REDUCING GLARE THROUGH AUTOMATED BLINDS IMPROVES WORK PRODUCTIVITY
Glass Facades or large windows are now typical in the design of glass buildings because they serve a necessary aspect for all the employees to connect with the outside nature through the course of their day. In fact green buildings specifications recommend that a large portion of the floor space should be able to see the sky as it helps productivity and comfort of the personnel in the space.
Of course in countries like India where sunlight can be especially harsh through much of the year, such buildings are more prone to the glare component of the natural light on some of the facades. This is because during the afternoon time, the sun starts to descend and the sunrays incidentally hits the west façade and enter inside the office space. One of the solutions to avoid Glare is to install blinds near to the façade and roll them down when the sun hits the glazing with a high intensity. So whenever there is a glare incoming which causes discomfort for an occupant, blinds are manually pulled down. However, in 80% of the cases the blinds are never pulled back up, even if there is no more glare incoming. This increases the need for artificial lighting in that space even during the daytime since the space never receives diffused natural light because of the rolled down blinds.
The best way to balance the activity is with optimum control of blinds by pulling them down only during the time when interior receives a certain level of glare. Automated curtains or blinds are a very useful solution in this situation. This solution consists of a daylight/photosensor that communicates with motorized blind. The daylight sensor is typically installed inside the space on the mullion with a 90° with respect to the glazing.
It should not be obstructed from measuring the outsides sunlight level by the blinds even when the blinds are down. This sensor senses the lux level of light entering inside the space. Once the light intensity has reached 2500 lux or higher (or any value that the user sets) the sensor communicates to the motorized blinds (wired or wirelessly depending on type of sensor) and the blind motor pulls down the blinds. Once the light intensity reduces below 2500 lux (or set value), the sensor again communicates with the motorized blinds, which pulls up the blinds. This solution is not only applicable for new spaces, but can be retrofitted in a number of existing situations. The only requirement to consider is that motorized blinds do require a source of AC power and hence do need to have access to it close by the window.
This is a very efficient way to control the glare to avoid occupant discomfort while enabling greater productivity. Ensuring usable natural light to enter inside the space helps in reducing the lighting energy consumption. Installing an additional lux sensor at the inner space approximately
2ft away from the blind/window will measure the lux level at the working area and control the artificial lighting accordingly. The combination of two lux sensors (one for the blind control & other to control artificial lights) helps in bringing in the right amount of diffused natural light and at the same time helps in reducing the interior lighting consumption. Typically this is best done in combination with Motion Sensors, so at night time the lights are turned be ON when there is occupant presence in the space. The combination of Lux Sensors and Motion Sensors can play an important role in conserving lighting energy in a building and making the best use of natural light for greater productivity.
BuildTrack provides a variety of such sensors, motorized blinds/curtains and multiple other types of centralized control of lighting, air conditioners and other energy consuming assets to help offices and residences conserve energy while maximizing comfort and productivity of the occupants.