The positive benefits of daylighting on building occupants and operating costs are well-known throughout the design and construction world.

Unfortunately, so are the negative side effects of glare and solar heat gain.

A recent Buildings.com article (read it here) took aim at those negatives with an article entitled “Four ways to control daylight.” The article, which is based on BOMI International’s High Performance Sustainable Building Practices, outlines the following interconnected ways to control daylight:

  • Interior Shading and Light Shelves
  • Interior Sunshades
  • Light Shelves
  • Horizontal Blinds

While these overlapping solutions do in fact play key roles in maximizing daylighting strategy, they are only part of the solution.

A truly successful shading design depends on the ability to deploy at the right time in the right places. For that you need motorization, controls, and possibly automation.

Here are four ways the Draper IntelliFlex® I/O system helps control daylight successfully.

Create zones for user input.
Conditions change. The sun may appear from behind clouds, turning grey but comfortable office areas into a hotbox.

With IntelliFlex I/O single and dual zone wall switches, user input can return one or more zones of a shading system to providing the necessary level of comfort. Once conditions have improved, the switches can be used to readjust the shades as needed. Eventually, an automation system can return shades to their proper deployment.

Add responses to real-time sensor data.
While this isn’t the same thing as automation, it can accomplish a similar outcome. This mostly reactive approach mimics automation, by combining the IntelliFlex I/O Sensor/Schedule Interface (SSI) and sensors. Brightness, wind, and precipitation sensors, as well as pyranometers, react to current local conditions and the adjust shades accordingly.

Extend the reach of your automation system.
What if you recently added automated shading systems to some areas of a building or campus, but already had existing, non-intelligent shades in other areas? You may not want to invest in all new motors in those areas, but you’d like the existing shades to fit in with a newly automated intelligent system

IntelliFlex I/O can handle it.

1 and 4 Motor External Motor Controllers connect standard 4-wire motors to an IntelliFlex I/O system. Even when networked, they can be independently operated and configured to respond to wall switches, RF remotes, and signals from third party systems. An on-board contact closure interface can be used as a local control for both networked and stand-alone operation.

Choose your level of automated glare control.
Some areas, such as atriums, reception and waiting areas, wellness center, and school gathering areas require a more automated solution. This approach is also helpful when shades on an entire floor of an office or mixed-use building need to be automated.

The IntelliFlex I/O Sensor/Schedule Interface + (SSI+) with Automated Glare Control utilizes a model of the building’s orientation and geographic location to calculate where shades should be and adjusts them accordingly.

When shades throughout multiple floors or an entire building need to be controlled a more complete automation system is required. For whole building control, we offer the Central Network Controller (CNC), which uses an algorithm-based software to determine the sun’s location in the sky. By using a formula that includes building coordinates and time of day/year, the software automatically moves the shades to a position that is based on the parameters set up for the solar depth penetration for each project.

The CNC acts as a router between control and IP networks. It allows communication between networks and IP integration with other systems for whole building automation.

To explore all the ways IntelliFlex I/O helps control daylight successfully, click here.