Question Sheet: Smart Windows


Before reading:

  1. Why do many people like to live in houses with lots of windows? 
  2. What choices do people have for covering, closing, or darkening a window

    when they want to keep sunlight out of a room?

During reading:

  1. Describe a “smart window.” 
  2. According to Granqvist, what is a window, really? 
  3. To what sorts of environmental problems does the use of inefficient windows


  4. How do chromogenic technologies work? 
  5. Why does Carl Lampert say that there’s a long way to go before smart windows

    are widely used? 

  6. For what other uses might smart-window technology be handy?

After reading:

  1. The term “smart” is often applied to new products. What is the term supposed

    to mean? Why is it used? 

  2. Imagine that you’re about to build a new house. Do you think you would

    include smart windows? Why or why not? Describe the advantages and disadvantages

    of these new windows. See Windows Collaboration). 

  3. In applying the smart-window technology that he and his team have developed,

    why is Granqvist starting with facemasks for helmets? 

  4. What might be some other uses or possibilities for chromogenic technologies?



    (International Society for Optical Engineering). 

  5. If you were designing an environmentally friendly office building, what

    technologies might you include? See (Colorado

    Renewable Energy Society). 

  6. If you were to do a science fair project involving smart-window technology,

    what sorts of things might you investigate? Design an experiment to test a

    property of smart windows.


  1. Where in the world might smart windows be particularly exciting and useful?


  2. Many buildings have air-conditioning units. Where are these units usually

    found? Survey your own neighborhood for examples of where such units are

    located. Are there any attempts to make these units blend in with their

    surroundings so that they are not so obvious?


  1. Create an ad campaign (a radio or TV commercial and a newspaper

    advertisement) for smart windows. Be sure to include science facts in your


  2. Suppose that you’ve spent all your life in a vast building with no windows.

    Describe how you might feel when you look through a window for the first time

    and see sunlight and the world outside the building.


There’s a house with four walls. Each wall faces south. There’s a window in each wall. A bear walks by one of the windows. What color is the bear?