office transformation

I started writing in August about a project in my office that was important to me. After enduring yet another brutal Louisiana summer, I took some time to research solar film installation and local companies. I took all that research and wrote a proposal to my bosses about why it was a good idea to install the solar film on our 30+ 100-year-old single-pane windows. And I was shocked when they agreed that it should be done and put me charge of making the project happen. 

 Image: Newspapers in my office exposed to constant sunlight. The left newspaper was on top and the right newspaper was underneath. Check out the damage from just a few months!

So, with the help of Lafayette Shutters, Blinds and More, I set off transforming my office into a more energy-efficient and comfortable place. It took a couple days for the project to be finished, but we could see the difference after the first pane was done.

We went with a film by Vista Films that had a greenish tint to it, and 65% solar heat rejection. It also has a 61% glare reduction. In the proposal, I compared this film to another brand, and my boss made the decision to go with Vista because it was simply a stronger film. The return on investment for the film is between 1 1/2 and 2 years, I believe. So for what we spent on installation, we would save on our utility bills and recoup the cost in 2 years or less. That's pretty incredible. 

On that sunny Wednesday afternoon, after the first pane got its film application, we could clearly see the difference. The sunlight was not pouring in the window and the colors outside were more defined and vivid. Our copier is located underneath a window, and since the film was put on, I've noticed that it's less necessary to wear sunglasses while making copies in the afternoon. (Not that I ever did that, mind you, but I certainly came close a few times.)

 Image: The solar film installation crew in the middle of a window.

Image: Close-up of one window: the top pane has film, the bottom pane does not.

Now, of course, there were a few setbacks to the project, as there typically are. With the fact that we were all dealing with 100-year-old single-pane windows, we were also dealing with aged caulking and a few measurement flaws. And that is how we ended up with one window down on the sidewalk below. While care was being taken with each window, one just managed to come loose and take a tumble, taking the solar film along with it. It was also the time I realized I'm really not ready to be a homeowner, because me in charge of figuring out how to replace that window? Was not really something I wanted to. But we got everything settled and the window was replaced and solar-filmized the next day.

After a short break to repair the caulking on a few more windows, the solar film installation was wrapped up and we've been enjoying the benefits ever since then. The scenery outside is more vivid and less washed-out, and the film managed to keep some of the heat at bay. (The other issue was malfunctioning air conditioners, and that seemed to be fixed a few weeks ago with new units put in.)

Getting this project done was a proud moment in my life and work, because I put effort into the proposal that paid off and helped me bring my environmentalism into the office. One thing that I think helped was knowing who I was writing to. One of my bosses has a very clear writing style, and I made sure to reflect it in the proposal. And I showed all of the statistics and presented photographs as evidence.

And while solar film doesn't help as much toward keeping heat in during the winter, it does have some effect, and I'm looking forward to that as well. If it ever gets cold down here!

No comments

Back to Top