ME USGlass November 2016 : Page 36

On the Bright Side by Ellen Rogers and Katherine Coig W hen it comes to energy consumption by buildings, artifi cial lighting is one of the biggest—if not the biggest—users. The U.S. Energy Information Ad-ministration estimates that in 2015, about 404 billion kilo-watthours (kWh) of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors. The U.S. commercial sector alone, which includes commercial and institutional buildings, and public street and highway lighting, consumed about 258 billion kWh for lighting, equal to about 19 percent of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2015. It’s a good thing so many people prefer natural light; of course it, too, has its challenges. While most people may prefer sunlight, the most common means and methods for maximizing light transmission and interior comfort don’t always go hand-in-hand. Excess heat and glare are common complaints. Frequent solutions, such as blinds and shades, defeat the original intent to allow in natural light. So, how do we ensure that desirable natural light isn’t overtaken by uncomfortable side effects—all while being mindful of excessive energy bills? Effective daylighting, for example, is one strategy that can help a project earn LEED points. According to LEED BD+C: Healthcare | v4 -LEED v4, daylighting provides a project a possible two points. The intent is “to connect building occu-pants with the outdoors, reinforce circadian rhythms, and reduce the use of electrical lighting by introducing daylight into the space.” But what’s the best way to go about ensuring those credits? Windows and skylights, right? Wrong. There are many ways that glazing products can be used to optimize daylighting in a given project. Here’s a look at a few options to bring daylighting into your next project. Different types of dynamic glazing products are available for use in both exterior and interior applications. Both types can be used to allow natural light in, while also shading to reduce glare or increase privacy. Dynamic Glazing Glazing products that can change from clear to opaque are becoming more and more common for not only day-lighting, but also to control heat and glare. “Everyone wants more daylighting, and dynamic glass is tunable and completely customizable,” says Anthony Branscum, vice president of architectural sales with Inno-vative Glass Corp. in Plainview, N.Y. “Dynamic glass allows you to reduce daylight when it’s not optimal. Customers don’t have to rely on shades,” he says. www.usglassmag.com 36 USG lass, Metal & Glazing | November 2016

On the Bright Side

Ellen Rogers and Katherine Coig

When it comes to energy consumption by buildings, artificial lighting is one of the biggest–if not the biggest–users. The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that in 2015, about 404 billion kilowatthours (kWh) of electricity were used for lighting by the residential and commercial sectors. The U.S. commercial sector alone, which includes commercial and institutional buildings, and public street and highway lighting, consumed about 258 billion kWh for lighting, equal to about 19 percent of commercial sector electricity consumption in 2015.

It's a good thing so many people prefer natural light; of course it, too, has its challenges.

While most people may prefer sunlight, the most common means and methods for maximizing light transmission and interior comfort don't always go hand-in-hand. Excess heat and glare are common complaints. Frequent solutions, such as blinds and shades, defeat the original intent to allow in natural light.

So, how do we ensure that desirable natural light isn't overtaken by uncomfortable side effects–all while being mindful of excessive energy bills?

Effective daylighting, for example, is one strategy that can help a project earn LEED points. According to LEED BD+C: Healthcare | v4 - LEED v4, daylighting provides a project a possible two points. The intent is "to connect building occupants with the outdoors, reinforce circadian rhythms, and reduce the use of electrical lighting by introducing daylight into the space."

But what's the best way to go about ensuring those credits? Windows and skylights, right? Wrong. There are many ways that glazing products can be used to optimize daylighting in a given project. Here's a look at a few options to bring daylighting into your next project.

Dynamic Glazing

Glazing products that can change from clear to opaque are becoming more and more common for not only daylighting, but also to control heat and glare.

"Everyone wants more daylighting, and dynamic glass is tunable and completely customizable," says Anthony Branscum, vice president of architectural sales with Innovative Glass Corp. in Plainview, N.Y.

"Dynamic glass allows you to reduce daylight when it's not optimal. Customers don't have to rely on shades," he says.

According to Branscum, these products are used to help solve common problems buildings often encounter.

"Dynamic glass controls the amount of heat to maximize seating in a restaurant without losing service to people who are uncomfortable," he says. "It's practical. It's being used in a lot of university facades, smart classrooms, hospitals, large atriums and in corporate buildings."

