Solar Reflection Mitigation

Glare from reflective glazing



Photo of Kais Al-Rawi, AIA

Kais Al-Rawi, AIA


Walter P Moore



Glass by nature is a reflective material, and it is well-known and documented that issues of glare can occur due to solar reflection. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the application of high-performance coatings often used with the best intentions of reflecting solar heat away from building interiors. Daylighting analysis software can be used to model and validate design options or existing condition, and then used to evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of glass treatments which could be applied to mitigate glare. Analysis results eliminate ineffective treatments and identify several treatments of varying effectiveness to be verified in the field. Field observations are also effective in confirming the findings of the digital analysis. This paper presents the various methods and critical aspects to solar reflectance issues. There is value to utilizing both the digital analysis and field observations. Digital tools can help to identify the best solutions to evaluate in the field.


As solar rays meet a glazing surface, a portion of the light is transmitted through, while another portion is absorbed, and another reflected. This paper will focus on the reflected

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Evaluating Reflectivity and its Recurrence

Reflectivity concerns are ideally evaluated during the design process through solar simulations at different times of the day and year, however in cases of completed projects, a more forensic approach

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Digital Simulations

In situations where a specific glazing lite is resulting in reflectance due to its orientation, at a specific point in time, the luminance can be evaluated in a digital simulation

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Glass finishes and Physical Prototyping

To best assess mitigation strategies for glass reflectivity, physical samples in the actual project environment are recommended, the samples can be directed towards the sun such that different finishes and

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Glass is an inherently reflective material, it is important to be cognisant of the risks that its reflective properties pose to the surroundings of a building. These risks are best

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Project Research Team at Walter P Moore and Associates: Kais Al-Rawi, Kelly Burkhart and Sanjeev Tankha.

Special thanks to Professor Marc Schiller for his input and extensive expertise on investigating solar reflectivity on this case study project