Innovative Façade Systems for Low-energy Commercial Buildings

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Glazing and façade systems have very large impacts on all aspects of commercial building performance. They directly influence peak heating and cooling loads, and indirectly influence lighting loads when daylighting is considered. In addition to being a major determinant of annual energy use, they can have significant impacts on peak cooling system sizing, electric load shape, and peak electric demand. Because they are prominent architectural and design elements and because they influence occupant preference, satisfaction and comfort, the design optimization challenge is more complex than with many other building systems.

Façade designs that deliberately recognize the fundamental synergistic relationships between the façade, lighting, and mechanical systems have the potential to deliver high performance over the life of the building. These "integrated" façade systems represent a key opportunity for commercial buildings to significantly reduce energy and demand, helping to move us toward our goal of net zero energy buildings by 2030.

Provision of information — technology concepts, measured data, case study information, simulation tools, etc. — can enable architects and engineers to define integrated façade solutions and draw from a wide variety of innovative technologies to achieve ambitious energy efficiency goals.

This research is directed toward providing such information and is the result of an on‐going collaborative research and development (R&D) program, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program.

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