The conversation on natural light was ongoing throughout the week on the Greenbuild 2014 show room floor in New Orleans.
While showcasing the environmental aspect of their respective products, glass- and fenestration-related exhibitors also stressed the significance of daylighting as part of the green building movement.
“As we move forward with green building, one of the most important things you can do is to get natural light as far into the building as you possibly can,” said Dan Poling, sales manager at Schott. “It’s going to make the occupants happier, it’s going to reduce the energy costs not only from the lighting but with the use of your HVAC units. It’s going to create a physically healthier work environment, because UV kills a lot of the germs that we typically see. So any time we can put glass into a wall creatively, I think we’re making the building a better structure.”
CPI Daylighting was showing its controlled and translucent daylight passive and automated systems. The automated system can provide as much as 66 percent light transmission when open, and when closed, as much as 3 percent. Users can set the light transmission percentage with thermostat-like functionality, and it adjusts itself throughout the day.
“You get into a facility that has to do with the well-being of an individual, whether it’s a school, healthcare facility or retirement home, and those places are where [daylighting systems] really shine,” said Bobby Addison, consultant and regional manager at CPI Daylighting.
CPI sales representative Kevin Haslauer added that continued studies that have proven the positive effects of natural daylight, from improved test scores in educational facilities to better attendance and higher levels of productivity in work settings.
While multi-purpose facilities such as school gymnasiums and religious facilities have greatly utilized the daylighting technologies, the commercial sector hasn’t embraced it quite as much, according to Addison. Addison thinks that sector is missing out.
“The use of a well-designed, naturally daylit commercial building by utilizing this type of technology can reduce its overall energy costs by as much as 60 to 70 percent,” he said.
In its own efforts to bring more natural light into buildings and reduce energy usage, Velux showed its various versions of skylights for both residential and non-residential applications.
The company featured its solar powered fresh air skylight, which is solar-venting. Velux executive marketing representative Kanishka Kapil explained the concept of the “stack effect,” which is utilized by Velux’s product.
“If you crack a skylight, air rises and it pulls the air through the skylight … it’s like free air conditioning,” he said, adding that in Denmark, where the company is headquartered, AC isn’t used a whole lot, so “this is one of the ways they ventilate a building.”
“And in an AC climate, you can release the trapped hot air in a building,” he added. “You can just open these up for two minutes, shut it, and now your AC is cooling cool air instead of trying to cool the hot air of the building.”
Other notes from the show:
-View had its dynamic glass installed upstairs in a room above the exposition floor to demonstrate its electrochromic technology. View’s Brandon Tinianov said his company’s technology is “centered around the user,” with occupancy comfort, productivity and health key focuses. He said the sectors in which View’s electrochromic glass is the most popular are healthcare, government and higher education.
-Viracon has taken on its fair share of sports stadium projects. In addition to its involvement in the well-publicized new Minnesota Vikings stadium, the company has been acquired to supply glass for the Atlanta Falcons’ new stadium, as well as a new Sacramento Kings arena project.
-EFCO, which prides itself on retrofit projects, recently completed an approximately 2,000-window job at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis, Tenn., raising the fenestration units’ thermal and acoustical performance with its 6711 Fixed Windows.
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