Making curtains that open quietly instead of screeching, heavy drapes became a product challenge for the Swiss engineer who founded Silent Gliss in 1952. For Alexander Weber, a daily nuisance became the inspiration for a new category of interior window treatments that make little or no sound, and more than 65 years later, Silent Gliss is the leading global supplier of premium interior window treatment systems. Distinguished by innovative solutions, exceptional design and outstanding quality, Silent Gliss develops and manufactures bespoke systems for the world’s quietest, smoothest gliding curtains and blinds.
The success story of Silent Gliss started with the ingenious idea of combining nylon gliders with aluminium tracks to make the quietest curtain tracks in the world. From this, we designed tracks that could be bent and were the first to electrically operate curtains via push-button control. Silent Gliss owes its lasting success to three core principles: innovation, quality and service.
Our relationship with NBS has progressed throughout the decades, extending our partnership to include the products and innovations relevant to the industry. In 1988, we were initially part of the RIBA Product Selector hard copy directory, now available as an online index at ribaproductselector.com. Together with NBS’ product developments, we became part of NBS Plus, the RIBA CPD Providers Network and the NBS National BIM Library, becoming the first window treatment company to have proprietary BIM objects in the library.
We recognized the need for architects and specifiers to have standardized BIM objects to ease the design workflow and improve the interoperability of information. The NBS National BIM Library is a primary source of high-quality BIM objects in the UK, and is setting the pace globally in a new digital era of international, collaborative construction. Our objects have already been downloaded in countries around the world, from Australia to Vietnam.
The NBS National BIM Library launched in Canada earlier this year, and in keeping with our innovation principle, we made the decision to update our BIM objects for use across North America using the NBS BIM Object Standard template. Used across the UK and around the world, the NBS BIM Object Standard will allow us to share product information digitally across UK and Canada, and allow designers and specifiers to download country-specific standardized objects.
Having structured information, such as NBS specification information and BIM models, has helped us to remain directly connected with architects and specifiers. We provide them with exactly the information that they need, in the format that they need, at the time that they need it. They know by working with Silent Gliss that they will have the necessary detail to hand without the need for alterations or intervention.
As the use of BIM continues to grow, our customers have the reassurance that they can continue to specify Silent Gliss products easily because our product information is readily provided in the correct format for seamless integration into their specifications and 3D design models.
Technology, new software and 3D platforms are transforming the construction industry; expertise in the industry, and manufacturers’ products and relevant fields are now more in demand than ever. With the increasing complexity of technical possibilities and a comprehensive product range, we ensure that architects, interior designers, retailers and contractors have the knowledge they need when selecting and specifying window treatment systems by offering them RIBA CPD-assessed materials and seminars. Our Solar Control in Modem Interiors seminar looks at the increased importance of solar protection, identifying key aspects affected by European Legislation and the effect of different screen fabrics: solar gain, natural light, eye comfort, heat protection and contrast vision. This CPD has been really well received over the years: so much so that we’re often asked if we have any other programmes, so we’re currently working hard on another CPD which we hope to launch early next year.
We are continuously working on product development and improvement of our systems. New architectural trends and the growing importance of design aspects require great creativity in developing new solutions for internal window treatments. Using the latest technologies and constantly questioning ourselves are therefore prerequisites.
NBS supports our technological journey and puts our products in front of the right people at every stage of a project, with the appropriate and accurate information that they need. We work with NBS to get our products specified and used by construction industry professionals. From brief, design and construction to handover and maintenance, NBS allows our products to be embedded into the construction project. Architects and planners can find out more about our company and products on ribaproductselector.com. They can also learn more with our RIBA-approved CPD seminar, use our products clauses in NBS Plus specification formatto write specifications in NBS Create or Building, and input products in the 3D model using the NBS National BIM Library Autodesk Revit Plugin. Working closely with NBS, we accompany and support architects and planners in all aspects of interior window decoration – from conception to implementation and installation.
The future looks very busy for Silent Gliss; we continue to improve our existing products by exploring the use of new materials, and manufacturing methods and equipment. When it comes to new products, the increasing trend towards home automation offers exciting opportunities for us to develop our motorized products.
Globalization has presented some great opportunities: our products are available all over the world, and the development of our digital tools has helped us to strengthen our activities by making our information readily available in standard formats recognized in most markets. We see that about 15% of our BIM models and NBS specs are downloaded by users outside of the UK. Likewise, we know that many of the large projects overseas using Silent Gliss products are designed and managed by architects in the UK. Digitalization has made transcending these barriers much easier.
You can locate and download Silent Gliss BIM objects at the NBS National BIM Library.