中文摘要： 当人们谈到节能，窗户发挥了关键作用。美国绿色建筑委员会（USGBC）认为建筑物是通过窗户损失能量。根据卫报的显示，一个玻璃窗户比同一尺寸的墙壁空间可以失去或增加10倍的热量。 走进智能窗口市场，在去年十二月发表的报告显示，市场研究公司预测，智能窗市场目前投中文摘要：
几年前，在三藩的“ W酒店”（W Hotel ）的大堂里安装了由“View视图”生产的智能窗代替了传统的窗户，“View视图”是一个智能玻璃公司，总部在加州的米尔皮塔斯。在晴天，酒店的窗户全自动地着色以屏蔽热量和眩光；在阴天，色彩调整到一个较低的水平。
“View视图”是智能窗口行业中的两个主要参与者之一。另一个是明尼苏达的 “明智玻璃”（Sage Glass），它成立于1989，由法国圣戈班集团建材公司购买于2012。两家公司的窗户依靠电致变色技术，在玻璃表面有纳米金属氧化物层（两公司在运用的涂料中稍有不同）。当太阳光照射到镀膜玻璃，离子运动在不同层之间，改变玻璃的结构与色彩。一旦安装，窗户的色彩是可以通过智能手机或平板电脑控制。
Sustainable tech helps people see windows in whole new light
When it comes to saving energy, windows play a key role. According to the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the principle loss of energy in buildings is through windows.
A pane of glass can lose or gain up to 10 times the amount of heat than a same sized wall space, according to The Guardian.
Enter the smart window market. In a report published last December, market research firm N-tech Research predicted that the current market for smart windows, which sits at $40 million, will grow to nearly $500 million by 2019.
“Smart windows are part of a broader story of how technology is enabling better user interface with [a] building,” said Benjamin Freas, an analyst at Navigant Research who covers the smart building sector. “Previously, if the sun was in your eyes, you would have needed to get up out of your chair, go to the shade, draw it down, maybe raise it again later in the day. Now, that’s not necessary.”
Several years ago, the W Hotel in San Francisco replaced conventional windows in the lobby space with smart windows made by View, a smart glass company based in Milpitas, Calif. On sunny days, the windows in the hotel automatically tint to block heat and glare; on overcast days, the tint adjusts to a lesser level.
View is one of two dominant players in the smart window industry. The other is Minnesota-based Sage Glass, which was founded in 1989 and purchased by the French building materials company Saint-Gobain in 2012. Both companies’ windows rely on electrochromic technology, in which the glass is coated with nano-layers of metal oxides (the companies differ slightly in the coatings they apply). When sunlight hits the coated glass, the ions move between the different layers, changing the structure and tint of the glass. Once installed, the windows’ tint is controlled by smartphone or tablet.
“The algorithm is going to be dependent on the time of year, the latitude and longitude of the building and what the weather is doing,” explains Dr Brandon Tinianov, the vice president of business development at View. “But I also know how far away from the window your workstation will be and how the sunlight will hit your screen at different times of day and year. And I can have an office that’s lighter and, right next to it, one that’s darker.”
And then there are the energy savings. Over the lifetime of the windows, View estimates that the windows can reduce energy expenditures by up to 20 percent. There’s also a small, but growing, body of evidence that suggests that the biological effects of increased exposure to natural light can have big economic payoffs, for everyone from office workers and students to hospital patients. View conservatively estimates that the windows can increase worker productivity by up to 2 percent.
The technology doesn’t come cheap. View’s windows cost approximately 50 percent more than a traditional window, according to Rao Mulpiri, View’s CEO, but they provide cost savings elsewhere in the construction budget. The windows eliminate the need for blinds and curtains, for example, and their heat-blocking abilities allow for smaller air conditioning units (which can free up more useable space within the building).
View has scored a number of high profile contracts in recent years, and, last summer, raised $150 million in funding to further expand production capabilities, on top of the $350 million in funding the company had raised in previous rounds.
View’s windows have been installed in more than 200 buildings, including hospitals, schools, large commercial office buildings and public buildings. Earlier this year, View announced it had won a contract to install 100,000 sq feet of windows at the USAA Real Estate Company’s America Center II, its biggest contract yet.
Lorie Pella is the director of project planning at Humber River Hospital, a 1.8m-sq foot hospital built in Toronto that opened in 2015 with aggressive sustainability goals. The original plans for the hospital called for windows with integral blinds, but Pella and his team had concerns about maintenance. “The problem with those is that they have a high rate of breakdown,” Pella said. “And then fixing them is more problematic, because the blind is encased in glass. It’s a big maintenance issue to continue to repair them.”
So when the design and construction teams proposed smart windows, Pella was intrigued. Humber River Hospital opened with 28,000 square feet of View windows, and Pella said the windows are popular with patients, who can control tint from their hospital beds, and seem to reduce heat load. “The cost over time made sense,” Pella said. “We didn’t have to buy a thousand window blinds, and have to replace them over a 30-year period and constantly maintain them.”
Some organizations are worried about risk. Humber River Hospital, for example, which had concerns about whether the tinted windows would provide enough privacy for patients, ordered a test piece of glass and created a window mockup, which they tested under various lighting conditions, at different times of day, before deciding on the windows.
“There’s a certain amount of inertia with these buildings,” Freas said. “The people who have been installing windows for a long time, they’re reluctant to take on a new risk.”