By The Numbers: Why Windows Matter
Windows are a vital aspect of any building, but why? Are they truly worth placing the extra investment into your building design for dynamic glass? According to Bisnow partner SageGlass, you can’t overestimate just how vital daylight and the connection to the outdoors are. Daylight improves a work environment’s comfort and employee well-being, leading to lower absentee rates, increased productivity, and all-around better health. To prove just how important windows can be, Sage has provided us with a bunch of facts and figures.
On average, employees cost 10 times more than rent and 100 times more than energy. You need to make sure that you’re getting a strong ROI on the investment that you and your tenants put into their offices. A Green Buildings and Productivity report showed that improving interior environments with better lighting, temperature and air quality can result in a 5% productivity increase, with a reduction of 3 sick days per worker per year.
So, assuming your tenants have an average salary of $100k, the added value from all those work hours would be $25/SF of floor area. Other studies claim the savings could be even higher—hovering around$37/SF to $55/SF—meaning that even a slight modification in your office could bring back a strong ROI without chipping away at your budget with medical expenses.
What all these stats mean is that workers require a delicate balance of environmental factors that can help them be focused, productive and healthy. In addition to daylight, you also need to constantly be aware of your property’s temperature and glare.
SageGlass territory manager Elijah Black says a proper window helps provide thermal control, breathtaking views and a proper amount of daylight.
When properly tinted, he explains, a window can improve the human experience by providing an uninterrupted connection to the outdoors, while eliminating glare and solar heat. But he says the best windows adapt to changing exterior conditions, enhancing sustainability and energy efficiency without compromising aesthetics.
That’s why Sage has been working to create dynamic, electronically tintable glass that enables building owners and operators to actively control visible light transmissions and solar heat gain over a wide range.
“When it’s not as hot early in the morning, the glass can be automatically set to allow a lot of visible light in,” Elijah tells Bisnow. “As the sun moves and more heat is introduced into the space, the glass will automatically tint based on exterior and interior sensor readings and the amount of light that hits it.”
The glass can also be controlled manually via a wall switch, which overrides the automation in cases where there’s extreme glare or an AV presentation is needed. Elijah says both options allow you to reduce the amount of artificial lighting in a space, saving you thousands.
According to the US Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, these electrochromic glass windows can help reduce cooling loads by as much as 20% and peak power demand by as much as 30%. In addition, because of the energy efficiency of SageGlass’s insulated glass units, HVAC systems can be up to 25% smaller than those in buildings where static glass is used.
So not only do they look the same as any other glass, they can save you money on your energy bills, and earn you money by making your tenants more productive.
To learn more about our Bisnow partner, click here.