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Op/Ed

Even commercial glass is getting smart (time to brush up on smart tech innovations)

As smart home technology evolves and improves more and more home features are seeing the benefits of the technology. The latest? Commercial glass.

New technology has made homes and businesses brighter, more energy efficient, safer, and let’s face it, “smarter” than they’ve ever been. You can turn your lights off and on with your smart phone, lock your doors with a fingerprint, and monitor your entire home or office remotely. Smarter greener homes are definitely gaining popularity. With all of the innovations in smart home technology, it shouldn’t surprise us that one feature in homes and businesses, is finally getting some attention.

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One feature just got more intelligent

Roofs have become more efficient thanks to the power of the sun, and now it’s time for windows to jump on board the smart home trend. Spending some time in the sun has documented health benefits from improving mood and productivity, to aiding in the absorption of vitamin D. However, the sun can also heat up your home or office space quickly, especially through your windows. View Dynamic Glass is offering business a way to up gain energy efficiency and comfort without raising a finger.

How does it work?

View combines five layers of glass, only one micron thick (1/50th a single human hair), with thin layers of metal oxide forming an electrochromic ceramic coating on the inside of the glass. Then, when a tiny electrical charge is applied to the glass, the ions move between the layers, changing its structure and tinting the glass. Compared to standard low-e, View Dynamic Glass can reduce the building’s cooling peak load by up to 23 percent, passing cost savings to owners.

It doesn’t stop there

The glass can automatically adjust using “View intelligence,” which means individual windows, zones, or even whole facades respond intuitively to outside conditions. The intelligence takes multiple factors into account like the building’s architectural features, latitude and longitude, orientation, astronomical data, building orientation, time of day, cloud cover, window size and placement, desk location, zoning and building heat load. Then, this information is used to determine the exact position of the sun at any given point in the day. Also, there is a light sensor placed on top of the building to provide real-time feedback about the weather.

Three main functions

The windows have three main priorities: reduce glare, managing heat load, and allow daylight. The windows work to prevent glare by pre-tinting before the sun reaches an angle that would produce a glare on computer screens. Heat load is reduced, by tinting on demand when the maximum heat load, calculated during the building design phase, is met. This helps reduce the demand on HVAC systems. Once temperature and glare are taken care of, these windows want to let in as much light as possible in an effort to maintain health, happiness, and productivity. It sounds complex, but View Intelligence makes the whole process simple.

If you need to deviate from the automatic adjustments, View can be controlled from the Android or iOS apps. Smart home technology will continue to evolve and improve. We think View is a great addition to this technology. We hope they will introduce the same technology to residential customers soon as well.

#SmartGlass

Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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