LouverShade Added to Bullitt Center

Seattle’s Bullitt Center is billed as the “greenest commercial building in the world”. When LouverShade was invited to participate by providing interior shading and light harvesting, we were pleased to say the least.

There are two LouverShade installations at Bullitt Center, one using a WorkSpace Optimized light harvesting system in the Integrated Design Lab (IDL) space and a second, scheduled for early March, to include a dual head rail architecture in the space occupied by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI). Also, a dual head rail example is installed in the display area at Bullitt but controlled from the IDL space. What we’ll look at today is the IDL installation.

Making use of renewable energy resources is a primary design goal at Bullitt. As such, the LouverShade WorkSpace Optimized installation includes photovoltaic powered shade motors and wireless control. You could say that the IDL installation is all wireless, both for power and control. It’s important to note that wired low and line voltage motors as well as wired automation and control are more common in large LouverShade installations but both IDL and ILFI will utilize the wireless format.

The WorkSpace Optimized example at Bullitt features an all louver system with inverted slats (concave facing up) above seven feet from floor level and normal Venetian blind setup below seven feet (concave slates facing down). The image you see at left shows where the two slat angles meet. The configuration provides four important features. First, the upper louvers direct sunlight inward and upward while simultaneously blocking glare. Second, the lower louvers provide a view while also blocking glare. Third, the combined ability to block glare but still maintain a view delivers a comfortable work environment. Last, the visual appeal of the system meets both the architectural and sustainability design goals of the building project. Note the front adjusted slat ladders (where the slats rest) that are adjustable to meet specific client needs. Both slat angles are controlled by motorized tilt that open and close automatically at prescribed times and adjust for sun conditions during the day (a sun sensor adjusts slat angles when bright sun is detected). Automated slat angles feature an override option from either wall mounted control or handheld remote. This system uses manual lift for the lower shades. Motorized lift is available as well.

From a budgetary standpoint, this system carries an installed priced of $17.58 per glazing square foot. Most non-motorized and non-automated systems start at $30 per glazing square foot and higher. What this means is that the LouverShade example at Bullitt is affordable for a large cross section of renewal and new construction projects. Even so, with manual roller shades priced at $9 to $12 per glazing square foot, it is expected that passive, non-motorized LouverShade systems will be the norm. Such installations will approach manual roller shade pricing and offer both energy rebates from many local utilities as well as ongoing savings in the use of electrical lighting when combined with continuous dimming that includes daylight sensors.

The IDL example at Bullitt Center provides effective, low cost light harvesting that is now available to any commercial property. Give us a call or e-mail to let us know how we can help your properties lead the way to a greener tomorrow.