Visual Quality Assessment of Electrochromic and Conventional Glazings
Variable transmission, switchable electrochromic glazings are compared to conventional static glazings using computer simulations to assess the daylighting quality of a commercial office environment where paper and computer tasks are performed. RADIANCE simulations were made for a west-facing commercial office space under clear and overcast sky conditions. This visualization tool was used to model different glazing types, to com-pute luminance and illuminance levels, and to generate a parametric set of photorealistic im-ages of typical interior views at various times of the day and year. Privacy and visual dis-play terminal (VDT) visibility is explored. Electrochromic glazings result in a more consis-tent glare-free daylit environment compared to their static counterparts. However, if the glazing is controlled to minimize glare or to maintain low interior daylight levels for critical visual tasks (e.g., VDT), occupants may object to the diminished quality of the outdoor view due to its low transmission (Tv=0.08) during those hours. RADIANCE proved to be a very powerful tool to better understand some of the design tradeoffs of this emerging glazing technology. Our ability to draw specific conclusions about the relative value of dif-ferent technologies or control strategies is limited by the lack of agreed upon criteria or standards for lighting quality and visibility.