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Our Senior Project Architect, Adriana Mouser, was featured in the Walker Glass “E-Guide of Designing Exteriors with Acid Etched Glass” discussing how glass affects natural lighting, sustainability, safety and security in K-12 school design. A case study of the Westmore Oaks School Modernization project focuses on creating contemporary spaces that possess adequate exposure to natural daylight, while also acting as a critical safety and security measure for students and teachers. Acid etched glass meets these needs by being resistant to breakage and creating the right balance between privacy and daylighting.

Natural lighting is an important component in architecture and in our daily lives. Research has shown that natural light improves peoples’ moods, increases energy levels, reduces strain on the eyes and helps regulate circadian rhythms. In educational settings, adequate natural lighting resulted in increased student and teacher attendance, better learning outcomes, improved student health, and helped students with being more attentive and active throughout the day. These are only some of the reasons why daylight promotes a healthy learning environment and why windows should not be excluded from designs in order to increase security. Studies have proven that without windows in schools, students can become more stressed, fatigued and academic performance can be impacted.

Safety and security at our schools has been a growing concern in recent decades and in response, Studio W Architects incorporates glazing into our designs that are resistant to breakage, allows individuals to see out and prevents intruders from seeing in. Adriana states that “we see more and more school districts expressing concern for security and how glass affects those goals. [Etched glass] provides more even distribution of light while providing the desired levels of security.” The opacity of the etched glass creates spaces where light transmittance is optimal, and inside visibility is shielded. We take security one step further by designing smaller glass sidelights so that intruders cannot get through broken windows and “deterring landscapes” to keep people away from windows.