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Project Launch: 09/01/2020

Partners: Illinois Institute of Technology, Parata Solutions LLC, Amatis Controls

The project team evaluated savings from an insulating shade system in conjunction with a building control system in a high-rise office building in Chicago.


Interior insulating shades provide extra thermal insulation to minimize heat loss/gain through glass windows. Automated systems monitor sky conditions and open or shut the shades for optimal energy efficiency.

The project team evaluated the potential energy and cost savings of installing interior insulated shades manufactured by Parata and control systems manufactured by Amatis Controls in a high-rise commercial building. Heating and cooling season data were collected to compare four shade control strategies: baseline, manual, on-schedule and dynamic.

Results and Outcomes

The overall savings from the 39 installed shades over the monitoring period was over 123,000 kWh. When comparing each shade control strategy to the baseline, the on-schedule control strategy showed greatest savings during the heating season, while the manual and on-control strategies showed greatest savings during the cooling season. Surveyed occupants noted a preference for the manual control scheme in order to benefit from daylight and outside views. Based on the results of the study, the project team recommended commercial buildings with a high window-to-wall ratio, single pane windows, and electric heating or perimeter zone HVAC systems as ideal candidates for application of this measure. The Emerging Technologies Team is further examining the appropriate integration of interior insulated shades and controls as a ComEd Energy Efficiency Program measure.

Read the executive summary and This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to request a copy of the full report.