Impacts of Dynamic Glazing on Office Workers’ Environmental and Psychological Responses
Indoor environmental quality is a critical factor that significantly affects an occupant’s work productivity, environmental health, and quality of life, especially in the workplace where a competent organization, and pleasant and healthy surroundings help assure maximum productivity. However, most building environmental design components, such as façade, are static, while the outdoor environmental condition (i.e., weather) is dynamically affecting the indoor environmental quality with significant and diverse changes. This structural limitation results in potentially compromising the environmental perceptions of a building’s occupants. With the help of advanced technologies, there have been numerous efforts to implement dynamic features in modern buildings, especially dynamic structural façade components, such as electrochromic windows (called dynamic glazing). An industrial and academic research collaboration team conducted an on-site building study by collecting IEQ components in a commercial office, that was equipped with dynamic glazing. For effective comparison, an occupant environmental satisfaction study was conducted on two floors, one equipped with conventional manual blinds, and the other with dynamic glazing. The study outcomes showed that the occupants on the floor equipped with dynamic glazing reported higher environmental and psychological satisfaction/positive responses than those on the floor equipped with manual blinds. This study also revealed that environmental satisfaction and psychological perceptions could be affected by different workstation locations, such as core and perimeter zones. Therefore, these results confirmed that dynamic glazing could be effectively integrated with modern building environments to enhance individual occupants’ environmental perceptions and psychological health. It follows that this would result in higher work productivity in a commercial office workplace.