Branscum says he has been working directly with dynamic glass for seven years, and the demand is growing every day.

"Architects are incorporating more glass into their designs, and they're very open to the use of these technologies. They know it's available for open floor plans with all glass offices to get daylight and privacy glass when they need the quick switch," he says. "Architects are using it in so many ways that it's hard for another product to relate."

On the Inside

Glass doesn't have to just be on the exterior to provide daylighting. There are also ways to use it in interior settings.

"Using glass in interior partitions, stairs, floors, doors, walls, etc. helps bring outside light deeper into the space so you're not providing a barrier as you would with drywall," says Cathie Saroka, president of Goldray Glass in Calgary, Alberta. "You can bring the light deeper into the building. Also, you can use glass with a highly reflective surface, so that takes the glass and redirects the light as well. There are also light-redirecting films; so rather than producing glare into the workspace, [the light] goes back up and provides daylight." Her company is looking more and more at these films as an option. "You can engineer the behavior of glass to carry the light deeper into the building."

Different treatments also can be applied to glass to maximize its use in daylighting purposes.

"When you want to bring light in but don't want glare, you can diffuse it by using an acid etch," says Saroka. "That allows the same amount of light transmission, but without glare. You can apply different coatings to glass or different types of interlayers that bring light in, but also incorporate glare control. Also, backpainted glass or mirrors allow high reflectance of a surface as again you can reflect light back and not just absorb it."

She adds that one of the new requirements within LEED is that materials provide a connection to the outdoors. "So more glass used in the [interior] space provides more opportunity to see out."

Glass can be used in interior settings, such as walls and partitions, to help bring natural daylight deeper into the building.

More than Just Glass

Glazing products aren't always just glass. Rafael Rivero, vice president of sales for CPI daylighting in Lake Forest, Ill., says polycarbonate translucent panels, often used in applications such as arenas, schools, hospitals and malls, can also provide a solution.

"They provide diffused light. It's a good translucent that allows more light without glare," he says. "We're able to bring deeper light transmission, contrast light and dark elements. It's also an architectural element to give views and deeper penetration."

Interest in products like these and how they can be used for successful daylighting is growing. Rivero says they spend a lot of time working with the architectural community to help them understand how to maximize the benefits.

"We do a lot of predesign concepts. We do modeling and designing to help optimize daylighting in any building," he says. "We help architects bring in an appropriate level of light. They want more graphic pieces with a lot of color, print and graphics. The panels help optimize the energy of the building . . . and they can help scale down HVAC elements."

As an example, CPI's UniQuad wall light glazing assembly was used recently in the new Austin Independent School District Performing Arts Center (PAC). Designed by Pfluger Associates Architects, the 60,000-square-foot, $30 million project features 6,850 square feet of the UniQuad wall light system. The new venue, located on the grounds of a former airport, earned certification from both LEED and the local Austin Green Building Program.

Sunshades and other exterior shading devices can also help control heat and glare, while still allowing for daylighting. According to information from the American Architectural Manufacturers Association, sunshades help reduce direct sunlight into the building, reducing the cooling load required. At the same time, they allow some light into the buildings. Sunshades " . . . are intended to provide shading from direct sunlight through louvers (to diffuse sunlight) or solid covers (to provide complete shading)."

A number of manufacturers offer sunshade products, including Kawneer, whose Versoleil Sunshade outrigger system for curtainwall was used on the Georgia Gwinnett College Library in Lawrenceville, Ga., a LEED Gold project designed by Leo A Daly. According to Kawneer, bringing daylight and views of the surrounding campus into the facility was critical to meeting the architect's and owner's design requirements. As part of the design and to achieve performance goals, custom 36-inch-deep 1600 Sunshades were used to shade the building's interior and conserve energy. The sunshades integrated into the company's 1600 Wall System1 and created savings in fabrication and attachment time.

As a number of different reports and studies have shown, there are many benefits of incorporating daylighting into design. And that means plenty of opportunities for the glazing industry as well.

the author

Ellen Rogers and K a t h e r i n e C o i g are the editor and assistant editor respectively of USGlass magazine. Follow them on Twitter at @USGlass and like USGlass on Facebook to receive updates.

Read the full article at https://mydigitalpublication.com/article/On+the+Bright+Side/2636477/356729/article.html.

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