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Vitro champions landmark Pittsburgh Glass Center expansion

March 16, 2023  By Vitro Architectural Glass

As a longstanding partner of Pittsburgh Glass Center (PGC) – a nonprofit, public-access glass education center and studio in Pittsburgh’s East End – Vitro Architectural Glass (formerly PPG Glass) announced that it will be donating glass for both the interior and exterior for PGC’s landmark expansion set to begin on March 23, 2023.

To provide supreme aesthetics, clarity, and solar control and insulating performance for the renovation, Vitro’s donation includes Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass, VacuMax Vacuum Insulating Glass (VIG) and heavy Starphire® glass. This marks the first Pittsburgh-area project to include VacuMax Vacuum Insulating Glass (VIG). Additional partners on this project include glass fabricator, United Plate Glass, and glazier, Southwest Aluminum & Glass Co., Inc., both located in Western Pennsylvania.

“Vitro is thrilled to champion this historic renovation of Pittsburgh Glass Center, which has established itself as one of the premier glassfacilities in the United States,” said Ricardo Maiz, president, Vitro Architectural Glass. “The glass used ensures that everyone who visits PGC will enjoy exploring the beautiful new space in complete comfort. We’re honored to be part of this expansion project, one that will allow PGC to enhance its existing programs and create new programs that will have a monumental impact in our community, the Pittsburgh area and entire region.”

The Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass combination provides high visible light transmittance (VLT), exceptional clarity and superior solar control performance. In a standard one-inch insulating glass unit (IGU), Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass delivers VLT of 68% and a solar heat gain coefficient (SHGC) of 0.28.


VacuMax VIG units consist of two fully tempered lites of glass separated by a non-leaded metal seal and a vacuum air space. The units’ slim construction and light weight allow them to be incorporated into virtually any traditional and advanced glazing system to deliver extraordinary R-values and exceptional insulating performance. VIG units can be used alone as a replacement for monolithic glass or as a substitute for the interior lite in a traditional one-inch IGU where it forms a second airspace and creates a hybrid IGU that can achieve an R-value of R16. VacuMax VIG units also deliver increased acoustic performance for dramatic noise reduction and eliminate condensation.

PGC will also incorporate a small amount of heavy Starphire® glass in its interior renovations. Heavy Starphire® glass provides 16 percent higher VLT than ordinary clear glass in a 1 3/8-inch laminated glass construction. The result is superior clarity that securely conceals the actual thickness of the glass.

Headquartered in Pittsburgh’s Friendship Neighborhood, Pittsburgh Glass Center cultivates an inclusive and welcoming environment that encourages everyone, from the casually curious to the master artist, to learn, create, and be inspired by glass. PGC first opened its doors in 2001 and has grown significantly over the past two decades, establishing itself as a go-to destination. The expansion will nearly double its existing space, which will allow PGC to increase its visitors and grow its student base.

The expansion also includes renovating a second building two blocks away from the existing facility to create additional housing for technical apprentices and visiting artists and add a gallery space for emerging artists and community programming. Pittsburgh GlassCenter will host a groundbreaking ceremony on March 23, 2023, to kick off the project.

To learn more about Solarban® 72 Starphire® glass, VacuMax Vacuum Insulating Glass (VIG) and heavy Starphire® glass from Vitro Architectural Glass, visit

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