SageGlass

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Insights on glass and daylighting for the built environment

Dynamic glass in Passive House design

 

We are big fans of Passive House (aka PassivHaus), the tough energy performance standard that can cut a building’s energy requirements by up to 90%. We believe dynamic glass can play a crucial role in providing the well-regulated sun control that the Passive Houses standard requires.

A great example is the new award-winning Center for Design Research (CDR) building designed and built by the University of Kansas’ School of Architecture. It uses dynamic glass to achieve a sleek, energy-efficient curtain wall design while controlling the sun’s harmful effects. Electronically tintable dynamic glass enabled the KU team to construct a butt-glazed curtain wall that forms most of the CDR building’s south facade.

The stone-and-glass facility, which was designed and built by students, is a model of sustainability. It recently won an Acknowledgement Award in the prestigious 2011 Holcim Award for Energy Efficient projects in North America. The CDR was also designed to LEED Platinum standards, and is one of the first commercial buildings in North America to seek PassivHaus certification.

The CDR is located on a former farm in the school’s west campus and serves as a collaborative research facility for students and faculty. Its mission is to foster innovation in energy-efficient building design and small-scale energy technologies, as well as development of smart devices, systems and applications.

Studio 804 selected SageGlass dynamic glass for the project for both its design aesthetics and functionality, according to Dan Rockhill, a J.L. Constant Distinguished Professor of Architecture and the project’s leader. “We wanted to create a taut exterior glass skin to emphasize the building’s stone construction and to fit in with the architectural vernacular of the other stone buildings on the farm,” Rockhill said. “SageGlass enabled us to achieve that design goal. It eliminated the need to install louvers to shade the south facade and prevent overheating. It also helped us achieve LEED points by reducing our artificial lighting requirements.”

In addition to preventing excessive heat gain and fading in warm seasons, the dynamic glass curtain wall fronts a 10-inch-thick (25.4-centimeter-thick) masonry Trombe wall which absorbs the sun’s rays to provide much of the building’s heat during the winter. The curtain wall changes tint automatically according to the sun’s position throughout the year using a GPS coordinated control system. Occupants can also change the glass tint on demand with the press of a button.

According to Rockhill, dynamic glass worked beautifully for the Passive House design concept. It was cost-effective too, eliminating the extra expenses of constructing, installing and maintaining exterior louvers.


 

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Residential Energy Storage Will Reach $71.6 Billion in Revenue by 2023

 

Solar photovoltaic panels, which allow customers to generate their own electricity and sell unneeded power back to their utility will generate $71.6 billion by 2023. These rooftop solar panels are just one of the new technologies that are transforming the traditional residential power industry.

 

According to the report, these advances are going to combine rooftop solar panel systems and residential energy storage in order to collect and store energy for use when sunlight is unavailable or there is a power outage.

Source: greenbuildingelements.com

“Some of these technologies, such as residential combined heat and power, are in the early stages of market development, while solar panels are more mature.”

 
Smart windows create energy savings options

 

According to Eco-Business, smart glass windows are about 70 percent more energy efficient during the summer season and 45 percent more efficient in the winter, reducing energy spending by approximately 25 percent.

Buildings account for almost 40 percent of all energy consumption in the United States, says the US Department of Energy. That means buildings are spending more than 400 billion dollars a year on units of energy. Switching to smart windows could make a huge impact on the energy bills of today’s biggest buildings. If efficiency could improve by 20 percent by 2020, there could be savings of more than $40 billion.

Source: www.eco-business.com

“Windows are a key component to any building’s design, so it’s only fitting that they are also an essential part of new strategies to improve energy efficiency.”