Windows can have a profound impact on your building’s sustainability. Plentiful daylight can decrease your electrical consumption and views to the outdoors increase occupant productivity. But expanses of glass also add glare and unwanted heat gain. If you need to add shades or films to tame the sunshine, determine which solution is the best for your building by using the online tool Efficient Window Coverings.
Aimed primarily at multifamily property managers, the online portal uses a master table of window covering options and attributes with a range of values that were determined in a consensus process. These values are then adjusted for factors such as climate, existing treatments, historic building status, and window type, such as single or double pane clear and with or without low-E coatings.
Users can refine their results by marking qualities that are important or crucial to their installation. These include thermal needs such as insulation, solar heat control, and airtightness and visual factors like daylight, glare control, or privacy. Features such as egress, security, and sound absorption can also be specified.
Based on your selection criteria, the tool will recommend which type of window treatment is compatible for your project. These include applied films, screens, blinds, shades, panels, shutters, and awnings.
Each recommended option is paired with an overview of how the covering functions, pros and cons, key benefits, installation recommendations, and maintenance considerations. A list of qualified manufacturers is also provided.
The tool was developed by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) Windows and Daylighting group and is supported by the Department of Energy, its Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and the Building Technologies program. Visit at efficientwindowcoverings.org.