How to Reduce Daylight Glare in Commercial Building Design
Daylight Glare Probability in Building Design
In commercial architecture, highly glazed designs must be carefully considered to ensure they do not overheat or create areas of concentrated daylight glare that would negatively impact the building’s occupants.
There are a number of ways to reduce daylight glare, but first, it is important to understand where this is more likely to occur in different building types. The probability of daylight glare is always going to be higher in highly glazed spaces, particularly where south-facing glazing is present.
Glass atrium designs are particularly susceptible to daylight glare, as the typical circular shape often results in more concentrated areas of sunlight. A full glass roof would also be an area to note, as well as any floor-to-ceiling glazing and oversized glass.
One solution that is used to reduce solar glare and solar gain is low emissivity glass, commonly referred to as Low E glass. Glass naturally has quite a high emissivity rate and many glaziers will not factor this in when engineering window and door solutions for commercial settings. IQ Projects understands this is the nature of glass and as such, we include a Low E coating in all double or triple glazing installations as standard. The Low E coating works by reducing the amount of heat that glazing units can absorb, reflecting radiant heat back into the internal spaces.
There are a number of technical solutions that can help combat daylight glare. The first is solar control glass, which reduces the solar gain without sacrificing the clear views and unobstructed paths of light. The main use of a solar control coating is to reduce the cooling costs in highly glazed spaces, making it a worthwhile consideration in commercial settings where there are large elevations of glazing.
Electrochromic glass is a modern solution that reduces solar glare and eliminates the need for additional curtain and blind systems. The electrical glass product works by creating a blue tint on the glass, which can be fully automated for enhanced functionality. The glass is controlled by electrical power and one of the main advantages to specifying electrochromic glass is the removal of human interaction.
In offices where blinds and curtains are used, human interaction causes the blinds to be down, blocking any views and natural light, for over 50% of the time. This is because blinds are pulled down to reduce solar glare when the sun is shining directly on the glazing, but they are not pulled back up when the sun moves throughout the day.
Natural light is proven to enhance productivity, employees’ moods, and general wellness, all things that can be negatively impacted by daylight glare. Technical glass solutions should be preferred over blinds and curtains, to ensure the occupants of a building will maintain the benefits of natural light and uninterrupted views regardless of the position of the sun throughout the day. If technical glass is not right for you or traditional methods are preferred, we work with Grants Blinds who provide automated shading solutions in any shape, size, or design. The minimal blind systems are designed to accompany minimally framed and frameless glazing systems, with the option to have completely concealed blind systems now within reach.
Specifying electrochromic glass in commercial buildings can enhance the interior and exterior design if the blue tint is considered early on in the design process. Many buildings utilise the blue tint as a reflective surface, creating terraces and rooftop areas that reflect the sky on the glass for the appearance of a bigger space. Inside. Electrochromic glass significantly reduces the area of the floor where glare would be problematic. This is ideal for use in a building with a large skylight, full glass roof, or a circular glass atrium.
The Tombola headquarters features a full glass façade which allows for unobstructed views of the surroundings while promoting a productive environment for employees to work in due to the abundance of natural lighting. Electrochromic glass was specified within the glass façade design, to offer the occupants a form of solar shading when the sun is at its highest point. As with any highly glazed building, solar control must be considered to eliminate the risk of overheating or discomfort from solar glare.
This Swiss hotel features slim framed sliding doors with a complete flush threshold creating a cohesive connection between the internal and external. The electrochromic glass has a blue tint when it is switched on, reducing the solar gain inside the fully glazed bar area to ensure there are no issues with overheating or glare.