The National Geographic Society Chooses Armorcoat

The National Geographic Society campus in Washington, D.C., is home to all things anthropological. Inside of its stately walls is the society’s popular museum, magazine and book publishing offices, archives, television production studios and administrative offices. Of course, along with the construction of these capacious buildings came challenges for property management. When Richard Neil, chief engineer for the expansive three buildings, conducted an evaluation of energy usage in 2001, it was determined that they needed to immediately reduce their solar load. After successfully addressing that problem, two years later, when GSA recommended that all buildings within the D.C. area provide a measure of blast mitigation for their windows, Society engineers turned to a familiar vendor to assist with their problem.

Frank and Patrick Clugston of Eastern Metallizing, Inc., initially analyzed the building for energy-related problems. Having been Solar Gard window film dealers for over 30 years, they knew how effective the films would be in fixing Neil’s building issues. They suggested the installation of 12,500 square feet (1,160 square meters) of Solar Gard Solar Bronze 20 and Stainless Steel 35 on the upper floors of the building. Then, when approached for help with broken-glass related safety for the campus two years later, they solved the problem with 4,786 square feet (445 square meters) of Solar Gard Armorcoat 4 Mil Clear on the interior lobby windows and 4,415 square feet (410 square meters) of Solar Gard Armorcoat 4 Mil on the cafeteria. The end result was all that the property engineers had hoped for.

The initial installation of the Solar Gard films in 2001 immediately provided a cooler climate and increased energy efficiency; the solar load was significantly reduced and the displays received increased protection from ultraviolet radiation and solar heat-related damage. Next, in 2003, the Solar Gard Armorcoat installation provided an incredible safety measure that all the Society’s employees were thankful for. The durable, resilient Solar Gard Armorcoat film ensured that there was a strong safety measure in place in the event that a nearby terrorist event or even direct attack resulted in their windows shattering. The National Geographic Society’s employees now have a much stronger sense of security, and the campus engineers are pleased with their improved energy efficiency. Eastern Metallizing, Solar Gard, and Armorcoat were the perfect formula for success!

“Both installations did exactly what we needed them to; now we have increased safety and receive exceptional energy savings. Best of all, we achieved it through a solution that was both attractive and effective – it didn’t darken the rooms and doesn’t take anything from the architect’s original intent. Solar Gard and Armorcoat were the ideal retrofit products for our campus.” Richard Neil, chief engineer .

Installation Summary


  • Damage/injury risks from unprotected glass
  • Excessive solar heat
  • High utility usage/costs


Amount of film:

  • 21,701 sq. ft. (2,016 sq. meters)


  • Greatly increased safety
  • GSA compliance
  • Significantly reduced solar load
  • Reduced energy usage
  • More comfortable interior climate
  • Elimination of glare