Continuing Education for Building Professionals

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) plays an active role in the continuing education of its members by providing opportunities for members to maximize their professional skills through effective learning partnerships with Provider firms.

Continuing Education Sustainability Requirement

In January 2009, the AIA decided that all members needed to include four hours of sustainable design as part of their CE requirement. This will run until 2012, at which time it will be evaluated.

Sustainable design is achieved through an integrated design and delivery process that enhances the natural and built environment by using energy sensibly with a goal toward carbon neutrality, improves air and water quality, protects and preserves water and other resources, and creates environments, communities and buildings that are liveable, comfortable, productive, diverse, safe, and provide enduring value to our community and society as a whole.

SunProject™ is a certified Provider and offers an SD approved course for Distance Learning entitled “Shading for High Performance Facades”.

LEED® Assessment

Shade and Light Controls for Sustainable Design

Today's innovative buildings are designed to be sustainable, flexible and energy efficient. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is a rating system that the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) administers to provide a national standard for green buildings. LEED offers scientific performance criteria and a point system for the LEED project certification. Many businesses have programs to ensure all their facilities are LEED compliant, through new construction and renovation programs. SunProject™ offers leading edge product solutions for integrated control of shading and lighting systems to optimize the thermal and natural light conditions.

Efficient shading and lighting controls may contribute to obtaining up to 30 or more points in the LEED 2009 for New Construction and Major Renovations (LEED 2009) categories. To be certified for LEED, a minimum of 40 points is required.

SunProject™ can contribute towards attaining important LEED certification points in numerous categories.

SunProject™ & Potential LEED Rating System Points (USGBC)

LEED Credits

Sustainable Sites

Window treatments can assist buildings meet the sustainable sites requirement of LEED by minimizing light trespass from the building to reduce sky glow, also referred to as light pollution. Reducing glare through shading also improves night-time visibility and reduces the impact of development on the nocturnal environment.

Energy & Atmosphere

By integrating shading and lighting controls, lighting and HVAC electricity can be conserved in the range of 40 to 50 percent. This course of action can typically secure two LEED points. Integration can also be expanded incrementally with other energy-saving strategies which can help maximize the points in this category.

lndoor Environmental Quality

LEED also evaluates a project's internal environment for both energy efficiency and occupant comfort. Some of the criteria include the use of daylight to illuminate interiors as much as possible and supplementation of natural light with integrated, high-performance ballasts, fixtures and controls. Shading controls should be introduced to reduce direct glare from both natural and man-made light —particularly where there are highly reflective surfaces or where computer monitors are employed.

When provisions are made for occupant comfort by deploying high level HVAC, lighting and shading controls, productivity and well being are optimized.

lnnovation & Design Process

SunProject™ can provide design teams and projects the opportunity to be awarded points for exceptional performance above the requirements set by the LEED Rating System and/or innovative performance in Green Building categories not specifically addressed by LEED. The use of exterior dynamic shading strategies and the modeling of their energy performance are opportunities for points in this category.

Research on Shading & Lighting Controls

Dynamic Façades - LBL

Many design solutions rely on intelligent, dynamic façades to reach net zero energy goals. Dynamic automated façade systems enable the reduction of lighting and HVAC end uses by leveraging the synergies of solar and daylight control on a real time basis. These systems can also deliver increased comfort, view, and amenity to occupants.
Link to article

Concordia University

  • Different types of motorized shading devices;
  • Development of control algorithms;
  • Study of daylighting and thermal conditions near façade.

Concordia University Case Study - Click here

Harvard University

Executive Development Program Course Outline

  • Develop a personal definition of “good” daylighting.
  • Acquire the skills needed to carry out an annual daylight and glare analysis of complex spaces.
  • Recognize how to influence design decisions directly based on this analysis.
  • Review current research trends and challenges related to daylighting metrics and occupant use of shading devices and controls.


Current research focuses on advanced glazing and shading systems, on daylight redirecting devices, on visual and thermal comfort and the design implications of light on health, as well as on the visualization of daylighting performance and metrics in design.

White Papers

U of Purdue - Optimization of Dynamic Facades
NY Times case study


ES-SO European Solar Shading Organization

CABA Continental Automated Building Association

LCA Lighting Controls Association

Online Learning Course