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Smart Building Envelopes


Cambridge Study: Energy Saving Potential of SPD Glass

“Smart Building Envelopes”

University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering.
Prepared by: M. Beevor

This project looks into the development and performance of new smart technology that helps to reduce excessive energy loads used in buildings. Building physics and the improvement of energy efficiency associated with it is a very important area of engineering research and development in the world today, with 40% of the world’s carbon being consumed in maintaining a comfortable interior environment. One of the most susceptible building facades for high amounts of energy loss is glass, and with modern architectural movements in using glass to create ‘honest’ buildings accentuated by light and space, the use of glass facades is ever increasing.

Driven for the need for better insulated zero-carbon buildings, a new generation of actively controlled components, are starting to replace conventional materials. These smart devices are able to respond to seasonal variations in temperature and solar radiation. Such advancements in ‘smart’ windows will stimulate the continued use of glass as a building facade and also reduce the energy loads associated with achieving a comfortable internal environment. The foundation of this project is to address the performance of new switchable chromogenic glass, and more specifically ‘SPD SmartGlass’. SPD SmartGlass uses suspended particle device technology which gives an electronic control of light and heat transmission by altering the ‘tint’ of the window. When switched on the glass turns clear and allows for around 45% visible light transmission, and when no current is applied the glass holds a blue tint and allows less than 1% visible light transmission. In all states of transparency the glass rejects over 99% of UV light transmission.

View entire Paper outlining testing into the Energy Saving Potential of SPD Glass:
Cambridge University SPD SmartGlass Report.pdf

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