Perspectives on Advanced Façades with Dynamic Glazings and Integrated Lighting Controls
There is growing interest in North America on the subject of highly glazed building façades. The concept of a smart, interactive façade is not new – the ability of specific façade systems to work reliably and effectively is a far greater challenge. We have been exploring various dynamic façade systems with integrated lighting and HVAC over the last 10 years. These include automated blind systems as well as emerging electrochromic glazings, both with automated dimmable lighting and smart controls. More recently we have extended this work to include internet-based control of lights, blinds and glazings using low cost chips embedded in fixtures, motors, and glazing controls. As each window and lighting element becomes a node on the internet they can be controlled via the existing building energy management system either from an occupants desktop computer, an on-site facility manager or even from a remote location. Recent experience in California with disruptions in electric supply and costly peak power suggest value for such capabilities. This paper briefly summaries the state of recent work in this field, describing a new facility with three side-by-side test rooms in Berkeley to test new electrochromic window prototypes, and identifies key performance, systems integration and cost issues now being studied. The authors bring a cross section of both North American and European experience to address the many technology, design and business issues involved.