“We selected ClearShade because it provided an evenly distributed diffuse light across the space while still controlling glare and reducing solar heat gain. It also provided dynamic views that change as you move around.” -Jon Leung, Project Architect for Wendel Companies
Sibley East Elementary is a public school in Gaylord, MN, designed by architectural and engineering firm Wendel Companies. The design team chose to create large expanses of glazed facade to bring ample daylight into the building. They specified ClearShade to diffuse and maximize that daylight while addressing solar heat and glare.
The video above shows the dynamic views provided by the ClearShade honeycomb units: units viewed at an angle appear milky white, less transparent. Units viewed head-on appear more transparent, allowing for views outward to the playground. Also evident is the ample, diffuse, high-quality daylight.
Below, Jon Leung, Wendel Architects’ project architect for the Sibley school, answers questions about the firm’s choice of ClearShade to address glare and solar heat gain on large expanses of the school façade, while maintaining views outward and optimizing daylight.
Q: What was the intent behind the choice of ClearShade?
A: We had large curtain walls on the south, west and east elevations where we needed to address glare and solar heat gain. This was especially important in the south elevation, where the school’s cafeteria and commons area was located. In addition to ClearShade, we explored overhangs and exterior shading devices but those options did not fully solve the issues, plus we had aesthetic concerns regarding those strategies.
Q: Why did you select ClearShade?
A: We selected ClearShade because it provided an evenly distributed diffuse light across the space while still controlling glare and reducing solar heat gain. It also provided dynamic views that change as you move around. Views were another important factor as we wanted to maintain the visual connection to the exterior. We also liked that there was no special detailing involved to use ClearShade – it is simply an insert in a standard IGU, so our curtainwall and storefront details were all just typical details.
Q: Has ClearShade met your expectations?
A: I have used ClearShade in two different projects now, in different applications, and it has exceeded my expectations.
Q: Do you have any information on energy performance or daylighting evaluations that were done or are planning to be done?
A: Unfortunately, I do not have any information on energy performance or daylighting numbers. I recall during design we did perform some daylighting studies using our 3D computer model, but it was more experiential based than performance.
Q: Any additional comments or information you would like us to know?
A: Nothing in particular, but I would definitely look to use ClearShade again in future projects if the opportunity arises.
Above, the ClearShade units are seen from the exterior and from a distance. Again, units viewed from an angle appear briefly opaque and milky-white. As the viewer’s angle changes and becomes more perpendicular to the units, they become transparent. This is particularly evident in the comparison of the two ClearShade facades which present two different angles to the viewer. While one appears white the other appears transparent, and vice versa.
This interior view shows the increased transparency provided by the ClearShade units while the viewer’s distance from the units is greater. As the viewer approaches, the cone of vision becomes more limited and the texture of the honeycomb more apparent.
View more ClearShade projects here.
Project: Sibley East Elementary, Gaylord MN
Architects: Wendel Companies, MN
Photos: As credited above