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Optimal Building Design & Glazing: A Case Study

It is the 21st century, and energy conservation and sustainability in architecture is surely gathering momentum. With one eye fixed ever so intently on the environment and the rising global temperatures, architects are turning to innovation and technology to turn the tables on myopic building design and combat energy inefficiency in our living and working spaces. This is where glass is proving to be their trusted accomplice.

So, when a prominent learning institute in Mumbai approached Asahi India Glass Ltd., the most comprehensive integrated glass company in India, to achieve high performance energy efficiency, we carried out a comprehensive and painstaking glazing and building design analysis to provide a satisfactory solution. Let’s find out how:

Problem

A learning institute in Mumbai wanted to optimize its building design without spending big on glazing solutions. This meant reducing the heat gain inside the building without compromising natural lighting.

Solution

Normally, we have observed that when it comes to glazing solutions providing high performance energy efficiency, architectural glass variants with a lower Solar Factor and lower U-Value are favoured. But to achieve the ideal balance between the building design and glazing feasibility, we had to come up with an optimum solution that offers best return on investment.

Therefore, first we conducted a study to understand the building design. Due to the architecture of the institute, the building’s direct and indirect heat gain had fallen down considerably. This can be explained by Fig. 1:

  • 4 Classrooms located on the north side received diffused light and no direct heat
  • 4 South-facing classrooms were provided with a shading device to prevent direct heat and glare
  • 4 Buffer zones, created by placing the service areas along the east façade and corridors along the west façade, prevented heat ingress in the offices
  • 4 Walls had good insulation properties to prevent long-wave radiations from entering into the building
  • 4 North light provided natural light to a portion of the building

These observations allowed us to fine tune our glazing solution. Ultimately, due to the optimal building design, we could choose a solution which did not have the best specifications (and therefore higher cost) but was a perfect match for the design.

In order to do so, a detailed building energy analysis and simulation was conducted with a huge portfolio of AIS products. Their performance parameters are compared in the table above. Then, we compared the energy saving percentage against cost payback period.

This study is depicted in the Fig 2. As one can see, Spring SGU (Solar Control product from the AIS Ecosense range) which has Solar Factor (SF) = 64%, Visual Light Transmission (VLT) = 65%, and U-Value = 5.4 w/ m2 k performed best out of all the glasses with 17% energy savings and 2 months’ payback period, when compared to base case Clear DGU (double glaze unit).

Results

Thus, by understanding the relationship between building design and glazing type, we could suggest the client a glazing glass with an optimum Solar Factor and U-Value and higher VLT – thus enabling the institute to save on money and recover investment far quicker than imagined.

Categories

Optimal Building Design & Glazing: A Case Study

It is the 21st century, and energy conservation and sustainability in architecture is surely gathering momentum. With one eye fixed ever so intently on the environment and the rising global temperatures, architects are turning to innovation and technology to turn the tables on myopic building design and combat energy inefficiency in our living and working spaces. This is where glass is proving to be their trusted accomplice.
So, when a prominent learning institute in Mumbai approached Asahi India Glass Ltd., the most comprehensive integrated glass company in India, to achieve high performance energy efficiency, we carried out a comprehensive and painstaking glazing and building design analysis to provide a satisfactory solution. Let’s find out how:
Problem
A learning institute in Mumbai wanted to optimize its building design without spending big on glazing solutions. This meant reducing the heat gain inside the building without compromising natural lighting.
Solution

Normally, we have observed that when it comes to glazing solutions providing high performance energy efficiency, architectural glass variants with a lower Solar Factor and lower U-Value are favoured. But to achieve the ideal balance between the building design and glazing feasibility, we had to come up with an optimum solution that offers best return on investment.
Therefore, first we conducted a study to understand the building design. Due to the architecture of the institute, the building’s direct and indirect heat gain had fallen down considerably. This can be explained by Fig. 1:

  • 4 Classrooms located on the north side received diffused light and no direct heat
  • 4 South-facing classrooms were provided with a shading device to prevent direct heat and glare
  • 4 Buffer zones, created by placing the service areas along the east façade and corridors along the west façade, prevented heat ingress in the offices
  • 4 Walls had good insulation properties to prevent long-wave radiations from entering into the building
  • 4 North light provided natural light to a portion of the building

These observations allowed us to fine tune our glazing solution. Ultimately, due to the optimal building design, we could choose a solution which did not have the best specifications (and therefore higher cost) but was a perfect match for the design.

In order to do so, a detailed building energy analysis and simulation was conducted with a huge portfolio of AIS products. Their performance parameters are compared in the table above. Then, we compared the energy saving percentage against cost payback period.
This study is depicted in the Fig 2. As one can see, Spring SGU (Solar Control product from the AIS Ecosense range) which has Solar Factor (SF) = 64%, Visual Light Transmission (VLT) = 65%, and U-Value = 5.4 w/ m2 k performed best out of all the glasses with 17% energy savings and 2 months’ payback period, when compared to base case Clear DGU (double glaze unit).

