Center for the Built Environment
Window Signaling Systems: Control Strategies & Occupant Behavior
- Author(s): Ackerly, Katie
- Brager, Gail
- et al.
Signaling systems that tell building occupants when to open and close windows have become a popular strategy for balancing the comfort benefits of manual windows with the efficiency benefits of automation in mixed-mode buildings. Data from surveys, interviews and site observations in 16 U.S. buildings reveal a diversity of design objectives, control sequences and circumstances to anticipate when designing buildings with window signaling systems.Signals influence window use patterns for a minority of occupants, although greater participation is possible if the signals are linked to an internal policy with clear, tangible comfort benefits. Low levels of participation likely occur because most occupants (though not all) tend not to pay attention to their windows, or the signals, unless they're uncomfortable, at which point it matters little what the signals say.However, occupants who do discover value in the signals are more likely to be more satisfied with their personal control.