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The Case of the Inquisitive Insulation

Insulated Glass Question:

Dear Glass Detective,

Please help me understand technical information regarding the glass components of an insulated glass (also known as insulating glass) unit. Here are my questions:

  1. What residential construction industry standards or recommendations are there for the individual thickness of glass panes?
  2. What residential construction industry standards or recommendations are there for the overall thickness of insulated glass units?
  3. What are the benefits of Low-E, Sound Transmission Class (STC) Ratings, and Outdoor/Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) Ratings?


Miguel Tello


Thank you for making contact with the Glass Detective regarding your desire to get technical information on insulating glass (also known as insulated glass) units for residential use. The questions you ask are quite broad in scope and would take a fair amount of time to answer in any detail. So what I am going to recommend is that you go online to solicit specific information from the various large manufacturers of insulating glass units because these will better provide you with the exact information you are looking for.

You may be surprised to see how much information you will get. You may also be surprised at the variety of products available and their varying degrees of performance characteristics. You will also be able to get OITC ratings for the various products. Check for these under the category of sound-reducing glass assemblies.

As far as California code requirements for OITC, you will have to research that with information provided for California Building Codes (probably by geographical area). These sites will provide you with a great deal of information:


Guardian Architectural Glass

Insulating Glass Manufacturers Alliance

Oldcastle Building Envelope

Pilkington North America

Vitro/PPG Architectural Glass

Thank you again for contacting the Glass Detective with your questions and I hope this information is of some value to you.

Please note, this article may contain links to Amazon products. As an Amazon Associate, earns from qualifying purchases.



Lyle Hill

Lyle Hill has been in the glass and metal industry for more than 40 years. In this time he has managed glass retail, contract glazing, mirror, architectural window, window film, and automotive glass businesses throughout America. He obtained an MBA from IIT with a focus on Technology and Engineering Management. Hill is also a columnist for glass industry trade magazines and often called the “face” of the glass industry. He has also authored books including “The Broken Tomato and Other Business Parables,” which is available through Amazon. Find out more about Lyle on Linkedin.

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