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Shades and Shade Controls

The shades and shade controls scope of work is based upon the philosophy that occupants of commercial office buildings prefer natural light to electric light. The shade system goals for The New York Times Building are:

  1. Maximize natural light
  2. Maximize occupant connectivity with the outdoors, i.e. external views
  3. Intercept sunlight penetration so as to avoid direct solar radiation on the occupants
  4. Maintain a glare free environment
  5. Provide occupant manual override capability
  6. On any given façade the shades are as a general rule expected to be controlled together to the same bottom-of-hem height

The overall intent is to keep the shades up as much of the time as is possible without causing thermal or visual discomfort. Thermal comfort is assured by solar tracking and the geometry of the external sun screens. Visual comfort is assured by managing the luminance on the window wall. The manual override system has been specified based upon post occupancy evaluations of office building occupants with automated shade systems. The number one recorded complaint in these studies was the inability of an occupant to operate a shade or group of shades when necessary.

This performance specification has been made public in order to assist design professionals by providing an example of an automated shade system that has been market tested. This specification combined with reflected ceiling plans, furniture layouts, perimeter architectural typologies and details was competitively bid and led to the award of the shades and shade control system contract on September 30, 2004.

Shade and Shade Controls Specification (PDF, 116KB, 14 pp)