Volume 47, Issue 11 - November 2012
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When we talk glazing trends “daylighting” is one word that often comes to mind. While people may talk a lot about it, for some there is still uncertainty about what, exactly, daylighting is. It’s more than just a few windows and a skylight. As explained by the Daylighting Collaborative, daylighting “is the practice of using natural light to illuminate building spaces. Rather than relying solely on electric lighting during the day, daylighting brings indirect natural light into the building. Daylighting reduces the need for electric lighting and connects people to the outdoors. And it provides pleasing illumination at a fraction of the cost of the most efficient electric lights.”
Glass can play a significant part in daylighting designs and a number of companies have developed products ideal for such projects. There are a significant number of daylighting innovations available.
Solera can be fabricated with a variety of glazing compositions, including heat-strengthened, tempered and laminated; with various combinations of veil choices to control diffusion, visual light transmittance and solar gain; and with the transparent InsolCore, which disrupts the convection cycle of heat transfer. In addition, Lumira aerogel is also available.
aLuminate’s reflector extrusions feature a wave-type pattern designed to diffuse sunlight and project it deep into the room. The light shelves are designed for use with the company’s curtainwall and storefront systems and are also compatible with many other manufacturers’ aluminum framing systems, during new construction or as a retrofit application.
The light shelves are available in 18-, 24-, 30- and 36-inch in-rigger projection depths with horizontal spans up to 60 inches.
Also from Tubelite, the Max/Block sun shades are available in airfoil, Z-blade and tubular architectural profiles. Each outrigger type can be extended from the building in various projection lengths to provide the desired performance. Blades are attached to the outriggers using simple screw spline connections. The detachable mounting bracket fastens at the pressure plate area and allows for the removal of the sun shades’ individual sections for re-glazing applications.
Maximize Natural Light and Energy Efficiency
The Clear Story products are integrated with the curtainwall and window systems’ engineering and manufacturing. According to the company, this allows it to ensure proper structural support of the shade and shelf loads, continuity of line, as well as integral alignment and anchorage.
“The value proposition for daylight harvesting is fairly simple: as daylight levels increase in a space, electric light levels can automatically decrease to maintain a target task-light level and save energy,” says Deschamps, explaining that acid-etched mirrors can be used to capture daylight and control glare. They can also be used to keep daylight in selected areas of a space and diffuse daylight for better visual comfort.
And which applications are ideal? There are many. These include doors, shelves, furniture components, decorative accents, wall cladding, sliding walls, free-standing structures and more.
Did You Know: Toplighting vs. Sidelighting
The Collaborative explains that sidelighting, on the other hand, brings daylight into the building from the side through windows, curtainwalls, etc.