Overheating and Glare are key issues facing building designers today. Overheating has significant effects on health, well being and productivity in commercial buildings. The World Green Building Council has demonstrated that in offices and other similar commercial environments productivity drops by 10% if the temperature rises above 30 Dec C, absenteeism increases significantly. Overheating and Glare is also a problem in domestic homes especially those with large glass areas including high rise developments. The 2015 survey conducted in 2015 by the world leading management and Technology Company, WSP, showed 85% of Londoners reported that their homes overheated at some time during the year. Over 30% of respondents reported feeling unwell as a consequence.
Climate change suggests this is not going to improve and overheating and glare will increasingly be a problem in the future.
Designers therefore need to take note now of this developing situation and control overheating and glare in both existing and new building construction. Installation of energy consuming air conditioning units cannot be the whole solution as, by their very nature, they consume the energy they are trying to control.
Today, modern systems of shade and solar control have moved on hugely and the old methods of operating blinds and awnings with pulleys, gears and cords are long gone. Modern shading systems are controlled through sophisticated digital controls which react to all manner of external stimuli including heat, Light, wind and water. These controls can be individually run or integrated into comprehensive building management systems and can reduce the cost of air conditioning with minimal effect on the environment.
Shading is increasingly being seen as the “go to” solution for overheating and glare and the BRE’s publications “Solar Shading of Buildings (report BR364), “Retrofitting Solar Shading” (IP3/17) and “Control of Solar Shading” (IP/17) give guidance in designing and controlling shading. Deans Blinds, with their close association with the British Blinds and Shutters Association and 125 years of experience in shade management are able to help guide designers and building managers to finding the best solution for their overheating and glare challenges.