Reduces fading from UV
  • Protects occupants from broken or flying glass
  • Is cost effective
  • Gives the working or living space an element of design and uniqueness

Visit with our Solar Vision specialists to let us help you bring your design vision to a reality.


School Safety Improvement


School safety is an ever growing concern for schools. As a teacher of 34 years, I have seen a number of ways window films can be effectively used to improve school safety. The window film is retrofitted into already existing buildings which is much less expensive than replacing windows. Applying the film creates no mess and the windows are easily cleaned. Safety

Accidents involving glass account for a large percent of injuries in schools. Large areas of glass may not be seen by students and they may run into them. It is important to make the glass more visible. This can be done by applying opaque film or simple patterned film to the glass such as Fasara (http://solutions.3m.com/ ) It is important to make it apparent that the glass is there. The film can cover all or a portion of the glass. Every window or other transparent surface in a wall, partition and door or gate should be of safety material or be protected against breakage of the transparent material. It should be appropriately marked or have something to make it apparent. Film around door handles also help make the glass visible. Graphics can be used to make the glass more visible. The film can add to the learning environment and make it very creative and appealing. Graphics can be used to increase school spirit or motivate achievement in students and staff. Any picture or logo can be printed on the film.

Lettering Applied at Education Center

Safety glass is required in high risk areas. Window film will hold the glass in place if someone runs into the glass. Tempered or toughened glass breaks into squares. Tempered glass may be defective because of manufacturing flaws. Impurities can get into the glass. Sometimes during installation small chips may occur. As the glass expands stresses will develop which may break the glass. When the stress is greater than the strength of the glass it will break. Window film on tempered glass assures that no one will be cut by the glass. Clean up is also very easy.

Glass should be:

  •  Safe from breakage
  •  Visible to avoid accidental collision

Safety can also be increased during weather events with window film. With straight line winds or a tornado most injuries are caused by flying glass. The window film holds the glass shards together. People in the building will not get cut by flying glass.


Unfortunately, we live in a world where we need to keep unwanted intruders out of our schools and away from our children. As a teacher in a rural public high school, quite often we had bomb threats. Real or just a stupid prank, the school officials had to take it seriously. We would have to be moved to another school or a nearby church until the building was secure. If the threat had been real and there had been an explosion, bomb blast window film would prevent glass shards from entering the rooms and injuring students. 90% of all injuries from bombs is caused by flying glass. Even a small piece of glass can injure someone.

If a gun was rumored to be in the school or if there was a tip of a threat, then the school goes into lock down. All the classroom doors are locked until the threat has passed. Schools now have all outer doors locked. One generally has to be let into the school by someone in the office. If a person comes to the door shooting or begins shooting after entering, there is bulletproof window film. The film is expected to delay an active shooter from entering a school from three seconds to two minutes.

Security window film with an attachment will prevent entrance into the building.  A person using something like a baseball bat or crowbar, will be disappointed. Chances are the person will move on. A determined person still may get into the building, but his entry will slowed to the point that the police will have an opportunity to arrive on the scene.  The security film helps to prevent break-ins for theft or vandalism.  Solar Vision has applied 3M™ Safety and Security Window Film to several  school entrances as a test sites for other schools. 3M™ Safety and Security Film is being used in an increasing number of schools. 3M recommends using the Ultra Series S600 or the Safety Series S140. Impact Protection Attachment Systems bond the filmed window to the frame optimizing security. (http://solutions.3m.com/wps/portal/3M/en_US/Window_Film/Solutions/Support/Safety_and_Security_Window_Films)

At a 2014 Campus Safety Conference held at the University of Southern California , Brad Spicer, SafePlans CEO, outlined strategies to improve the safety of main entrances. One thing he recommended was having shatter resistant security window film applied on the doors and windows to make it harder for intruders to enter the building.. (http://www.campussafetymagazine.com/article/physical_securitys_role_in_a_k_12_environment)

Why use security Film in Schools:

  •  Security film is less expensive than replacing all windows and doors with laminated glass.
  •  The security film is easy to apply over existing glazing
  •  The film doesn't stop a determined individual from entering a building, but gives extra time for help to arrive.


