On the  
Bright Side  
by Ellen Rogers and Katherine Coig  
hen it comes to energy consumption by buildings,  
artificial 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?  
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.  
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 Dynamic Glazing  
possible two points. The intent is“to connect building occu-  
Glazing products that can change from clear to opaque  
pants with the outdoors, reinforce circadian rhythms, and are becoming more and more common for not only day-  
reduce the use of electrical lighting by introducing daylight lighting, but also to control heat and glare.  
into the space.”  
“Everyone wants more daylighting, and dynamic glass  
But what’s the best way to go about ensuring those credits? is tunable and completely customizable,” says Anthony  
Windows and skylights, right? Wrong. There are many ways Branscum, vice president of architectural sales with Inno-  
that glazing products can be used to optimize daylighting vative Glass Corp. in Plainview, N.Y.  
in a given project. Here’s a look at a few options to bring  
daylighting into your next project.  
“Dynamic glass allows you to reduce daylight when it’s  
not optimal.Customers don’t have to rely on shades,”he says.  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | November 2016  
Effective Strategies for  
Effective Daylighting Projects  
According to Branscum, these products are used to help  
solve common problems buildings often encounter.  
“Architects are incorporating more glass into their  
designs, and they’re very open to the use of these tech-  
Dynamic glass controls the amount of heat to maximize nologies. They know it’s available for open floor plans  
seating in a restaurant without losing service to people with all glass offices to get daylight and privacy glass  
who are uncomfortable,” he says. “It’s practical. It’s being when they need the quick switch,” he says. “Architects  
used in a lot of university facades, smart classrooms, hos- are using it in so many ways that it’s hard for another  
pitals, 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.  
product to relate.”  
continued on page 38  
November 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing  
On the  
Bright Side  
continued from page 37  
On the Inside  
Glass doesn’t have to just be on the exterior to provide  
Different treatments also can be applied to glass to maxi-  
daylighting. There are also ways to use it in interior settings. mize its use in daylighting purposes.  
“When you want to bring light in but don’t want glare,  
walls, etc. helps bring outside light deeper into the space so you can diffuse it by using an acid etch,” says Saroka.“That  
you’re not providing a barrier as you would with drywall,” allows the same amount of light transmission, but without  
says Cathie Saroka, president of Goldray Glass in Calgary, glare. You can apply different coatings to glass or different  
Alberta. “You can bring the light deeper into the building. types of interlayers that bring light in, but also incorporate  
Also, you can use glass with a highly reflective surface, so glare control. Also, backpainted glass or mirrors allow high  
that takes the glass and redirects the light as well. There are reflectance of a surface as again you can reflect light back  
also light-redirecting films; so rather than producing glare and not just absorb it.”  
“Using glass in interior partitions, stairs, floors, doors,  
into the workspace, [the light] goes back up and provides  
She adds that one of the new requirements within LEED  
daylight.” Her company is looking more and more at these is that materials provide a connection to the outdoors.“So  
films as an option.“You can engineer the behavior of glass more glass used in the [interior] space provides more op-  
to carry the light deeper into the building.”  
portunity to see out.”  
Glass can be used in interior settings, such as walls and partitions, to help bring natural daylight deeper into the building.  
USGlass, Metal & Glazing | November 2016  
Translucent panels are also being used in  
daylighting applications. CPI provided its  
UniQuad system for the Austin Independent  
School District Performing Arts Center (right).  
Sunshades were used on the  
Georgia Gwinnett College Library  
and Learning Center (left) to help  
shade the building’s interior and  
conserve energy.  
More than Just Glass  
Glazing products aren’t always just glass. Rafael Rivero, sunlight into the building,reducing the cooling load required.  
vice president of sales for CPI daylighting in Lake Forest, At the same time, they allow some light into the buildings.  
Ill., says polycarbonate translucent panels, often used in ap- Sunshades “… are intended to provide shading from direct  
plications such as arenas, schools, hospitals and malls, can sunlight through louvers (to diffuse sunlight) or solid covers  
also provide a solution.  
(to provide complete shading).”  
A number of manufacturers offer sunshade products, in-  
“They provide diffused light.It’s a good translucent that allows  
more light without glare,” he says.“We’re able to bring deeper cluding Kawneer,whoseVersoleil Sunshade outrigger system  
light transmission,contrast light and dark elements.It’s also an for curtainwall was used on the Georgia Gwinnett College  
architectural element to give views and deeper penetration.”  
Library in Lawrenceville, Ga., a LEED Gold project designed  
Interest in products like these and how they can be used by Leo A Daly.According to Kawneer, bringing daylight and  
for successful daylighting is growing.Rivero says they spend views of the surrounding campus into the facility was crit-  
a lot of time working with the architectural community to ical to meeting the architect’s and owner’s design require-  
help them understand how to maximize the benefits.  
ments. As part of the design and to achieve performance  
We do a lot of predesign concepts. We do modeling and goals, custom 36-inch-deep 1600 Sunshades were used to  
designing to help optimize daylighting in any building,” he shade the building’s interior and conserve energy. The sun-  
says. “We help architects bring in an appropriate level of shades integrated into the company’s 1600 Wall System1 and  
light.They want more graphic pieces with a lot of color,print created savings in fabrication and attachment time.  
and graphics. The panels help optimize the energy of the  
As a number of different reports and studies have shown,  
building … and they can help scale down HVAC elements.” there are many benefits of incorporating daylighting into  
As an example, CPI’s UniQuad wall light glazing assem- design.And that means plenty of opportunities for the glaz-  
bly was used recently in the new Austin Independent School ing industry as well. s  
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  
E l l e n R o g e r s and  
K a t h e r i n e C o i g are  
the editor and assistant  
Austin Green Building Program.  
editor respectively of USGlass  
Sunshades and other exterior shading devices can also help  
magazine. Follow them on  
control heat and glare, while still allowing for daylighting.  
Twitter at @USGlass and like  
According to information from the American Architectural  
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November 2016 | USGlass, Metal & Glazing