Latest news from Durable 1: Heat & Glare

Here Comes Summer?

05 May 2015

The recent hot weather, reaching 24.7⁰C, made most people think of pleasant things like summer holidays. But it also served as an ‘early day reminder’ that when the sun shines it is not always conducive to work.

For those working inside the sun streaming in through windows can cause real and often unrecognised problems. When the sun shines the combination of excessive heat and glare can seriously affect concentration and productivity.

According to an article in the ASHRAE Journal productivity reduces by 10 per cent when internal workplace temperatures reach 24⁰C. Ironically, as this press release is issued in mid-April, the external temperature has already reached over 24⁰C creating internal temperatures well over 30⁰C, which happens to be the temperature that a study by Wyon & Wargochi concluded has a dramatic effect on people’s ability to work effectively. The article in the ASHRAE journal concluded that most measures to reduce workplace temperatures will result in an early payback.

Just such an installation that has a proven record of payback is the installation of solar control window film. And the payback from window film does not take into account the impact of heat and glare on productivity. Instead it is based on energy savings. Of course the usual answer to heat gain and glare is to pull the blinds but the trouble with this solution is it does not stop the heat from entering the work space. Instead it gives the impression that the problem has been solved when, in fact, it has not. Modern high technology window films (a far cry from the old mirror-effect stuff) hardly reduce the natural visibility out and yet they filter out more than 90% of Infrared rays and 59% of solar energy.

So people can have a clear view out with natural day light which happens to be another key factor in increasing productivity and improving worker wellbeing covered by other studies, and be protected from the ravishes of the sun.

The payback of window film is more relevant to energy saving. In a world that has become obsessed with reducing heating costs, using good insulation and saving energy in winter, it is perhaps surprising that little attention is paid to the cost of cooling. It takes four times the energy to cool air compared to heating air to the same degree. When the sun shines fans are switched on, and more concerning air-conditioning is switched up. Durable offers an energy audit for larger organisations that shows just how much energy is being expended to cool a building and what an installation of window film could achieve, illustrating a clear pay-back period.

When you consider solar gains in a glazed building can account for ten times the heat generated by equipment or lighting with a single window representing 40% of wall space on a South facing elevation transmitting up to 63W of heat to a square metre of floor space.

For companies meeting the Government’s new ESOS energy saving requirements window film can make a meaningful contribution.

Five of the warmest summers on record have happened in the last 11 years and the way the sun is shining in April hints at yet another hot one to come. Why not ask Durable what energy and costs they could save for your organisation whilst making the workplace more pleasant and productive for your staff.

For information visit www.durable.co.uk or call Lynn Wheaton on 0118 989 5200.

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