IGS Magazine introduces this innovative study and technology that will be launched on the 7th February 2018 with a line-up of industry specialists. An Event not to be missed!
Background to the Technology
Climate change is one of the greatest challenges our global communities currently face, requiring a drastic reduction in carbon emissions to slow its effects. Buildings, which account for more than 30% of global carbon emissions, are a key component of the climate change mitigation solution and many cities around the world have committed to minimising the environmental impact of their new and existing building stock.
Carbon performance, however, is not the only consideration for building designers. With a renewed focus on occupants, buildings are now expected to enhance quality of life, improving health, well being and productivity, both at home and in the workplace. The industry is now tasked with delivering efficient, low-carbon buildings that maintain a high level of occupant comfort.
The building’s facade, which provides an interface between the indoor and outdoor environments, has become a crucial factor in the performance of today’s buildings. There are well-established dichotomies of facade design, including the tensions between daylight penetration, solar control, glare mitigation and thermal comfort. The continuing architectural trend towards highly glazed buildings has spurred the advancement of facade technologies that seek to resolve these tensions while maximising facade transparency.
One such technology is dynamic, or “switchable” glazing, which has been ranked as #61 in the “100 solutions to reverse climate change”, according to the recent publication Drawdown. By modulating the transmittance of light and thermal energy, dynamic glazing is able to provide a higher level of flexibility than static solutions, such as fixed-transmittance glazing with external shading devices. This flexibility derives from their capacity to adjust their optical properties in response to different types of stimuli, such as glass temperature in the case of thermochromic glazing, or voltage in the case of electrochromic glazing.
Dynamic glazing has increased in popularity in recent years, but is not without its limitations. These limitations have included slow switching speeds, where transitions may take up to 30 minutes, and colour rendering that produces an unwelcome yellow or blue effect.
Merck Window Technologies B.V. has recently developed a dynamic glass product that uses liquid crystal technology to address these limitations and provide additional benefits. This report presents a joint research project between Elementa Consulting and Merck Window Technologies B.V., exploring the Merck Liquid Crystal Window (LCW) and its performance in relation to facade design challenges.
Licrivision™ is the new technology that Merck’s LW product utilises. It is transparent material comprising a mixture of dyes and liquid crystals and is applied between two panes of glass that have an invisible conductive coating.
As a voltage is applied to the licrivision™ layer, the crystals alter their orientation, thereby changing the position of the colour molecules. The position of these molecules determines the transparency of the system, which affects whether glazing is perceived as bright or tinted.
Merck LCW is able to transition between tinted and bright states in less than a second, with continuous control for intermediate shading states. Control of the glass tinting can be achieved locally through user input, or centrally through a building management system.
Elementa Consulting have recently completed a technical study with Merck Window Technologies to explore the performance of their Liquid Crystal Window (LCW) in relation to well-established facade design challenges. The outcomes of the study have been summarised in the recently published, ‘Chasing Transparency’ white paper.
On the 7th February Elementa are hosting a breakfast event, with presentations from Elementa’s David Barker and Merck’s Bruce Nicol to launch Chasing Transparency, as well as presenting a summary of the findings.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested in attending our event.
David Barker, Elementa Consulting – Associate Principal
David Barker is an Associate Principal at Elementa Consulting and leads their Building Physics group. He oversees a number of consulting services, including energy modelling for major projects, low-carbon design, facade optimisation and daylight design. David’s team of architects and engineers provide solutions for sustainable outcomes, improved health and wellbeing, as well as design strategies for submission to planning authorities.
Bruce Nicol, Merck – Head of Global Design
Bruce Nicol is the Head of Global Design for Merck Liquid Window Technologies. As an architect he has spent most of his career within the architectural glass world working as an architect and consultant through to processor and supplier. His broad based glass experience has meant a place at the fore front of glass innovation. Bruce is part of the growing team at Merck Liquid Window Technologies in Holland, where the focus is on quick reaction and adaptive glass for ever more efficient façades. Preparing the way for future designs to benefit from full transparency combined with the well-being and comfort levels we know to be critical for the quality of life we should all expect.
Article via Elementa