The Greenbuild International Conference and Expo was combined with ABX 2017 for one major event in Boston this year. The glazing industry took advantage of the opportunity to show off their latest energy-efficient products; however, for many companies, the focus on green is broadening to an overall focus on wellness.
Several companies offer daylighting solutions that add desirable LEED points while potentially improving the mental and physical health of building occupants.
“What’s interesting now in the world of green building is that energy efficiency, LEED and looking at the overall building energy load isn’t enough anymore,” says ASSA ABLOY director of sustainable building solutions Amy Vigneux. “You’ve got to have more focus on the actual inhabitants of the building and how they’re doing. That’s where WELL comes in. The WELL Building Standard is a newer building standard that focuses on a number of different elements, but really focuses on the people. Do they have access to daylighting or views?”
Vigneux explains that ASSA ABLOY is getting their customer to think deeper about the ways glass contributes to wellness, including better access to daylight rather than interior lighting, which saves energy.
SageGlass CEO Alan McLenaghan touched on the payback provided by a more comfortable environment.
“The energy savings are great, but if you come to SageGlass and your glass needs are all about energy savings I would say, ‘Don’t do it.’ It’s not going to pay back fast enough for you. If you’re looking for a payback don’t do it based on energy. If you’re looking at people’s comfort or productivity then its payback is no time at all. What’s it worth to customers and employees to have uninterrupted views without sun glare?”
SageGlass’ electrochromic glass works automatically through the use of sensors to measure light and heat levels. Matched with data about the time of day, year and geography, the sensors can calculate the angles of the sun and adjust the glass tinting accordingly.
“Each pieces of glass has an IP address, like a computer,” says McLenaghan. “We can change the glass settings from our office without taking a trip to our clients. Soon, with the Internet of things, we’ll be able to talk to their glass from Abu Dhabi.”
Arnold Glas Corp. showcased its Ornilux bird-friendly glass paired with its Solarlux solar control glass line. The line includes four high-performance, low-E coatings with different visible light transparency without color difference.
“We can use different coatings and different orientations. There’s the most heat gain on the East side of the building because that’s where the sun moves around the building. To keep heat out and cooling loads manageable we can use a coating with low transparency and low heat gain,” says Stefan Goebel, Arnold Glas general manager. “Then on the North façade where there is less light we could use a higher coating. With conventional concepts we’d use the same glass around the entire building. With our Solarlux, people won’t notice the difference.”
Greenbuild and ABX 2017 concluded today with a closing plenary featuring astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson.