Automated insulating window shades can reduce energy consumption in buildings by approximately 25%, according to research conducted by the Illinois Institute of Technology at Willis Tower. The study also revealed that the cost of installing the shades could be recouped within three to five years. Despite regulating heat accounting for 30-40% of energy used by buildings, window shades have often been overlooked in energy-saving measures. Led by Assistant Professor of Architectural Engineering Mohammad Heidarinejad, the study also discovered that the automated control system could significantly reduce energy consumption in both heating and cooling seasons. The findings were based on a ten-month project at Willis Tower, involving three different control strategies for insulating shades. Co-principal investigator Brent Stephens called the project “perfect” and said that the results, which aligned with Illinois Tech’s mission, were “exciting”.

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