Light pollution affects many metropolitan regions worldwide, and Singapore green building technology developer, Green Building Group (Green Building), took a novel approach to help address the issue. Green Building leveraged Digital Prototyping tools from Autodesk to develop new light-emitting glass that reduces glare.
The Light Emitting Surface (LES) technology is a non-heat emitting and non-glare polymer light source that provides lighting while cutting out infrared and ultraviolet rays — a key differentiator shared by no other lighting solution, including LED technology. Green Building compares LES technology to “moonlight,” while other existing light sources are closer to sunlight and can add to light pollution.
Green Building used Autodesk Inventor software as part of Autodesk Product Design Suite, among other Autodesk tools, to develop LES technology. For its innovative work, Green Building is being recognized as the Autodesk Inventing the Future recipient for October.
Autodesk seeks Inventing the Future candidates each month from its Manufacturing customer base through a brief Q&A interview on a company or individual addressing their business, products and inventive spirit. Here is what Philip Kwang, Managing Director of Green Building, had to say about LES technology and the company’s experiences leveraging Autodesk software:
Autodesk: What does your company develop, and why is it important for the world?
Kwang: Green Building’s focus is on driving excellence in façade engineering for Singapore’s building industry. Our goal is to develop cost-effective, energy-efficient solutions. The company has acquired deep expertise in the field of sustainable façade engineering.
Currently, the industry lighting standard is characterized by the use LED solutions. The rise in Singapore’s construction industry also means that more iconic landmarks will be built in a short space of time, with the possibility of increased light pollution. To alleviate light pollution in Singapore, Green Building developed the world’s first light emitting glass, a functional, ultra-thin lighting technology known as Light Emitting Surface (LES). With its flexibility, low energy processing and long lifespan, LES presents a far more sustainable, versatile and cost-effective lighting solution without adding to light pollution.
Autodesk: How has adopting technology helped your business evolve?
Kwang: I have been in the façade industry for more than 20 years and have always been closer to the hardware side of business. When I started working on the concept for LES, I was amazed to witness the profound impact software could have on my design, prototype and end product.
As members of the Autodesk Cleantech Partner Program,we gained access to Autodesk’s advanced design software that helped further our business goals to innovate faster. In this case, Autodesk Inventor software was the key to addressing industry skepticism and positioning LES as a commercially viable solution.
Autodesk Inventor also facilitated the development of 3D printed prototypes as opposed to a traditional mold-based prototype. This shortened the manufacturing time from a few months to a day and also brought down the manufacturing costs from thousands of dollars to less than a hundred. Additionally, the team was able to develop the LES technology and complete the product design phase in three months.
Autodesk: What Autodesk software do you use and why?
In the last decade, there haven’t been any innovative developments or changes in the façade industry. When we thought of LES, we reached out to Autodesk since we are longtime users of Autodesk AutoCAD and Autodesk Revit software.
Prior knowledge of AutoCAD helped while learning to use Autodesk Inventor. Green Building engineers just took 15 to 20 minutes to learn how to use Inventor software, as the interface was quite intuitive.
The team could quickly gauge the impact of LES versus other lighting systems in terms of energy consumption and light and heat emissions. They could also simulate a real-world environment, illustrating the impact of LES against a variety of situational factors in an aesthetically striking way.
Autodesk: How do you see your business five years from now? In 10 years.
Kwang: We believe LES will be a big game changer in the façade industry. It is poised to go mainstream and help drive the glass industry. People have started asking—why can’t glass light up? Developing LES was an innovative feat that Autodesk helped us achieve and go to market with it more quickly and efficiently.
Autodesk: What does being an innovator mean to you? [You fill in blank with your occupation.]
Kwang: Being a façade design consultant and innovator means being driven by passion to bring value to the industry!
Do you think you have what it takes to be recognized by Autodesk for Inventing the Future? If so, send in your submission to firstname.lastname@example.org.