Why is the glass in one conference room clear and the other blue?
Perhaps surprisingly, the glass used in the two conference rooms is identical! View Glass is a new and innovative technology, that addresses the ever-changing comfort expectations associated with transparent surfaces and our beloved, but at times problematic sun.
As the sun migrates across the sky from eastern sunrise to western sunset with attendant altitude changes and the appearance and disappearance of cloud cover, the comfort expectations of occupants also unpredictably change. At times the warmth of solar radiation is welcomed, as on a cold winter morning; while at other times shunned, as on a hot summer afternoon. The discomfort of glare is never appreciated morning, noon, or afternoon; yet the innate human pleasure and desire for daylight and view are always appreciated — unless tasks demand darkness. Until recent times, control of these variations was accomplished using interior or exterior window treatments (awnings, shades, blinds, louvers, etc.). If operable, requiring continual attention and manipulation; or, if fixed, only performing effectively at certain times of the day or year.
View, Inc’s dynamic glass product, View Glass, is controlled by a rooftop “weather station” that monitors sun position, temperature, and cloud cover. The controller dictates to the glass by way of a small electric charge passed on to a nano-layer of metal oxides coating an interior side of one pane of the double paned units. These charged molecules then alter the degree of opacity of the glass predicting the occupant’s comfort requirements inside the spaces adjacent to the glass.
Yet occupants can override the controller’s selections at any time. At the push of a button on a control panel in each space, one of four opacities can be programmed into the glass, each level progressively reducing solar radiation and glare while preserving views and daylight levels.
What we might imagine in the image above is that occupants in the conference room on the left were perhaps gathered around a conference table content with the amount of daylight, solar load, and glare level they were experiencing, while those in the conference room on the right were perhaps watching a presentation on a video screen and required lower levels of daylight for their task. Each group customizing their experience with identical technology.
The elimination of expenditures for window treatments is obvious from the above, but not immediately obvious will be the reduction of cooling loads experienced by the spaces and their attendant unwelcome additions to cooling costs and carbon impacts.
The next time you are using one of the spaces in the Design Building that has View Glass, why not step over to a control panel and dial in just what is right for you and your group!