Cleantech Daylighting Using Smart Glass: A Survey of LEED Accredited Professionals
Research Frontiers Inc., US
smart glass, market research
(Note: This abstract is 444 words per the <=500 word limit expressed in your Abstract Preparation Instructions) Residential and commercial buildings are a main focus of the accelerating clean technology movement. Smart glass is an emerging category of glazings that uses an electrical interface to regulate the amount of light, glare and heat passing through products such as windows, doors and skylights. These high-performing glazings offer two primary energy saving benefits – reduced heating and cooling loads and lower energy consumption for interior illumination. According to the United States Department of Energy, buildings in the U.S. now account for nearly forty percent of all energy consumed in the country, a level that has risen steadily since data were first reported more than three decades ago. With such a large impact on energy consumption and its attendant impacts, equally significant opportunities exist to more efficiently design and operate commercial and residential structures. Innovations to pursue these opportunities are taking hold in many areas including advanced materials and intelligent building systems. Windows, skylights and other architectural glazings are of particular interest to architects, specifiers and building operators. In addition to making important aesthetic statements, glazings are considered the gateway between building occupants and the exterior environment. Facilitating this sense of connectedness yields many desired outcomes, particularly as they pertain to natural light. Growing evidence indicates that the presence of natural light within a building positively influence occupants’ perception of well-being, has a positive impact on health and also increases productivity. However, many glazings have a negative effect on a building’s energy efficiency due to excessive heat gain or loss. The practice of using glazings – size, shape, location and configuration – to leverage the benefits of natural light in buildings is known as daylighting. In addition to the benefits of increased occupant well-being and productivity, daylighting also offers opportunities to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy sources traditionally used for power, heating, ventilation and air conditioning. Through the effective use of daylighting, building operators can reduce their dependence on electric interior lighting while also controlling solar energy for heating or cooling purposes. Smart glass is at the leading edge of next-generation daylighting technologies. Very low power requirements, dynamic shading in response to ambient conditions and operator objectives, and integration with intelligent building systems gives smart glass the unprecedented power to optimize user well-being and productivity, lower energy consumption, and improve operating efficiencies. This paper reports the results of a first-of-its-kind nationwide market research survey on the clean technology potential of daylighting using smart glass. Survey participants are LEED Accredited Professionals whose practice area is architecture. In addition to general awareness, interest and specification activity of smart glass, the study also focuses on the desired applications, benefits and unmet needs of smart glass as it pertains to daylighting.