Will rising temperatures change the way we design homes in East Anglia?

East Anglian Daily Times, Solar Heat Gain, Architecture

East Anglian Daily Times recently published a very interesting article talking about the underlying solar heat gain issues caused by modern building designs. As the leading external shading company in the UK, with a range of external blinds and awnings that offer unbeatable solar heat control we strongly beleive in the positive effects of our innovative products to combat overheating in homes. Our Managing Director Stuart Dantzic, recently named Young Business Person of the Year by the East Anglian Daily Times, has given his thoughts on how External Shading can shape the future of modern building designs.


Statement by Stuart Dantzic, Managing Director of Caribbean Blinds

A core part of our product range is external blinds which primary function is to prevent unwanted solar heat gain through the glazed areas of a building and indeed they are the most effective way to do this, with heat block figures upto 97%, subsequently able to reduce interior room temperatures by more than 10 degree centigrade on even the hottest of Summer days.

The article identified current legislation which dictates high levels of insulation in both new build and refurbishment, coupled with peoples desires to have endless amounts of glass to blur the boundaries from inside to out results in properties not only overheating in the Summer but also Winter and this problem is only getting worse year on year with our rising climate.

If you look to Europe, particularly southern Europe, countries including Italy, Spain along with southern France, their buildings are adorned with external blinds and shutters, it is rare to drive past a building in these countries that doesn’t have external shading. These solutions keep their buildings cool, despite the high levels of insulation and glazing. Why…because they prevent the suns near infra-red radiation even reaching the glass, stopping excessive solar heat gain. Specially micro-perforated fabrics featured on external blinds, means the view from inside to out is maintained, which is the purpose of this level of glazing and incoming light is diffused to prevent glare.

The solution to combat the issue of overheating homes therefore already exists, however, the change needed is with the specification market, as they need to incorporate or design for these from the outset, instead of opting for ‘solar control’ glass which doesn’t prevent the issue or fixed shading such as overhangs or even brise soleil.

Any shading solution must be dynamic, after all the sun is not static. A dynamic solution can therefore adapt to the changing ambient conditions, preventing unwanted solar heat gain when needed and admitting free solar gain when required. It is therefore recommended that shading is linked to clever sensors that automatically position the blinds based on the ambient conditions for maximum efficiency and occupant comfort.

There are many types of external shading systems on the market, with the most popular and commonly seen being the folding arm awning type. This type of system was used back in the mid 1800s, to shade, what was at the time, elaborate glass shop frontages, passively cooling the interior of buildings. Along with passively cooling the interior of buildings, they provide shade and shelter outside too, hence they’re a firm favourite on the back of homes.

The most effective external shading systems available are roller blinds and roof blinds, which run down in front, outside of glazing, completely covering the glass, including sliding & bifold doors, windows, rooflights, skylights to name just a few. Featuring side guides which the fabric runs within they are more wind resistant than awnings.

And finally the most modern form of external shading are louvered roof pergolas, where the louvers fully rotate, tracking the sun to provide precise sun control along with ventilation. And like an awning they provide shade and shelter to the outdoor area but are completely weatherproof and able to withstand gale force wind conditions so can be used all year round.

At Caribbean Blinds we’ve been helping to create cool, comfortable and sustainable buildings with our innovative external shading systems for over 30 years. Working closely with the specification community, particularly since 2010, we’ve been helping to educate and inform, to ensure external shading can be seamlessly and cost effectively integrated within both new build and refurbishment schemes. There is a long way to go but as previously mentioned the solutions exist however awareness is needed across the whole supply chain from specification (designer) to client (purchaser).

Full article from East Anglian Daily Times.

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