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Thread: Parking garage windows - light reduction

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    Parking garage windows - light reduction

    I live in a brand new apartment building that contains a 6-story parking garage. My unit (along with all of the other units on my side of the building) directly faces the parking garage. At night the fluorescent lights from the garage shine into the apartments from the parking garage windows. I've installed curtains in my apartment windows that block the light, but I was wondering if any of you planners/developers out there had any ideas as to how the parking garage windows could be covered to reduce the light emitted. I understand that the windows exist for ventilation purposes, but I am hoping that there is some solution out there that the developer of my building can implement that would reduce the light emitted and still allow necessary ventilation. Any ideas? Thanks a lot.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Queen B's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by drs33 View post
    I live in a brand new apartment building that contains a 6-story parking garage. My unit (along with all of the other units on my side of the building) directly faces the parking garage. At night the fluorescent lights from the garage shine into the apartments from the parking garage windows. I've installed curtains in my apartment windows that block the light, but I was wondering if any of you planners/developers out there had any ideas as to how the parking garage windows could be covered to reduce the light emitted. I understand that the windows exist for ventilation purposes, but I am hoping that there is some solution out there that the developer of my building can implement that would reduce the light emitted and still allow necessary ventilation. Any ideas? Thanks a lot.
    Depending on the type of fixtures they are, it could be possible to shield the direction of the light. Different wattage lights.

    Would that solar shield stuff they put on windows help?
    It is all a matter of perspective!!!

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    Cyburbian ColoGI's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Queen B View post

    Would that solar shield stuff they put on windows help?
    No, the site is poorly designed. Either a mesh over the openings or fixtures for the lights to try and make the stray light not trespass into the dwelling units.

  4. #4
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    I'd think any aluminum or gabled louver panelling (for the garage windows) would do. About $8 a square feet, typically sold in 12"x18" panels for about $11 each. Not attractive, but it'll do the trick - letting ventilation through but blocking direct visibility.. Slightly more sophisticated but the same idea, you could look at something like this.. costs will be about 30-50% more or so more psf.

    http://www.barnettbates.com/assets/f...ing-alum.).pdf (not endorsing a vendor - I randomly googled, but that's what I mean).
    Last edited by Cismontane; 02 Dec 2010 at 2:37 PM.

  5. #5
    OH....IO Hink's avatar
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    Most the time in parking garages the numbers are in the 8-12 range in foot candles. If you get much over that it is really killer. I would see if you can see their lighting plan and try and see if they are overlighting the garage. Most developers just light the living daylights (no pun intended) out of it for safety reasons.

    If that isn't it, I would go with blinds.com and search for blackout shades.
    A common mistake people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools. -Douglas Adams

  6. #6
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    Our garage at work is covered with louvers along the street facing sides. That would do the trick. Good luck selling that to the developer though.
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  7. #7
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    Garage opening solutions

    The company I work for, Wire By Design, manufactures wire mesh for parking garage cladding in case anyone needs a resource for this niche product. We can customize the % of open area to help minimize or eliminate these types of problems.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Tobinn's avatar
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    New Thread? Forum?

    Quote Originally posted by MeshSystems View post
    The company I work for, Wire By Design, manufactures wire mesh for parking garage cladding in case anyone needs a resource for this niche product. We can customize the % of open area to help minimize or eliminate these types of problems.
    MOD: I'm not sure that this comment is appropriate in this setting in that it appears to be a bit of an advert.

    With that said, I wonder if, perhaps, it may be appropriate to start a "Products, Methods and Means" Forum for urban planning-related products. Perhaps, those looking to put up a post showcasing their wares might pay a small fee for the privileged of reaching, in a unique and direct way, the "creme de la creme" (boy, I've got guts, huh? Now I know how Dean Martin must have felt singing "Mr. Wonderful") of the planning community community.

    Just a thought I thought I'd throw out there.
    At times like this, you have to ask yourself, "WWJDD?"
    (What Would Jimmy Durante Do?)

  9. #9
    Cyburbian wahday's avatar
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    There is no reason they need to be illuminating your windows, so I would think a proper fixture, or modification of existing fixtures, should do the trick. Some municipalities have become much more strict about allowances for ambient light, creating requirements for fixtures that focus the light only where it is needed.

    You might check out this page from the International Dark Sky Association which promotes specific lighting for specific applications to reduce ambient light and make the night sky more visible for urbanites. At least you would have concrete recommendations for the garage owners...

    http://www.darksky.org/mc/page.do?si...983&orgId=idsa

    As with all things like this, I would say that the tone of first contact is going to have a big impact on the kind of response you get. Think about how to approach the owners, what you want them to do and proceed with civility. If they are a PITA, then you can take it to the next level and deal with the municipality. There are probably laws governing light impact in situations like this that they should conform to.
    The purpose of life is a life of purpose

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