Sustainable Shade Solutions: How Awnings and Louvered Pergolas Contribute to Energy Efficiency

As the sun is not static, a dynamic solution is required to adapt to the changing ambient conditions, preventing unwanted solar heat gain during the summer months and allowing free solar gain when required in the winter.

Adjustable solar shading in the form of awnings and louvered pergolas have an important part to play in saving energy and helping our climate journey in residential dwellings. Not only do they allow us to control the amount of solar heat admitted to our indoor spaces but also help to prevent glare. Additionally, smart solar shading can help intelligently manage heat and light for the highest levels of energy efficiency, improving comfort and ultimately cooling our planet.

Awnings

Not a new concept to the UK, awnings were used on elaborate glass shop frontages in the 1800s before air conditioning was invented as a way to passively cool the interior of buildings whilst also protecting goods from the damaging effects of the sun.

Today, awnings are growing in popularity because not only do they offer additional privacy – particularly in built-up areas – but they serve two main functions essential for a healthy living environment.

Firstly, they provide instant shade from sunlight; both heat and glare (bright light), outstanding UV protection (typically 95% minimum UV block) and shelter from unexpected rain showers. Secondly, awnings provide a much-needed cooling effect to the indoor room adjacent to where they are positioned, both during the summer and winter months. As a result, they ensure a comfortable indoor living space, eliminating any bright light to prevent glare, all whilst filtering damaging UV rays to stop fixtures and furnishings from fading.

Louvered pergolas

Modern pergolas and canopies with sliding, retracting or rotating aluminium louvered pergoals (and sides) play an important role in keeping us cool and protected from the sun. Suited to both classic and contemporary properties, a bioclimatic pergola extends the use of any outdoor space by providing instant shelter, whilst allowing the user to play with light and shade.

Designed to be relatively low maintenance, pergolas offer an open-air alfresco feel when left fully open, and ensure a completely water, wind and even snow-tight roof when closed.

When installed adjacent to the house as a direct extension of the property, not only do they provide an extended living space but also provide exceptional solar heat and light control to the abutting indoor room.

 

What makes shading solutions so efficient?

The typical UK household creates roughly two tons of carbon dioxide during the time it takes to air condition your home. By installing our well-made awnings to keep your home from getting too warm, you can see how effective our awnings can be in reducing the environmental impact.

New research shows that passive cooling techniques such as shading and natural ventilation can not only prevent homes and workplaces from overheating but also reduce the load on air conditioning – a proven contributor to CO2 emissions and greenhouse gases – by as much as 80%, delivering a number of economic and environmental benefits including reduced energy costs and safe, sustainable buildings that are comfortable and healthy for their occupants.

Our Managing Director, Stuart Dantzic, said: “Whilst the solution to combat the issue of overheating buildings already exists to an extent, solar shading products need to be designed and incorporated from the outset. We need to begin to opt for alternatives to solar control glass (that doesn’t prevent solar heat gain) or air conditioning that is “energy hungry”.

“Every measure needs to be taken to address the importance of external shading during the design stage of any building in order to ensure its energy efficiency is at its highest and to prevent the growing number of eco and ultra-modern glass properties from turning into unhabitable ‘greenhouses’.”

 

To find out more about our luxury range of awnings and louvered pergolas, contact one of our knowledgeable experts on 0344 800 1947.

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