Humans innately understand the concept of comfort. Depending on where you are reading this, in a bright ventilated room with a nice view or a dark office without windows, what you are wearing and how stressful your day has been, you surely have an answer to the question, “Are you comfortable?”. Physical spaces can have meaningful effects on how we feel, how we interact with others, and how we perceive our experiences. Comfort in physical spaces encompasses different facets including thermal comfort, visual comfort, noise nuisance, as well as indoor air quality. Combination of these make a built environment a healthy environment for its occupant. Recently, glass facades have gained popularity not only due to their aesthetic appearance but also because of more day light and connecting the occupants with outdoor environment. In contrast, ordinary windows are often far from optimized, unable to effectively reduce glare and heat, leading to rapid change in indoor thermal environment near the glass façade. A growing body of recent research has been conducted on optimizing design of building envelopes using dynamic (smart) windows, to ensure a trade-off between energy consumption and occupants’ thermal and visual comfort.
Man In Lam
University of British Columbia Okanagan
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