Results
Thus, by understanding the relationship between building design and glazing type, we could suggest the client a glazing glass with an optimum Solar Factor and U-Value and higher VLT – thus enabling the institute to save on money and recover investment far quicker than imagined.

Categories

Breathing Life Back into an Old Office Building: A Case Study on Retrofitting Glass


Architecture, today, is exceeding the limits of imagination with the help of science and technology. Where once glass was a mere brittle material for windows now lies a plethora of possibilities in manufacturing and processing extremely functional glass for sound reduction, security, privacy, aesthetics, and most importantly, heat reduction. But the buck doesn’t stop here.
It is also possible to optimize the dysfunctional glass systems of existing and functioning buildings with a special variant of glass such as the AIS Renew which completely transforms the energy consumption scenario of the space. Retrofitting buildings is a specialty at AIS, and it is precisely what we achieved for the 6-storied office building which is the focus of our case study.
Problem
It is no doubt that solar and thermal control glass products are any architect’s go-to solutions for creating an energy efficient space. And energy efficiency is the primary requirement of an office where creating the most comfortable and sustainable environment for employees is paramount for productivity.
A six-storied office building featuring glazed windows prominently was facing issues due to increased energy consumption. The requirement was to convert the windows into more energy efficient envelopes, thus enabling visual and thermal comfort. However, converting an old/existing building built with a low performance glass by the traditional method of pulling down the existing glass façade and building afresh is very expensive.
Solution

In order to tackle this problem without disturbing and interfering with the day-to-day functioning of the building, the AIS technical team proposed our retrofitting solution, AIS Renew, as part of the AIS 4G solutions. AIS Renew is a unique product which is attached on top of an existing glass window and converts it into an energy saving insulated glass window – all in no time at all.
In order to do this, a particular AIS Renew glass model (Ecosense Exceed as mentioned in the table above) was compared against pared with clear 6 mm glass used in the existing building. An analysis was done on the basis of shade, visible light transmission, solar heat gain coefficient, and U-value.
Further, a building-specific climate simulation was also performed for the existing glass and AIS Renew glass. The results of this analysis are mentioned below.

Results

As is clear from the reference table, AIS Renew with Ecosense Exceed performed better than the clear single glazed units and double glazed units in terms of cooling energy reduction ratio % and radiant temperature.  In brief, selecting AIS Renew for retrofitting would result in:

  1. Reduced solar gain in summer thereby reaching the set temperature sooner, thus reducing the load on AC operation.
  2. Insulation of the building against heat due to its lower U-value by influencing long wave infrared radiation while keeping the space cool in summer and warm in winter.
  3. A shorter payback period compared to extra glass cost which would have been used for replacement.

Thus, with a thoroughly scientific analysis of the retrofit, glass manufacturers like AIS ensure the most ideal retrofitting glass solution for your office building, resulting in substantial energy, cost and time savings.

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Let There Be Light – Why Natural Lighting Still Matters

It’s said that there is no better lighting than sunlight. This has been known since medieval times, as is evident in the large windows of forts and castles of old. Today, entire buildings are made up of energy efficient glass in order to maximize natural lighting inside while also keeping the discomforting heat at bay.
Thus, even technology has become proficient enough to mimic the natural lighting through artificial means, as is the rage these days in many modern buildings, filtered natural sunlight remains ever so popular – all thanks to innovations in glass.

But why is natural lighting important?

  1. Better health

We have all studied in school how daylight is a vital source of Vitamin D. Given we spend more than 80% of our lives indoors, it is increasingly important to allow natural sunlight to reach us within our confines. Daylight improves recovery, sets the circadian rhythm and body clock, elevates the mood, and also improves attentiveness. Therefore, having large glass windows and facades is so important in homes and offices.

  1. Better comfort

So, while proliferation of adequate sunlight is crucial, for comfort, it is important to cut down on the thermal effects of this lighting. Thus, specialized heat reflective glass windows or retrofitted energy efficient glass in old windows help create a cool and comfortable environment for the occupants without cutting down on natural lighting. This way, glare can also be reduced for creating an undisturbed, serene ambience.

  1. Better environment

This is the era of green buildings, thanks to our society becoming more environment conscious. Energy efficient glass such as AIS Ecosense works towards reducing the building’s dependency on artificial lighting or cooling methods, thus invariably leading to reduced energy consumption. The more natural light inside the building, the greener it is.

  1. Better money savings

Taking heed of all the above points, it is easy to conclude that by allowing more natural lighting inside buildings through glass windows and facades, electricity bills can be brought down significantly. Merely tempered glass windows will not do in this case, as architects would tell you.
These far reaching benefits of natural lighting in our lives therefore point towards the rising popularity of green architecture. As homeowners and office-owners, we have the power to push our architects to construct, design or redesign our buildings in such a way that they maximize daylight and visibility while minimizing discomfort and energy consumption. In achieving so, glass windows and other applications like facades and skylights play an indispensible role.