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How Offices Are Turning Windows Into Walls

Recently, we had the opportunity for a creative experiment – we mounted cameras on a building to watch the windows of an occupied office building. Building occupants were not informed of the study to eliminate the influence of behavioral changes on the experiment’s outcome. Only the top 3 floors of the building were occupied, but we wanted to see how often the shades were drawn on those floors. The building is in sunny Northern California and has expansive views of the San Francisco Bay. You would expect those windows to be popular - everyone loves windows and a view, right? Until….the heat and glare become too much. Then, down come the shades.

Time-Lapse Video:


By using time-lapse images taken every 15 minutes and measuring the change in window coverage on the top three floors for a month, here is what we found:

· 60% of the windows were covered by shades.

· 77% of the shades never moved at all.

· Less than 2% of the shades were adjusted daily (on average).


Wow! Once the heat and glare is in the building, people drop the shades – and once they are down, they continue to stay down essentially creating another wall in the office. Nearly 2/3 of the views and natural light are removed with fewer people getting the benefit of the green space and sunlight just outside their office.

Why do we invest in windows if this is the behavior? Because not everyone knows about dynamic glass. Here at View, our mission is to create delightful human environments. Our glass automatically changes tint during the day to control glare, eliminate heat, and optimize daylight in order to make the space visually and thermally comfortable. No shades needed. Read more about our technology here.

Learn more about View

Brian Lee – Manager, Product Marketing
Deepak Shivaprasad – Sr. Director, Product Marketing