There is a reason for windows in buildings—people enjoy natural daylight and a connection to the outdoors. However, these benefits are nullified when we block the view and restrict daylight with blinds, shades and other obstructions to avoid uncomfortable glare and heat.
These sentiments were confirmed in a recent survey on daylighting issues conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of SAGE Electrochromics in June 2013 among more than 2,500 U.S. adults ages 18 and older.
While researchers have long known that daylit environments can improve worker productivity and save energy, the survey revealed the ability to improve morale and personal well-being as another ability recognized by the vast majority of employed Americans: 82%of working Americans think there is a connection between office morale and the amount of natural light in the office. And a similar percentage of those who work in an office setting said that they are more productive at work when they have a view of the outdoors than when the blinds/shades are pulled down in their personal office space (79%).
“Architects design buildings using natural light to lower energy use and improve occupant comfort. These efforts are negated when you cover the windows and block daylight,” said Derek Malmquist, vice president of marketing for SAGE. “This new survey reveals that it is not just a lighting efficiency problem; it is about how shutting out views and daylight negatively affects occupants’ acuity and attitudes. People prefer the visual stimulation of the outside natural world and are happier and perform their jobs better.”
Nearly eight in ten (79%) employed adults who work in an office setting agreed that they are more productive at work when they have an outdoor view than when the blinds/shades are pulled when in their personal office space, and 77% these said there is a connection between the amount of natural light in their personal office space and their work performance
A technology for window glass that blocks the glare and heat of the sun without obstructing the view was developed by SAGE Electrochromics and has been commercially available since 2003. Called SageGlass®, the technology enables glass to darken or clear on demand to manage and optimize the amount of daylight and solar heat coming throug
“The good news is that architects and building owners no longer have to block the outdoor views to keep out the negative elements of the sun, such as glare and heat gain,” said Malmquist. “A separate nationwide survey conducted by the Hanley Wood Group, concluded that architects believe that occupants perform better in buildings when they are exposed to natural light and a view to the outdoors. The results from both surveys show a vast opportunity for dynamic glazing.”
“Dynamic glass is reshaping the workplace to help employees thrive by maintaining a strong connection to the world outside their walls. We often like to say that enhanced daylighting in offices will be the next ‘perk’ for employees.”
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of SAGE from June 4-6, 2013, among 2,572 adults ages 18 and older, of whom 1,351 are employed. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Ed Marshall at firstname.lastname@example.org.
 The American Journal of Public Health
SageGlass®, a product of Saint-Gobain, is advanced dynamic glass that can be electronically tinted or cleared to optimize daylight and improve the human experience in buildings. SageGlass manages the sunlight and heat that enter a building, significantly reducing energy consumption while improving people’s comfort and well-being. It can reduce a building’s cooling load by 20% and HVAC requirements up to 30%. It is a smarter, more elegant solution than conventional sun controls such as mechanical window shades, blinds and louvers. With SageGlass you can control sunlight and glare without shades or blinds while maintaining the view and connection to the outdoors. SageGlass is manufactured in Faribault, Minn., in the heart of “the Silicon Valley of the window industry,” and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain of Paris, the world’s largest building materials company.
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About Saint-Gobain in North America
Saint-Gobain has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 250 locations in North America and approximately 15,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $6.2 billion in 2014.
Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
In 2015, Saint-Gobain is celebrating its 350th anniversary, 350 reasons to believe in the future. Backed by its experience and its capacity to continuously innovate, Saint-Gobain, the world leader in the habitat and construction market, designs, manufactures and distributes high-performance and building materials providing innovative solutions to the challenges of growth, energy efficiency and environmental protection. With 2014 sales of $54.6 billion, Saint-Gobain operates in 64 countries and has over 180,000 employees. For more information about Saint-Gobain, visit https://www.saint-gobain.com/en and the twitter account @saintgobain