Solar Shading

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					                                                                                        Solar Shading InFocus

Solar Shading
Comfort with a view
The ‘window blind’ has evolved from a simple piece of material covering an open aperture into a dynamic and versatile
light management system, with both commercial and domestic applications. Today light sources can be controlled
effectively, privacy maintained and a comfortable environment created, thanks in general to the diversity of fabric,
coatings, innovative material use and systems.
    One development that has seen considerable growth recently is that of solar shading which increases the comfort
within the environment of the room through light and heat control and glare reduction, whilst maintaining the visibility
through the window. A number of companies explain how their products tackle this opportunity.

Shadeshield:                                    provides instant, flexible privacy – but
                                                only when it’s required – and can create a
                                                                                                 Shadeshield is ideal for shop windows,
                                                                                             offices, call centres and conservatories – in
Swift Blinds                                    more comfortable working environment.
                                                Shadeshield also reduces air conditioning
                                                                                             fact, anywhere solar heat gain and glare is
                                                                                             a problem. Shadeshield roller blinds,
(with Llumar® Shade Film technology)            and lowers energy costs, aids compliance     incorporating Llumar shade film
Shadeshield from Swift Blinds is a visibly      with Regulation 7 of the Workplace           technology, provide comprehensive solar
better window blind, providing unrivalled       (Health, Safety and Welfare) Regulations     control at your fingertips. Available as
flexibility, performance, aesthetics, solar     1992 and aids compliance with the            made-to-measure roller blinds or as film
heat rejection, glare reduction, UV             Display Screen Equipment Regulations         only in cut lengths/rolls, Shadeshield
protection and privacy – without                arising from Directive 89/654/EEC.           comes in a number of finishes: clear,
significantly affecting ambient light levels.       The blinds also effectively block 99%    reflective, plain, amber, tinted, and
     The benefits of Shadeshield are clear.     of harmful UV radiation, protecting          embossed.
It rejects solar heat gain and glare but        fabrics and furnishings from fading, and
maintains visibility through the window,        block up to 99% of glare, reducing
unlike traditional blinds. Shadeshield          eyestrain and visual fatigue.

                                                                                             New products which perform even better
                                                                                             than ever.
                                                                                             The new range covers all solar protection
                                                                                             requirements in three product groups
                                                                                             classified by function: transparent,
                                                                                             shading and blackout. Alongside these
                                                                                             products, the range now has some new
                                                                                             ones with even stronger performance: E-
                                                                                             Screen, M-Screen and T-Screen.
                                                                                                 Another major new feature is the
                                                                                             colour range.
                                                                                                 For each product group, Mermet offers
                                                                                             a wide and well-balanced palette of
                                                                                             colours: natural, tangy, soothing and
                                                                                             mineral to reflect difference styles of
                                                                                             design and mood. It is not just the colour

