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Glazing in buildings reducing energy use

This report was commissioned by the Glazing Supply Chain Group to investigate the energy saving benefits of glazing to the stock of UK buildings. It was produced by the National Energy Foundation (NEF).

Key mention of solar shading are:

p.10 Energy and CO2 savings

“In practice an optimal solar control strategy designed to maximise heat gain in winter and heat rejection in summer through use of adaptable shading systems would reduce the UK’s housing stock energy use on space heating and cooling.”

p.25 Mitigating overheating

“Non-domestic sector (new build) – advanced integrated south-facing façades incorporating movable shading systems with a different configuration under summer and winter conditions (adjusting the tilt angle) within the glazed skins.

Domestic sector (new build) – use of blinds and shutters; energy conscious occupant behaviour, more effective use of windows as ventilation systems.”

p.27 Solar control glass

“Consideration should also be given to the optimal integration of shading systems within the building envelope, e.g., a double skin façade. A high potential lies in this solution that combine the benefits of external shading, protected by the adverse effects of  weather, with natural ventilation flow created within the façade and high heat rejection. Advancements in controls are likely to push in the direction of automated shading systems able to provide flexible solutions to the occupants.”

p.45 Eliminating the need for cooling

“The energy demand for space cooling can be reduced in a variety of ways. Energy conscious occupant behaviour, the use of glass coatings or adjustable shading systems all contribute to reject heat in summer. Furthermore, not all solar control glass is coated.”

p.65 Strategic vision

“More sophisticated tools than those currently employed by the domestic sector are required. Selection and specification of glazing should be undertaken using dynamic simulation modelling which can enable the optimal selection of glazing U, g-values, and shading systems and films.”

p.74 Conclusions – Energy reduction potential from optimal solar control strategies

“Energy efficient optimisation of glass in buildings is partly dependent on solar control.

For some building types (e.g., air conditioned buildings), the solar heat gain coefficients range which can be practically specified (due to regulations and market availability) have a more significant impact than similarly adjusting U values. This might result in an overheating situation in highly glazed south facing facades of some commercial buildings such as offices unless appropriate shading systems are adopted.

Although air conditioning is not common in domestic properties, the recent demand for marketing products with high energy efficiency ratings i.e. high g-values might result in increased cooling requirements. Potential trade-offs between U- and g-values can be minimised through solar control strategies, and a more conscious occupant behaviour, that would allow to save in the UK housing stock an estimate of ~277 GWh for space cooling.”

Download the report here.

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