Modern building design goals aim to prioritize human comfort, health, and productivity—including things like maximizing daylight and preserving views of the outdoors. These goals have resulted in more glazed areas of buildings. Though the benefits are many, the downsides of increased glazing include potential for increased glare and heat gain, which can compromise occupant comfort and energy efficiency.
Can new building materials and technologies make it easier for architects, designers, and building engineers to achieve modern goals (comfort, health, and productivity) while minimizing the downsides?
Over a decade ago, electrochromic (EC) glazing was introduced as a smart daylight management solution. This type of glazing dynamically adjusts its tint levels to block up to 91% of incoming solar heat. As a result, EC devices are expected to improve indoor visual and thermal comfort, as well as energy efficiency. But exactly how much does EC glazing improve a building space? Quantifying the impact of dynamic products comes with its own challenges.
Seven years ago, when I selected EC glazing as the topic of my PhD dissertation, the simulation of EC glazing was a key challenge. I dealt with a limited number of simulation tools that could model the effects of EC glazing; limited modeling control parameters; and a lack of publicly available information on dynamic glazing control algorithms.
Architects and building owners need to be able to fully assess the effects of new products and technologies so they can make informed design and building decisions.
SageGlass recently partnered with LightStanza to build a tool to simulate the dynamics of its EC glass products and services. The tool empowers designers to run advanced calculations to account for several inputs, including the local climate, the building model, tinting schedules, and user preferences (i.e., balancing glare with heat gains). With this partnership, LightStanza users can easily visualize SageGlass in a project and quantify its advantages.
Here’s how the simulation works:
- Load any 3D model (from Revit, Rhino, or SketchUp) into LightStanza. Simply drag and drop a Rhino design into your web browser, or prep your Revit or SketchUp design with a fast and free plug-in.
- Paint SageGlass onto your desired glazing.
- Press Run. LightStanza will automatically classify tinting zones and run fast, optimized simulations.
Because LightStanza is cloud-based, it doesn’t tie up local computing resources. And when you’re ready, you can share and collaborate online. You can even download the full annual tint schedule for your own custom analyses.
To find out how SageGlass electrochromic glazing might improve your designs and building performance, sign up for a free trial at app.lightstanza.com/signup.
Ahoo Malekafzali is the Building Science Manager at SageGlass. She demonstrates the performance and benefits of electrochromic glazing through daylighting, energy, and occupant comfort analyses. She also contributes to product development by designing and optimizing electrochromic glazing control algorithms. Ahoo holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Design from North Carolina State University, where she started her research on electrochromic glazing technology.