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                                                                                          Solar Shading InFocus
                                              and comfort factors based on the MRS             Colour
                                              system and samples in A4 format.                 Fabric colour will directly effect heat gain,
                                                  The Modulight® Rapid’Selection CD-           brightness and glare.
                                              ROM / the technical booklet, for design              Light colours are more reflective
                                              agencies and architects, containing advice       which results in lower heat gain, but with
                                              on fabric uses and the technical and             a higher percentage of solar
                                              energy-related characteristics of each           transmittance. Light colours also cause
                                              product.                                         high surface brightness and may transmit
                                                                                               excessive light onto computer screens.
                                                                                                   Light colours are more difficult to see
                                                                                               through. Dark coloured UniView™ fabrics
                                              Decora                                           provide better view to the outside. Dark
                                              UniView™ – Solar protection with a view.         colours absorb light and heat and are less
 Denise Combet/Nomades Productions            Throughout the day people sit beside             energy efficient than lighter colours but
                                              windows at home or in work enjoying              provide excellent glare-free environments.
range which is wider, the fabrics             natural sunlight and the view outside.
themselves are wider too, with widths of      However, it can be made uncomfortable
2.80 metres for SunScreen Color® 5500         by the glare from the sun which can
outdoor blinds and 3.10 metres for M-         damage eyes and make watching
Screen and T-Screen indoor blinds.            television or working at a computer
Mermet claims to be the only company          screen difficult. Also the build up of heat
currently offering these fabric widths.       in a room caused by the suns energy
     New tools for consultants and            through glass is often difficult to control.
manufacturers:                                    UniView™ fabrics allow easy control of
     The fabric application guide, which      glare and solar gain, there is no need to
cross-references products and                 block out natural light during the day. This
applications and shows what works at a        will save on energy used to produce
glance.                                       artificial light and less solar gain will
     The guide to solar protection basics     result in a reduction of energy being lost
and advice, which explains how to             providing air conditioning.
optimise solar protection at the design           UniView™ fabrics are visually
stage, and tells you everything you need      transparent, provide optimum solar
to know and do.                               protection, and reduce heat gain, which is
     Transparency cards, to make a visual     especially important particularly on a
comparison of different fabrics in light      south facing elevation. The fabric reduces
and dark shades. The aim is to adjust the     glare and brightness problems on                 Room location and use
level of comfort in each room by playing      computer and TV screens while retaining          Room aspect is important when selecting
on the transparency performance of each       the benefit of natural daylight.                 fabric. If the room is south facing it will
fabric in four categories - level of              UniView™ fabrics come in a wide              receive high levels of sun light during the
incoming natural light; glare control;        range of fabric weaves and colours to            day and therefore a dark fabric with low
protection against heat gain; quality of      complement any room.                             openness may be used. Fabrics with
outward visibility.                               There are three factors to take into         higher openness factors can be used for
     The trends booklet with its              consideration when selecting the correct         rooms with other orientations.
illustrations of materials, samples and on-   UniView™ fabric for a room – openness,               In an office area where people are
site examples to help consultants ally        colour, room location and use:                   working at computer screens
technical requirements with style                                                              consideration may be given to using
demands.                                      Openness                                         fabrics with low levels of openness.
     The product cards designed for a rapid   UniView™ fabrics are available with              Whereas in a room such as a kitchen,
view of technical characteristics, colours    various openness factors to fully control        which should be bright, fabrics with high
                                              visibility, interior brightness and glare. The   openness can be used.
                                              openness factor is the density of the                To achieve optimum results select the
                                              weave, the minute openings in the yarns          right balance between the level of natural
                                              – a bi-product of the weaving process.           light you require and protection against
                                                   Fabrics with a high percentage of           glare and screen reflection.
                                              openness (e.g. 9%) transmit more solar
                                              energy and glare. The 5200 range has 8 –
                                              9% openness.
                                                   Fabric with a low openness factor (e.g.
                                              1 – 3%) allows less solar energy and glare
                                              to be transmitted through the fabric.
                                              Used particularly in a south facing facade
                                              and where computers are in use. The
                                              6600 range has 1% openness.
Denise Combet/Nomades Productions

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                                                                                            Solar Shading InFocus
UniView™ Fabric Properties                       Traditionally, solar shade cloths are           of fabrics and significantly improves its
                                                 hybrids of a PVC jacket and fiberglass or       solar and optical performance; solar gain
• 85% vinyl and 15% polyester                    polyester core yarn, which are inextricably     is reflected and filtered more efficiently

• Robust                                         combined into an unusable “muddy
                                                 hybrid” which can never be separated for
                                                                                                 than conventional fabrics producing a
                                                                                                 more comfortable working environment.
• Wipeablefray                                   future reuse.                                   SPC® was initially developed for the
• Willresistant
       not                                           EcoVeil will be offered in the same         commercial sector, but the ‘appliance of
• Fire to be bacteria and fungal                 eight-color palette of MechoShade’s             science’ has found its way into the

