Backed by almost half a decade of research, Lutron’s program demonstrates how shading fabrics can be more than just aesthetic – they can be integral to energy-efficient building performance.
Coopersburg, PA (May 5, 2015) – Lutron Electronics, the leader in energy-saving wireless lighting and shade control, today unveiled its Performance Shading Program – a comprehensive program that helps architects and designers select the right shading fabric for their building designs based on daylight, glare, view and aesthetics. Harnessing more than five years of groundbreaking research with Purdue University, Lutron’s innovative program is expected to change the way shades and fabrics are specified in commercial spaces by helping customers see shading as not only an aesthetic choice, but also one that is integral to overall building performance.
Today, most professionals specify shading fabrics on aesthetics (color and texture) alone. However, Lutron’s research shows that proper fabric selection is a key element to creating a glare-free space with optimized daylight autonomy and optimal occupant comfort. In 2010, Lutron teamed up with Purdue University’s world-renowned Herrick Laboratories and Dr. Thanos Tzempelikos, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, to understand the relationship between automated shading solutions and energy savings in a typical commercial environment.
In their studies, Lutron and Purdue discovered that the transmittance value of a shade fabric is directly linked to lighting energy savings and that it also dramatically affects the comfort of people in the space. Even a small shift in transmittance value has a huge effect on effective glare management and access to views. With this groundbreaking discovery in-hand, Lutron developed the Performance Shading Program – the industry’s first comprehensive program to recommend solar screen fabrics for optimal balance of glare reduction, daylight autonomy and view preservation without sacrificing aesthetics. This program includes the following four components:
Performance Shading Advisor with Fabric Wizard – a free web-based tool that allows users to enter project-specific inputs to select optimal fabrics based on calculations for glare reduction, daylight autonomy and view preservation – all while maintaining the aesthetic design of the space. Users can search and filter fabrics by priorities and even save project information, order fabric samples and produce specs directly from the tool.
THEIA™ Performance Specification – Commercially available solar screens today lack the tightly controlled fabric properties that Lutron and Purdue’s research showed were necessary to ensure proper performance. Today’s industry-standard fabric openness factors can vary by more than 2% from the specified value, potentially causing uncomfortable glare. THEIA-compliant fabrics solve this issue and are the first fabrics to tightly control openness within a tolerance of +/- .75% and Tv (visible light transmittance) within a tolerance of +/- 1% or +/- 20% x mean Tv value to ensure the optimal fabric is delivered as specified. They also follow EN14500 and ASTM 903 measurement standards.
Performance Fabric Collection – a refined collection of fabrics with focused categories specifically designed to meet the needs of the core commercial market. The collection includes high-running Lutron commercial solar screen fabrics along with some new performance and sustainable fabrics.
Performance Shading Solutions Binder — a consolidated kit that showcases, organizes and explains Lutron’s Performance Fabric Collection in four