By Courtney Humphries

Our own board chair, Andrea Love, was featured in a news article written by Courtney Humphries for the Boston Globe. The article Boston wants to fight climate change. So why is every new building made of glass? talks about the many of the lesser known issues that glass buildings possess. Andrea mentions that a glass building requires more indoor heat because of the cold surface of the glass, therefore wasting more energy that could have been sustained otherwise. 

“What’s so problematic about glass walls? In Boston’s climate, the biggest problem is a lack of insulation. Unlike opaque walls, glass allows heat to pass in and out easily. A 2014 report from the Urban Green Council in New York found that glass buildings have insulation values equivalent to medieval half-timber houses. “You have to now put more heat in your building to make up for that glass,” says Andrea Love, director of building science at Boston architecture firm Payette. On a cold day, glass walls will make you feel chilly, even if the air temperature in the room is comfortable, because your body loses heat to the cold surface. And as Love explains, they create a chill-inducing draft, as warmed air hits the top of the glass wall and falls. Perimeter heating systems are often needed to make up for these discomforts. In the summer, solar energy heats up surfaces inside, requiring more air conditioning. All-glass buildings often need constant heating or cooling to maintain comfortable temperatures. In an extended power failure, temperatures in a glass high-rise could quickly rise or fall to dangerous levels.”

If you are interested in reading the rest of the article, feel free to check out the link below.…


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