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March 2012

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Building Type: Apartments, Condos and Hotels , College & University , Commercial Office , Education - K-12 , Government, Transportation and Sports , Government, Transportation and Sports , Health Care , LEED and Sustainable Design
More on Green Building: Green Building

Wausau's Clear Story™ exterior sun shades and interior light shelves maximize natural light and energy efficiency

Exterior sun shades intercept unwanted solar heat gain before it can impact a building’s HVAC system’s load. Sun shades also can economize natural light by redirecting it inside the building. Extending the redirection and reach, interior light shelves at transom height are especially effective at redirecting sunlight deep into occupied spaces. Both can be essential components of a complete daylighting system.

“A complete daylighting system provides shading from direct
sunlight, glare protection and daylight redirection,” explains Tom Mifflin, government/military market manager at Wausau Window and Wall Systems. “Lighting accounts for 40% of the energy used in a typical commercial building. Properly executed, daylighting
can reduce HVAC peak loads with corresponding reductions in
mechanical equipment capacity and carbon footprint.”

Further contributing to green goals, Wausau Window and Wall Systems® Clear Story™ aluminum sun shades and light shelves may be specified with high recycled content. Coupled with the recognized benefits of daylight and outside views, these features may aid buildings seeking certification under such programs as the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® Green Building Rating System.

Demonstrating its commitment to energy-efficiency and environmental leadership, Wausau’s own manufacturing center is certified LEED-Silver. The building features exterior sun shades to block solar heat gain at high summer sun angles and re-direct visible light further into open plan office areas.

Wausau’s Clear Story products are integrated with the curtainwall and window systems’ engineering and manufacturing. This allows the company to ensure proper structural support of the shade and shelf loads, continuity of line, as well as integral alignment and anchorage. In addition, Wausau offers single-source finishing for color match and consistency across multiple architectural aluminum systems. Working closely with the building team, Wausau assists in coordinating submittals and sequencing material deliveries.

Mifflin observes that the use of exterior aluminum sun shades is a continuing
trend as architectural design elements on buildings of all types. “Architects
are exercising their creativity with sun shades, using louvers, blades, catwalk
grids, and solid panels. They can make a powerful, aesthetic statement in a
building’s design, as well as in its performance. Right now, we see terrific
applications and opportunities for natural daylighting in medical, government
and university offices and schools.”

Addressing these opportunities, Wausau offers a variety of pre-engineered, exterior “brise soleil” sun shades. These static, outrigger-supported assemblies usually are anchored to curtainwall or window wall mullions. In climates where snow and ice loads are heavy, May advises that engineers pay particular attention to the connections between sun shades or outriggers and the curtainwall mullion profiles.

Wausau’s menu of available sun shade types includes:
* Aerofoil louvers
* Catwalk grid gratings
* Trapezoidal “no perch” tubes
* Square, rectangular and oval cross pieces and nosings
* Variously shaped, solid panel shading – both vertical and horizontal
* Transparent, translucent or silk-screened glass sun shades
Wausau also fabricates self-supporting, exterior sun shade structures.

For interior applications, light shelves are most effective for relatively clear climates at mid-latitudes for south orientations. Typically, light shelves are attached to mullions and installed below clerestory or transom windows. This placement allows them to effectively redirect daylight onto a light-colored ceiling, improving penetration of the direct sun.

Wausau manufactures aluminum light shelves with the upper surface finished in clear anodize or painted white. Generally, these finishes are coupled with matte or diffuse reflective surfaces to maintain cleanliness and functionality. Similarly, deep window sills finished in light colors are better than those finished in dark colors for reflecting the direct sunlight upward.

While lighter colors are better for daylight distribution, Wausau’s aluminum products can be finished in more than 30,000 colors. Many environmentally friendly, durable finish options are available including liquid or powder coatings with ultra-low volatile organic compounds (VOC) and VOC-free content, or eco-friendly, VOC-free anodize.