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Dynamic Faรงades: Solving the Design Challenge without Compromise

Helen Sanders SAGE Electrochromics, Inc.

“Ever since the first cave people crept indoors for safety, humans have sought to bring sunlight in from the outside.”

Source: John Pierson. “If Sun Shines In, Workers Work Better, Buyers Buy More.” Wall Street Journal, 11/95.

Why Do We Need Daylight?

“Daylight is a drug and nature is the prescribing physician� (D. Burnet, Benya & Burnet Consulting)

Why Do We Need Daylight? •  Daylight entrains the circadian rhythms which impact • 

the immune system and wound healing


mood and behavior (depression)


hormone regulation


metabolism (weight management)


heart and blood pressure

•  Daylight changes throughout the day: morning light stimulates different processes than afternoon/evening light •  Removal of daylight cycles is linked to: • 

Increased risk of cancer


Obesity/diabetes/high blood pressure


Depression/behavioral issues

•  • 

Today’s (Green) Design Challenge Too hot/cold Glare problems

Low Energy Consumption

Challenge: How can we achieve all three simultaneously?


Occupant thermal & visual comfort


Daylighting and views


Too much heat gain/loss? Inadequate solar control? Daylight not harvested?

Battle for the Wall – Building Codes Windows: Are they the weak energy link in buildings?

Focus on thermal conductance and heat gain - But 20% of the building energy comes from electric lighting -  80% ends up as heat load

Daylighting: Energy Impact 7800

Annual Energy Use (Source)

No lighting controls

Expected shape of energy performance in a high performance building

With continuously dimming lighting controls 7600


Position and depth of minimum depends on many factors: •  Glass VT, SHGC, u-factor •  Depth of daylight zone •  Interior design •  Dimming control details











WWR, %

Reducing window area compromises ability to have enough daylight/views AND misses significant energy savings

Occupant Comfort?

More daylight, if not managed well, can lead to: •  Glare/thermal issues •  Inadequate glare control promotes use of blinds •  Blind/shade use negates daylighting – reduces energy savings •  Blind/shade use eliminates the view!!

Today’s (Green) Design Challenge

Low Energy Consumption

Occupant thermal & visual comfort

Challenge: How can we achieve all three simultaneously?

Daylighting and views

An Elegant Solution?

Example EC Glass Performance

Glare control without needing shades/blinds


Product Technology – How Electrochromic Glass Works



A “Green” Glass Cube: Morgan Library – Colorado State University


Morgan Library

-  Enables highly glazed west facing high altitude façade -  Preserves transparent design intent -  Zoning for optimum control

Morgan Library - CSU

A Glass Cube in Miami?

A Glass Cube in Miami?

Creating a Usable Space: Kimmel Center, Philadelphia, PA

Energy Efficient Historic Renovation: St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, St. Johnsbury, VT

A Very Challenging Problem – A view always Port of Entry, Torrington, WY

Naval Academy – Digital displays?

EC Glazing: Solving the Façade Design Challenge • 

Enabling sustainable designs • 

With high energy performance


Without reducing window area


Without compromising occupant comfort


Elegant and simple façade designs


Enabling unobstructed views – no shades/blinds

Facades: Chi 2013 - Helen Sanders  
Facades: Chi 2013 - Helen Sanders  

Facades+: Chicago 2013 Helen Sanders Powerpoint Presentation