It is easy to overlook the huge impact that blinds have when designing an office or residential building. In such a large project, shading can seem a comparatively small consideration, but modern buildings are subject to high quality standards to provide a healthy and safe environment for the occupants.
For architects, interior designers, contractors and facilities managers the effects that light and heat have on workers or apartment residents is essential for comfortable light and temperature levels. Especially in buildings with floor-to-ceiling glazing and curtain walling.
There are ways to reduce solar heat gain in a building, although a recent study found that overheating could be avoided if the appropriate shading is introduced at the design stage.
Which Type of Solar Shading is the Best for Office and Residential Buildings?
The study mentioned above was conducted in response to recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change Progress Report. It suggested that the use of internal shading is critical, as it substantially reduces the amount of solar energy delivered to the room.
A thermally and visually comfortable indoor space that remains cool in the summer and warm in the winter significantly contributes to energy management and occupant health.
The ideal internal shading choice for the modern office or residential building would be roller blinds. Purely because they are the most versatile, with options covering light control, glare, outdoor visibility, reflectivity, blackout, privacy, moisture resistance, flame retardancy, antimicrobial technology, motorised retraction and concealment.
Roller blinds are the current trend in high-rise properties, especially when integrated into an automation system.
Revitalise an Office or Home
Choosing window blinds doesn’t have to be a laborious task. In fact, it can be a fun way to revitalise a workspace or home. We have a wide range of blinds and can give you advice on how to pick the best one for your needs.
Roller blinds are a compact and modern solution; they can be tailored to fit any window or partition, and their personalisable components are unparalleled.
Before purchasing blinds, consider how the space will be used and which style will best help you create the environment you desire. Screen glare and light are two of the most important factors to consider when purchasing blinds for offices, and for homes it would be comfort and aesthetics.
Consider how the room that you are purchasing blinds for will be used. Do you want a stunning view to be visible when looking out of the window, or will complete privacy be required? A dimout blind or high-performance mesh blind is the way to go if you want views. If privacy is the primary concern, a blackout or opaque blind can help.
If there are any desks near a window, especially if they are south facing, it is critical to choose blinds that allow you to control the amount of light that comes in. Working in direct sunlight can be uncomfortable, so choose blinds that can block out excess light on a bright sunny day.
You should also think about how the blinds will react to artificial light from streetlights or cars driving down the street. You can determine what type of blinds are best for your space by identifying how it will be used.
Fabrics and Materials
The way to manage all of these factors is by utilising the building design and the blind fabrics adopted. Material and design are important considerations when selecting the best blinds for a specific space.
Roller blinds provide the most amount of light control since they are constructed of a single piece of cloth, reducing the amount of light that bleeds through and around the blind. The range of textiles available is also rather extensive, ranging from screen fabrics with perforations that allow some light to pass through to complete blackout fabrics.
Look for materials that can help reflect or block light so that a computer or other tools can be used without being blinded by the sun. Fabric blinds absorb some of the light’s brightness, reducing reflections that can make it difficult to read computer or device screens.
For an office or even a high-rise apartment building, you may want to consider thermal blinds or materials that are energy-efficient or flame retardant. This is especially important for commercial offices because UK law requires window dressings to meet certain flame retardant thresholds. This contributes to the building’s protection and reduces the likelihood of fire rapidly spreading throughout a building.
The most obvious way to combat excessive glare in the workplace is to use a completely opaque fabric that blocks out all light. Unfortunately, this reduces visibility to the outside world and increases the building’s reliance on electricity.
According to research, maintaining a connection with nature and the world outside increases a person’s sense of well-being. And by relying on electric lighting, the building’s carbon footprint and the occupier’s energy bill could rise, posing a threat to sustainability.
Materials that are specifically designed to reduce glare for computer users are available. This type of fabric blocks out direct light while remaining translucent enough to allow a view outside and for work to be accomplished comfortably. Every credible fabric will have a set of performance data that will assist you in determining how effective they will be.
Blackout blinds are ideal for rooms where presentations are frequently held because they allow the maximum amount of light to be cut out for the comfort of the viewers.
Without effective blinds in offices or apartments, occupants must either suffer through hotter temperatures, resulting in a decrease in productivity and well-being, or they must increase their reliance on air conditioning, resulting in an increase in carbon emissions and energy costs. And without some form of solar shading, glazed curtain walling can become a giant radiator.
A window blind fabric that reflects heat back through the glass to the outside is required to reduce heat. Unfortunately, dark-coloured fabrics that reduce glare absorb heat rather than reflecting it. To reduce the amount of heat entering the room, use a light-coloured fabric to reflect heat back out of the window. Although, if opaque fabrics are used in reducing glare, light colours will assist less in this.
Openness and Visibility
According to studies, having a visual connection with the outside world improves our sense of well-being and productivity as humans. Furthermore, offices and apartments with prominent views of the city skyline command higher rental rates, so it is critical to consider this often-overlooked factor when selecting blinds.
The only fabrics that allow you to see through them are screen fabrics. When inspecting the properties of a screen fabric, look for the ‘openness factor.’ This will give you an idea of how much visibility the fabric allows. Keep in mind that the more open the weave on a screen fabric is, the less effective it is at reducing heat and glare.
One solution to the conundrum of choosing a fabric that is dark enough to reduce glare, light enough to reflect heat and open enough to allow for some visibility is a grey screen fabric.
While light customisation, ease of maintenance, safety and longevity are all important factors to consider when purchasing office blinds, it’s also crucial to select blinds that complement the décor, especially for homes or offices where clients will be present.
Blinds for Curtain Walling
Not only are the aesthetic benefits of a glazed facade one of the key advantages of curtain walling, it is also less expensive than traditional building materials. As a result, curtain walling is one of the most popular aluminium applications.
Another advantage of curtain walling is that it can be combined with virtually any type of door, window, panel or glass. It also works extremely well with integral blinds which can enhance insulation.
Buildings with vast elevations of curtain walling will typically require additional ventilation solutions, even with the best specification glazing, such as solar control glazing. Opening windows, air conditioning, automatic opening vents and other methods can all help, but commercial window shades offer extra benefits in terms of privacy, insulation, and aesthetics. High-efficiency glazing used in conjunction with integral blinds enhances the double-glazed unit’s already excellent thermal performance.
Integral blinds maintain a consistent aesthetic for high-rise structures, and this is advantageous where the building has multiple owners or companies.
Commercial Blind Contractors
Professional advice will be crucial if you’re planning to install blinds. You can begin to obtain an in-depth look into the finest potential blind solution with free consultations and site visits. You can talk about additional accessibility choices, such as electrical control for a truly modern touch, and get advice on the best fabrics, colours and designs, especially for projects involving large commercial window blinds.
Multiple roller blinds can also be linked together so that all of them are controlled by a single chain or motor. To maintain the highest level of reliability, we always employ high-quality aluminium roller tubes and exceptional fittings in all of our installations.
Enlisting the services of professionals will allow you to make the most of the space while also customising the service to your specific demands and making the entire process as pain-free as possible.