Common Glazing and Lighting Mistakes to Avoid
We eat, shop, study, work, play, and gather in commercial spaces. Proper lighting is key when designing the building or creating the floorplan layout.
FacilitiesNet highlights some of the most common glazing mistakes to be aware of and below is our breakdown of how to avoid those mistakes.
Too Much Light
If your glass choice isn’t right for your window and location, you could be letting in too much light and heat. FacilitiesNet interviewed William Maiman, marketing manager at Mecho Shade Systems, who says: “If you are selecting a very high light-transmissive glass for your glazing, then you’re really introducing a lot of heat and light, and that will read on the HVAC system as heat and on the occupants as direct solar radiation.”
Too much light can mean too much solar gain. It’s important to consider the thermal comfort of occupants when planning.
Often when glazing allows in too much light, it also brings along the dreaded glare. In office buildings, it’s not uncommon for workers to face a bright, midday sky while squinting at their computer screen.
While more natural light is considered better, reducing the need for artificial lighting and saving energy. But it can also have the opposite results with eye fatigue from glare or increased energy usage when window treatments are closed and fluorescent lights are on.
When selecting glazing options, consider the position of the sun during the day as well as interior structures to avoid glare.
Proper Planning for Location and Temperature
It’s important to have thermal comfort, lighting, and glare in mind during the pre-and post-installation phases. Make sure to review a mockup at night as well as in daylight, and from both the inside out and the outside in.
Request a thorough explanation of how a system will handle the freeze-thaw cycle. This is particularly important in locations where temperatures swing wildly between sweltering summers and freezing winters and the position of the sun changes drastically throughout the year.
Post-installation review ensures that windows are being cleaned with the correct glass cleaner, to avoid damage to scratch-resistant window coatings.
Windows bring in natural lighting and can make buildings more energy-efficient, but too much glass, the type of glass, or the choice of location can have opposite effects. For example, a west-facing all-glass atrium may create an uncomfortable work environment and can result in higher energy consumption to cool and heat the space.
Many of these common glazing mistakes can be avoided with careful planning and project review of how energy is being harvested and how solar gain is being controlled.