• Certified
                                                 ThermoVeil 1300 series, a 5% open classic
                                                 basket weave design, as well as in the
                                                                                                 domestic market.
                                                                                                      SPC® fabrics are an integral part of the
                                                 award winning 8000 series “Faux                 whole Louvolite flame retardant range of
                                                 Naturals”, a collection of shade cloths         fabrics. The collection consists of
UniView™ fabrics come in various                 designed to look like natural, woven            performance fabrics that meet with
openness factors to provide light, heat,         woods and grass cloths.                         national and international f.r. certification,
glare, UV and comfort control while still            The MechoShade Daylighting                  a prerequisite for product inclusion in any
providing a clear view to the external           Programme, which includes new control           commercial project. But the technical
surroundings. UniView™ shade cloths all          systems, utilizing dimming controls             excellence isn’t achieved at the detriment
come with a Ten Year "Fit for Use"               operated on a digitally addressable             of the fabric’s styles and designs; vibrant
warranty                                         lighting interface means the lighting           colourways, subtle jacquards and bold
                                                 zones can be changed without rewiring,          designs make up a strong product
                                                 thus providing great flexibility.               portfolio that will enhance any
                                                      With most Major Companies and              architectural scheme.
Mechoshade                                       organisations now committed to energy                Brand new for 2004 has been the
MechoShade UK Limited and the UK                 efficiency, MechoShades actively                introduction of the SPF fabrics to the
Fabricator for MechoShade Systems, Faber         contribute to reducing the running costs        Louvolite pleated range. SPF (Solar
Blinds Limited, are pleased to announce          of buildings and fully support the green        Pearlised Finish) fabrics have a pearlised
that Swift Blinds & Curtains have recently       building boom and the shared interest           backing that reflects external light very
been appointed as a MechoShade Dealer.           and commitment to sustainable design.           effectively, reduces glare and improves the
     Swift Blinds & Curtains, are able to            MechoShade Control systems are also         solar and optical performance of the
offer the worlds finest, original, complete      ideal for integrating into home cinema          blinds significantly.
solar shading system, consisting of              systems, where one switch controls the               The primary purpose of all window
hardware, fabrics and control systems.           entire environment.                             blind fabrics, though, is to act as dimout
This includes the Thermoveil Fabric Range                                                        blinds to varying degrees of opacity and
and MechoShade 5 Hardware, both of                                                               Louvolite offers a range of fabrics as
which carry a 25 year Limited Lifetime                                                           vertical, roller or pleated blinds. In
Warranty.                                                                                        addition there are window blind fabrics
     Woven from vinyl coated polyester                                                           that do ‘exactly what it says on the tin’
yarns, ThermoVeil® is available in a wide                                                        such as blackout blinds. ESP™(Energy and
variety of weaves, patterns, colors and                                                          Solar Protection) is a high performance
densities designed to match the daylight                                                         black out blind that gives total privacy
transmittance of the glazing and the                                                             and sunblock when closed, assists in heat
glazing orientation. Used in                                                                     reduction and helps maintain a pleasant
recommended densities, ThermoVeil                                                                living environment, perfect for bedrooms
provides a significant reduction in solar                                                        or conservatories. Where architectural
heat-gain and greater comfort from the                                                           projects stipulate that the occupants
radiant component of sunshine.                                                                   should be able to enjoy the external views
      In June 2004, MechoShade Inc,                                                              constantly, the blindmaker can specify a
America, launched, the world’s first                                                             screen product; Louvolite’s Sheerweave
Ecologically and Environmentally friendly                                                        2000 has a 5% openness factor, which
Solar Shading Fabric, which will be                                                              provides a good balance between
launched here in the UK at the 100%                                                              aesthetics and solar performance.
Detail Show (sister show to 100% Design,         Louvolite                                            Trevira CS ™enjoys a special status in
at Earl’s Court) in September 2004.              One of Louvolite’s biggest success stories      the interior furnishings market due to the
     Incorporating a revolutionary new           has been the SPC® range of fabrics that         method that it achieves its flame
material, with a Thermoplastic Olefin            enjoy a global reputation with a strong         retardancy. The flame retardant co-
(TPO) based yarn called EarthTex™, EcoVeil       brand image. SPC® (Solar Protective             monomer is anchored to the polymer
can be recycled into new shade cloth or          Coating) was developed in response to           fibre during construction,‘building-in’ the
other EarthTex based products, once the          the EEC Directive 90/270 which                  safety features ensuring flame retardancy
user no longer requires their shades, -- be      highlighted the concerns for the health         to international standards. A secondary
it in 10, 20 or more years. One of the           and safety of personnel who use the VDU         consideration in favour of Trevira CS™ is
innovations of EcoVeil with EarthTex yarn        constantly as part of their everyday work.      that the openness of the weave is
is that the coating or “jacket” is essentially   The main concern was the effects of             accentuated allowing partial vision
the same polymer as the core yarn, which         daylight falling onto the screen and being      through the window blind, combining the
allows it to be melted down, reprocessed         reflected back into the operator’s eyes, i.e.   function of sunscreen with the desire for
and made into new, first quality product.        glare. SPC® is applied to the reverse side      a fabric based window blind.

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