The Impact of Smart Fabric Shades and Built-in Control Strategies on Energy Savings, Building Comfort and Visual Quality

R. Parachuru
Georgia Institute of Technology,
United States

Keywords: smart fabrics, simulation, shade controls, light controls, glazing, comfort, energy savings


Simulation-based parametric studies using tools such as EnergyPlus, DAYSIM, etc. have been found to provide a good understanding of energy savings in modern buildings under different shade conditions. The multi-parametric simulation runs made possible by the new simulation programs address the role of various building and shading parameters such as geometry, orientation, local climatic conditions, glazing/shade properties, and shade control strategies. They also permit to assess the cumulative energy savings in the presence of integrated lighting controls. The impact of shades can be assessed for heating and cooling the whole building and isolated spaces within the building. Energy savings can also be assessed in the presence and absence of automatic lighting controls. The common software tools used to study visual quality are EnergyPlus, AGI32 and DAYSIM. Several indices that describe visual quality such as daylight glare index (DGI), work plane illuminance, luminance ratios and view clarity can be obtained. Different shade control strategies and integrated lighting controls can be considered with multiple translucent fabric shade colors. The results of several of these studies demonstrate the benefits of automatic shade control strategies with integrated lighting controls as compared to the practice of keeping the shades closed for most part of the day. Important facts established through multiple simulation and experimental studies will be shared in this presentation.