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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Electrochromic Window Demonstration at the Donna Land Port of Entry:


The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Public Buildings Service (PBS) has jurisdiction, custody or control over 105 land ports of entry throughout the United States, 35 of which are located along the southern border. At these facilities, one of the critical functions of windows is to provide border control personnel with direct visual contact with the surrounding environment. This also can be done through surveillance cameras, but the high value that U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CPB) officers place on direct visual contact can be encapsulated in the following statement by a senior officer regarding this project: “nothing replaces line of sight.” In sunny conditions, however, outdoor visibility can be severely compromised by glare, especially when the orb of the sun is in the field of view. This often leads to the deployment of operable shading devices, such as Venetian blinds. While these devices address the glare, they obstruct the view of the surroundings, negating the visual security benefits of the windows.

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