From the Editor
By Ellen Rogers
Anyone who still thinks glass is just glass is wrong—and
I think that by now most people working with glass in their designs and
construction plans are well versed to this fact. While it was not that
long ago that most people thought a window simply provided a nice view
and protection from the rain, we’ve all come a long way in our thinking.
And thanks to manufacturers’ efforts in educating not only architects,
designers and specifiers, even home and building owners are more aware
of terms such as R-value, U-factor and solar heat gain coefficient.
Aside from the energy-efficiency level of the building, studies have also
shown that glass can play a significant role when it comes to the overall
comfort level of those working inside the building. As the Department
of Energy’s website states: “The quantity and quality of light around
us determine how well we see, work, and play. Light affects our health,
safety, morale, comfort, and productivity.” Simply put, daylighting is
the use of windows and skylights to bring light into a building. With
this in mind, in recent years we’ve seen an increase in the number of
projects designed with daylighting effects in mind.
Take, for instance, the Helen Diller Cancer Research Building, which you
can read about starting on page 16. Located in San Francisco’s Mission
Bay, the project was designed by architect Rafael Viñoly to maximize
the interactions among everyone working there. This was done by using
glass extensively; most significantly by way of an atrium that is visuall
and physically accessible from surrounding areas and exterior terraces.
As project manager Bethany Lundell explained, “We’re trying to stimulate
the researchers and the way they operate … there are different types of
light in different spaces and we wanted to provide daylight in tough spaces
… because it really does make a difference in terms of how you experience
and enjoy a space.”
It’s true; you can’t very well have natural light when bricks and concrete
are your primary building materials. With glass you not only get the benefit
of visible light transmittance, but nice aesthetics, too. I’d love to
hear about how you’re designing with daylighting in mind. Send me an email
at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell me about it. AG
Ellen Rogers is the editor of the Architects’ Guide to Glass &
Architects' Guide to Glass & Metal
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