Special Session Closes Out Educational Program
by Charles Cumpston
LAS VEGAS-The Glass Association of North America (GANA) Building
Envelope Contractors (BEC) Conference ended at the Monte Carlo Resort
& Casino in Las Vegas on Tuesday afternoon.
Representatives from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory led
the last part of the educational program, taking an in-depth look
at the software programs and data bases for performing computer
simulations for construction and product configurations.
Christian Kohler opened the program explaining the software available
for analyzing energy data in simulations.
These include Optics (for the window glass), Therm (for the window
frame), Window (for the whole window), Comfen (for the whole commercial
building), and Resfen (for the whole residential building).
The programs are used for the design of new products and as guidelines
for product selection and Energy Star compliance, he explained.
The programs use data from two data bases LBL has developed--IGDB
(specular glass data source) and CGDB (complex glazing data base).
A new program is Window 6, which incorporates complex glazing systems,
such as Venetian blinds, woven cloth shades and bug screens, and
fritted/silkscreened glass. It has not been released yet, but a
research version is available. Kohler said that they want people
to go to the Web site and play with the program to see how it works
and provide feedback. The program can be accessed at http://windows.lbl.gov/software/window/6.
Therm has been updated to conform with the shading systems in the
new program, he said.
Currently NFRC is developing a procedure for laminates without
embedded coatings, and interlayers that have originally been measured
with clear glass. These calculated laminates will have the same
'status' as product submitted to the IGDB data base, Kohler told
Looking ahead, Kohler said that Window 7 will deal with dynamic
windows with multiple and variable states, such as electrochromic
Building Design Tools
Steve Selkowitz pointed out that these software programs are available
for free, but he said that in the future there might be a charge
He discussed how the materials allow façade performance
to be optimized by examining daylighting versus cooling tradeoffs
and energy versus comfort tradeoffs.
For those who had been attending the session over the previous
day and a half, Selkowitz said, it should be clear how much more
important daylighting is becoming to the architects and designers
and thus to the glazing industry.
Selkowitz predicted that in a couple of years virtual lighting
simulator software would be available and utilized in building design.
He again discussed, as he had in his presentation the previous day,
how such software has been used in pioneering efforts like the New
York Times building, which is currently under construction in New
The software, which has not been released yet, is available to
experiment with at http://gaia.lbl.gov.vls.