Shading prototype could allow new levels of environmental control for skyscraper occupants

Developed by architects at NBBJ, Sunbreak uses a unique three-hinged shade that morphs from an opaque shutter to an abstract set of vertical blinds to an awning.

August 12, 2014 |
Renderings courtesy of NBBJ

Anyone who works in an office knows that there are coworkers who are always complaining about how hot it is, and others who always seem bundled up from head to toe. 

For employees in giant climate-controlled buildings, Gizmodo reports, an answer to this problem may be coming. Sunbreak, a shading prototype from architects at NBBJ, uses sensors to measure and respond to solar activity. If there is too much solar activity, the shades will close to keep the building cool. If there is too little solar activity, the shades reflect more sunlight into the interior using solar panels. 

A unique three-hinged shade is the lynchpin of the design. It morphs from an opaque shutter to an abstract set of vertical blinds to an awning, depending on what is needed.

Single panels can actually be moved to shade or allow sun into specific rooms or hallways with just a few taps on an iPhone. When no one is in the office, Sunbreak notices and puts the entire building on energy conservation lockdown. 

This concept could give workers more control over their environments, and could save building owners money on lighting and climate control systems. Check out the video below to see how it would work. 



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