Workplace Window Technologies: Implications (09-13-19)

Jamrozik and associates investigated how in-office window technology influences cognitive performance and other important aspects of worker experience.  The team reports on the implications of using window-shading tools that allow daylight to pass through windows and people inside to see outdoors but curtail glare.  Employees who participated in this study worked in all of the test conditions over a 14-week period doing their regular work tasks and for their entire workday. The performance and satisfaction of study participants experiencing the window technologies were compared to their performance and satisfaction in a baseline condition, during which they did not have access to daylight or views outdoors.  In the Well Living Lab facility configured as an open office, the researchers “tested the occupant impacts of two modern shading systems designed to provide daylight and view while minimizing glare: windows with manually-controlled motorized mesh shades (Mesh Shades) and windows with automatic tinting (Dynamic Tint). . . .  Two aspects of cognitive function performance—Working Memory and Inhibition—improved in both the Mesh Shades and Dynamic Tint conditions.. . . There were no statistical differences between settings with Dynamic Tint and motorized Mesh Shades on measures of cognitive function performance, satisfaction, or eyestrain symptoms. . . . Access to either motorized Mesh Shades or Dynamic Tint improved occupants' satisfaction with light and view, and reduced their perceived eyestrain symptoms, compared to baseline. . . . the motorized Mesh Shades and Dynamic Tint conditions improved people's satisfaction with other aspects of the environment such as aesthetic appearance and the ability to alter physical conditions, as well as the environment overall.” The baseline conditions were created using motorized roller blackout shades (Mermet Blackout-White, Lutron Electronics), the roller mesh shade was an E Screen - THEIA™, White/Pearl (Lutron Electronics), while the electrochromic (dynamic) window tinting system was from View, Inc.  More information on how each piece of window technology was configured and test conditions generally are available at the web address noted below.

Anja Jamrozik, Nicholas Clements, Syed Hasan, Jie Zhao, Rongpeng Zhang, Carolina Campanella, Vivian Loftness, Paige Porter, Shaun Ly, Selena Wang, and Brent Bauer.  2019.  “Access to Daylight and View in an Office Improves Cognitive Performance and Satisfaction and Reduces Eyestrain:  A Controlled Crossover Study.”  Building and Environment, vol. 165, 103379, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106379