Levering Hall Glass Pavilion – Baltimore Commercial Window Film Case Study


The Glass Pavilion is used for a lot of campus
events and different programming things, whether they are small or large scale events – formal
or informal – as well as dance classes and other things like that take place here. So
it has a lot of foot traffic for our campus community and is a very heavily utilized space
by large groups of people. This project started as a window treatment
project, you know, “Could we somehow save energy by putting window treatment on windows?”
and the students often will have a personal experience and they’ll say, “I think there’s gotta
be a better way” and then they develop that thought into a project or into a research
proposal. The main goal for this project was to reduce
the solar energy that was entering the building because that does increase cooling costs for
this specific space. So I know originally they were looking at blinds to put on the
windows. Architecturally, what we found is the shades
were down most of the time or some were up, some were down, and so aesthetically if you
walked into this space, it wasn’t a very pretty space. Architecturally it was always meant
to be a pretty space. It’s important that this building and especially
this room kind of remains intact as it was designed to be this window in to and through
campus with its glass surrounding. It is the Glass P is what it’s called for short. We
didn’t wanna put something up that made it look like Mirror P. We wanted to make sure
that it maintained its original intent design-wise. We really wanted vendors that had a lot of
experience with commercial buildings. We wanted to make sure we had vendors that could suggest
to us what the best fit was gonna be. We needed vendors that would also communicate with the
students because it was really at that point still a student project. So one of the biggest goals for the campus
is to reduce our CO2 emissions by 50% by 2025. So it’s looking at it like what are the biggest
emissions on campus and how can help mitigate that. The window films help reduce the amount of
energy we need to put into this building and the Rec Center by reducing the amount of heat
coming in from the Sun. So that reduces the amount of AC we need to use and electricity. The vendors picked products that they thought
would be the best choice, and part of the criteria was it had to pay for itself in less
than seven years, so it could meet the ship criteria. Obviously if it paid better than
that, all the better. Once you apply for the local utility rebate, they’re also looking
at the energy models. We had to have a comfort level with the assumptions that went into
the energy model. They had to have a comfort level with the assumptions. Our local utility Baltimore Gas and Electric
or BGE for short, they offer a number of different rebates. So we’re always looking for opportunities
through them as well as if there are other rebate opportunities – locally or federally
– to try to bring the cost down and make the pay back even quicker, so then we can invest
more money into more projects. Vendors and contractors for the university,
it’s not about the lowest cost. It’s about the relationship. It’s about partnering and
collaborating especially when it’s a product that we don’t have lot of experience with.
Thankfully absolute perfection put up with two-years worth of evaluation process. We
did the samples, had people weigh in, had a thousand questions, you folks were great
about getting back to us with answers and it’s really what helped the project go forward. What we found with the window films is that
they absolutely solved the problems that they were trying to solve with adding more energy.
Actually improve the comfort and reduce the energy cost. Two things that are really important
to us – reducing energy helps us reduce our greenhouse gases. There’s a direct relationship
there. Even more importantly reducing energy saves us money and that’s a really good thing.
If we can do both of those and improve the occupant’s experience, that’s even better. The hope is that these projects being successful
will now be able to be replicated on other buildings who have similar situations. The Dulles Airport project was one of the
largest projects we have been part of, but it wasn’t so much the scope of the job that
was the difficult part. It was the time constraints that we had.

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