Window Film: WELL Building Standard

Window Film: WELL Building Standard

Window Film helps meet LIGHT requirements for the WELL Building Standard

Light* is one of the performance requirements in the WELL Certification program. More windows let in light that helps save on energy costs, but there are also health benefits. A work environment where employees receive the right amount of light as part of an overall wellness program is shown to be healthier, happier, and more productive. Windows are a key part of the architecture and design of many offices. The WELL criteria recommend solutions to balance enough light coming in through the windows to ensure optimal health and productivity, with energy performance and thermal comfort. Solar control window film is a solution to help meet the light requirements for WELL building certification.  

Why is Light important?

Research shows that light offers many health benefits which are why it is a key part of the WELL Certification program. Natural light from a nearby window enhances colour rendering which is helpful for creative industries. Having a window view also strengthens vision, such as changing the distance of focus from a computer screen to looking outside. When the body doesn’t get enough light, it has been shown to affect a person’s emotions and cognition. 

What is WELL Building Standard®?

The WELL certification program offers guidelines and goals for business owners and landlords to help them support the wellness of their people, one of their largest assets, by creating a healthy workspace.  

The WELL Building Standard® is an evidence-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring the performance of building features that impact health and well-being. WELL is administered by the International WELL Building Institute™ (IWBI), a public benefit corporation whose mission is to improve human health and well-being through the built environment. WELL is third-party certified by Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), which administers LEED certification and LEED professional credentialing.  

LIGHT Requirements for WELL

Visual Lighting Design

  • Part I:  Visual Acuity for Focus
  • Part II: Brightness Management Strategies

Creating an office designed with the right amount of light is important to help with reading and a variety of detail-oriented tasks. Brightness also contributes to how spacious an area feels and its overall visual appeal. The strategy is to have the right amount of ambient and task lighting at all times. Even though window film doesn’t directly contribute to this category, tenants can leave the blinds open more often throughout the day which increases the amount of natural ambient light.

Solar Glare Control

Bright light during the day helps ensure proper health, but glare or excessive brightness can cause eye strain. Solar window film helps disrupt the glare coming through windows which helping minimise visual strain caused by glare.

  • Part II: Daylight Management

Window film is one solution that can be used for daylight management. For all glazing greater than 2.1 m (7ft) above the floor, use a film of micro-mirrors on the window that reflects sunlight toward the ceiling.

3M Daylight Redirecting Film 

Compared to existing light reflecting strategies, Daylight Redirecting Film is easily integrated into new or existing windows. It requires no extra hardware or infrastructure, and no additional maintenance or special cleaning. It works at all times of the day, even when the sun is at a low angle. Plus, it’s more cost effective than many existing daylighting solutions. Daylight is redirected upwards towards the ceiling allowing natural light to comfortably penetrate deeper into the building. [1]

Daylighting Fenestration 

This feature outlines design parameters for windows to optimise the quantity and quality of daylight while minimising unwanted glare and thermal heat gain.

Solar window film helps keep out the sun’s heat and retain internal temperatures; warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. It helps eliminate hot spots, creating an even temperature in the room, providing a more comfortable place to work. This significantly reduces energy costs, decreases the load on HVAC systems, and reduces green house gas emissions. Solar window film offers 99% UV protection, and can reject up to 70% solar heat at the window. Installation can be professionally installed within days with little disruption to business, and is a cost effective solution.  

  • Part II: Window Transmittance in Working and Learning Areas

The following visible transmittance (VT) conditions are met for all non-decorative glazing: 

    a.    All glazing located higher than 2.1 m [7 ft] from the floor (Daylight Glass) has VT of 60% or more. 

    b.    All glazing located 2.1 m [7 ft] or lower from the floor (Vision Glass) has VT of 50% or more.

*Seven requirements measured for WELL Certification includes air, water, light, nourishment, fitness, comfort and mind.

The information above is gathered from the Guidelines available on the WELL Building Standard Website.  You can download a free copy of the standard here -  Note:  The above guidelines based on our review of the document and window film industry expertise; not verified by WELL Certification.  

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