Last edited 21 Apr 2018

BREEAM Visual comfort Glare control


[edit] Aim and benefits

To ensure occupant controls are considered at the design stage to ensure best practice in visual performance and comfort for building occupants. This involves reducing glare that can cause discomfort and distraction, and enabling occupant lighting control

[edit] When to consider

BREEAM assessor does not need evidential documents at a certain time but designers may consider the potential opportunities for glare control as early as concept design.

Incorporating reducing glare control at early design stage allows architects to propose any building integrated options such as brise soleil or other innovative options, whereas if it’s left to the end they may be left with the only option of blinds

[edit] Step by step guidance

Please note, not applicable to shell or shell and core assessments

Check which areas will be relevant i.e. areas where lighting and resultant glare control could be problematic e.g. workstations, where projector screens may be used or sports halls.

Confirm with the design team which glare control method will be applied. Blinds are the simplest form of glare control. Where other methods are used design data must be used to demonstrate compliance.

[edit] Questions to ask while seeking compliance

Shell and Core - The design team must demonstrate how the glare control criteria will be met without a reliance on blinds when the building is occupied.

Compliant forms of glare control - curtains as glare control: - Compliant shading measures for meeting glare control credit include:

  • Building integrated measures
  • Occupant controlled devices such as blinds (where transmittance value is<0.1 (10%))
  • Bioclimatic design
  • External shading or brise soleil

[edit] Tools and resources

[edit] Tips and best practice

Seek from the developer their standard, or project, specification. Are blinds (or other features, such as brise soleil) included in the base building, or fit-out works?

Has the designer assessed solar effects on the building users and considered protection from these effects.

Is it too late to amend the design to improve shading control (e.g. by using over-hangs)?

All building facades will need some shading protection, even if the sun does not shine directly into some areas of the building.

Remember that protection must provide shading from high level summer and low level winter sun.

Automatic controls may provide compliance, but are not essential to comply with the requirements.

Curtains (where used without other forms of shading) do not meet the criteria for the glare control credit.

There are many means of controlling glare, such as blinds, brise soleil, building overhangs and even natural protection for some schemes. Keep an open mind about the potential solutions, where possible.

[edit] Typical evidence

Design Stage

  • Design drawings identifying relevant building areas, windows and any glare control such as blinds specified
  • Specification of glare control system such as occupant controlled blinds (confirming transmittance value of <0.1
  • Drawings showing building integrated measures where applicable i.e. extent and height of eaves in relation to windows and building orientation
  • Drawings/specification of any external shading systems or brise soleil
  • Where fixed systems are used then design studies/calculations must demonstrate that sunlight will be prevented from reaching building occupants during occupied hours.
  • The simplest form of glare control is occupant controlled blinds

Post Construction Stage

[edit] Applicable Schemes

The guidelines collated in this ISD aim to support sustainable best practice in the topic described. This issue may apply in multiple BREEAM schemes covering different stages in the life of a building, different building types and different year versions. Some content may be generic but scheme nuances should also be taken into account. Refer to the comments below and related articles to this one to understand these nuances. See this document for further guidelines.

BRE Global does not endorse any of the content posted and use of the content will not guarantee the meeting of certification criteria.

This article created originally in a BREEAM workshop by Pantelis Levantis, Azita Dezfouli, Tom Abbott, Jane Morning, Martin Earl, Eleni Kalyva

--Multiple Author Article 21:54, 21 Apr 2018 (BST)