Why do kids do graffiti??? It is such a waste and such a problem in schools. Anti-Graffiti film can be applied to windows. The film acts as a sacrificial layer. The acid, paint or permanant marker is on the film. The film then can be removed and reapplied. Doing this quickly keeps from giving the vandals the attention they seek. The film can be applied to bathroom mirrors and outdoor signs as well.

Anti-graffiti film at the City County building

3M Fasara Decorative/Privacy Film Application


3M Fasara Decorative/Privacy Film adds privacy to this work space.  It is a good way to reduce distractions in the workplace. The 3M Fasara Film also lets in natural light reducing the need for extra lighthing.  See the difference the film makes to these windows. Windows Before the Privacy Film Was Applied

Fasara Film comes in 59 different designs.  They take the place of textured, sandblasted, etched, cut or other decorative glass for a fraction of the cost of decorative glass.  The film provides privacy and adds beauty to a room.  It can be customized by adding extra light or design.

Benefits of Using the 3M Fasara Decorative/Privacy Film Include:

  • It is relatively inexpensive compared to decorative glass.
  • There is a large variety of styles to choose from.
  • After 30 days, it can be cleaned just like you would any other window.
  • If styles change, it can be removed and left clear or replaced with another style of film.
  • If there is an event which causes the window to break, the pieces will hold together. Injuries from flying glass will be prevented.
  • The application is durable, fast, and beautiful.
  • 3M and Solar Vision stands behind their product with a 5 year warranty for thermal shock damage.

How Can the 3M Fasara Window Film Be Used:

3M Fasara Decorative/Privacy Film can be used in offices, conference rooms, and lobbies. Retail stores, restaurants,and hospitality venues can use the decorative film.  These glass finishes can be used on partitions, showers, verandas and homes.  The film can be customized to give just the right amount of privacy, light, and decorative value.  The film can be computer cut for precision. The Fasara glass finishes are primarily an interior film, but 2 of the films can be used on the exterior. A beautiful  space  gives a favorable impression to workers and clients.  The addition of the light that is allowed into the room instead of a solid partition adds to worker productivity.

Glass Finishes Can Turn Door Into White Board

The 3M Fasara Films are applied to glass to give them unique glass finishes.  A glass finish applied to this door turned it into a white board or message board.  Etched, cut, sandblasted, textured or other decorative glass finishes add beauty to any room.  These glass finishes are extremely expensive.  An alternative to these popular glass finishes is the use of decorative window film.  The window film provides privacy and beauty.  It can customize spaces while allowing light to enter a room. Why use 3M Fasara?

  • The film is relatively inexpensive.
  • It comes in 59 glass finishes.
  • The film is applied by experts in the field.
  • The application is durable, fast, and beautiful.
  • It is made of a thin, durable polyesters.
  • When styles change, it can be removed.
  • After 30 days, it can be cleaned like any other window.
  • It has a 3M 5 year warranty for thermal shock fractures.

3M Fasara Window Film can be used in offices, conference rooms, and lobbies. Retail stores, restaurants,and hospitality venues can use the decorative film.  These glass finishes can be used on partitions, showers, verandas and homes.  The film can be customized to give just the right amount of privacy, light, and decorative value.  The film can be computer cut for precision. Solar Vision has several people on its team that are very artistic and can free hand projects as well.  They have an eye for getting the installation just right. The Fasara glass finishes are primarily an interior film, but 2 of the films can be used on the exterior. The beautiful  space  gives a favorable impression to workers and clients.  The addition of the light that is allowed into the room instead of a solid partition adds to worker productivity.

The Matte glass finish used on this door is only a small example of what can be done with the film. Please view our other projects.