The GHA and BBSA Launch New Design Guide on Shading for Housing

Last night, we attended the launch event of the new ‘Shading for Housing’ guide created by the Good Homes Alliance (GHA) and British Blind and Shutter Association (BBSA), at Diespeker Wharf in London.

Consisting of research led by award-winning architect Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE), the guide calls for a new design culture – among developers, housebuilders and architects – in which shading is key to a domestic building’s design from the outset and installed right at the start.

The issue of overheating

Climate change results in the increased frequency of hotter, drier weather and the likelihood of record-breaking temperatures. As temperatures across the globe continue to rise to dangerous levels, so does the risk of buildings overheating.

A recent report revealed that up to one third of homes in England could overheat in the future (up from one fifth currently), while additional research suggests that almost a third of the UK’s healthcare facilities will be at risk from heatwaves by 2050.

Why is the guide needed?

In this country, buildings are not required to pass the overheating criteria using future weather files to comply with the Building Regulations. However, modelling using predicted future weather data has shown that buildings designed with shading products built-in from the start are less likely to overheat in the future than those that aren’t.

Because of this, homeowners should be informed about the benefits that shading products bring, such as reduced running costs, improved comfort and general wellbeing. To help with this, the guide provides a shading ‘cheat sheet’ focused on the practicalities of adapting to holistic shading design.

Who is the guide for?

Aimed at a range of stakeholders including architects, local authorities, planners, housing associations, developers and policy makers, the guide covers both new build and retrofit profits and has been designed to provide users with detailed information to help select the right product for a building’s shading needs.

 What does it include?

The guide consists of a number of products – with each one including a brief description alongside an in-situ image, and even an architect’s comment on its added value, where relevant. It also provides a short history of shading design, explores UK-specific design challenges and finally some ‘best practice’ advice.

Our Managing Director, Stuart Dantzic, said: “Climate change is no secret, and the issue of overheating will only become more apparent as time goes on. Whilst the solution to combat this problem already exists to an extent, solar shading products have an important part to play in helping our climate journey and need to be designed and incorporated from the outset.

Every measure needs to be taken to address the installation of solar shading during the design stage of any building in order to ensure its energy efficiency is at its highest, preventing the increasing number of homes from turning into unhabitable ‘greenhouses’ and ultimately cooling our planet.

This guide will go a long way in clearly setting out the ways in which the housebuilding industry can work together to minimise and mitigate overheating risk in new and existing homes. We’re proud to be helping raise awareness of this ever-growing and very real issue.”

We offer an innovative range of external shading systems that not only prevent excessive solar heat gain to new homes being built that are susceptible to overheating, but existing properties too (of which the majority of building stock will remain for years to come).

To find out more, contact one of our knowledgeable shading experts on 0344 800 1947.

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