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External blinds

Controlling the entry of solar heat and light has considerable effects on the energy needs of a building. External blinds may be just one of the options available to specifiers, but they are highly effective.

The use of correct solar shading provides a major impact on not just the energy consumption of the building, but also on the thermal and visual comfort of the building users. The need to control overheating and thermal comfort is becoming increasingly important in all types of buildings, from residential to commercial. 

Solar shading can be effective as part of a combination of passive measures to combat overheating. It can reduce the swings in temperature which can occur on sunny days.

For measuring the amount of solar radiation that reaches the interior of the building, the solar transmittance value is used. The shading coefficient can also be used; this gives the solar transmittance as a fraction of that for unshaded glazing. A low solar transmittance or shading coefficient means that the system is particularly good at reducing solar gain. External blinds have the lowest shading coefficient of any of the available shading systems. They are found to be so effective as they stop incoming solar radiation before it enters the building through the glazing.

Selecting the right solar control is important. Look at the extent to which they block incoming daylight, as this might increase the use of artificial lighting, increasing energy usage. Where view out is of a great concern, retractable blinds with an element of occupant control give most freedom. When used on roof lights external blinds can also help to reduce the noise of hail stones and rainfall. They are particularly well suited to retrofit situations, given that installation can be carried out with little disruption to the building users.

Not just for use in reducing cooling demand; external blinds can also reduce heat loss. Proper management of the system allows the blinds to be adapted to changing weather conditions. When they are closed at night, a trapped layer of air is created, reducing over night heat loss in cold weather.

More commonly used on the continent external blinds are becoming more familiar in the UK. Bere:architects used timber external blinds with automatic controls on their Camden Passivhaus and Venner Lucas Architects incorporated external roller blinds into their Sunnybank Passivhaus project.

 

Astralux 8000 Venetian Blinds

Astralux 8000 Venetian Blinds

The adjustable slats of these blinds allows light penetration to be adjusted. The sides of the blind are guided by either an aluminium channel or a stainless steel cable. An automatic tilting device lowers and tilts the slats to a 45 degree angle.

Manufacturer: Dearnleys Ltd

Type: venetian blind

Application: commercial, education, office buildings

Material: aluminium

Operation: either manual or electric

Hardware and louvre colour: powder coating to RAL colours

Usage: externally

Maximum width: 4000mm

Maximum drop: 4000mm

Slat sizes available: 50mm, 60mm, 80mm or 88mm

Life expectancy: 10 years

www.dearnleys.com

 

Astralux 6000 Louvre Blinds

Astralux 6000 Louvre Blinds

The Astralux 6000 system is well suited to awkward shapes and  large sloping areas of glazing. It is designed for use in commercial environments where there is a need for low maintenance and durability.

Manufacturer: Dearnleys Ltd

Type: louvre blind

Application: commercial, museum, art galleries

Material: timber or aluminium

Operation: electric motor or gearbox

Hardware and louvre colour: powder coating to RAL colours

Usage: externally

Maximum width: 5000mm

Slat sizes available: 80mm

Life expectancy: 20 years

www.dearnleys.com

 

Roller Blind EOS 500

Roller Blind EOS 500

This modular system is suitable for both large and small scale windows. The blinds use fabrics which are fire retardant, can utilise different openness factors and colours, and do not sag or stretch.

Manufacturer: Faber

Type: roller blind

Application: commercial, office buildings

Material: PVC free fabric

Operation: chain operated crank or motorized

Fabric colour: a wide range of colours and patterns available

Hardware colour: powder coated to a range of RAL colours

Usage: externally

Maximum width: 3300mm

Maximum drop: 4000mm

www.faberblinds.co.uk

 

Awning Blind

Fakro Awning Blind

This blind is specifically designed for use with roof lights. Working in a similar way to a roller blind, the fabric is roller mounted, spring loaded, and fitted inside an aluminium casing which is installed at the top of the window.

Manufacturer: Fakro

Type: awning

Application: residential

Material: glass fibre fabric

Operation: manual

Fabric colour: available in 3 colours

Usage: externally

Sizes: to fit standard Fakro roof light sizes

www.fakrogb.com

 

Trojan External Venetian Blind

Trojan External Venetian Blind

With the louvres of these blinds closed as little as 10 percent of the sunlight is transmitted through the glass. These blinds also have an option to of a z shaped louvre which block provide the internal lighting levels required for audio visual presentations.

Manufacturer: Hallmark Blinds

Type: venetian blind

Application: commercial, higher education, office buildings

Material: aluminium

Operation: manual or motorized

Hardware and louvre colours: available in 20 standard RAL colours

Usage: externally

Maximum width: 5000mm

Maximum drop: 5000mm

Life expectancy: 20 – 25 years

www.hallmarkblinds.co.uk

 

External Venetian Blind

 

Hunter Douglas External Venetian Blind

These blinds are lowered at a pre-set tilt angle of 40º for optimal protection. This tilt angle can be regulated to keep direct sunlight out and let natural daylight in creating flexibility for the users.

Manufacturer: Hunter Douglas

Type: venetian blind

Application: residential, commercial, industrial

Material: aluminium

Operation: manual or motorized

Hardware and louvre colour: available colour coated with enamelled polyester paint in 10 standard coloursUsage: externally

Maximum width: 8000mm

Maximum drop: 4000mm

Slat sizes available: 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, 88mm

www.hunterdouglascontract.com

 

Tensioned Fabric Blinds

Levolux Tensioned Fabric

These blinds can be used internally or externally either on horizontal, vertical or sloping glazing.  High levels of performance can be achieved by linking the operating system to sun sensors, internal temperature controls, or a time programme.

Manufacturer: Levolux

Type: tensioned fabric

Application: office buildings, commercial and residential

Material: fabric

Operation: either by a switch or automatic control

Fabric colour: a wide colour choice available

Usage: externally

Maximum width: 6000mm

Maximum drop: 6000mm

www.levolux.com

 

Specialist Venetian Blinds

Levolux Venetian

The aluminium slats of these blinds are heat treated and double stove enamelled to provide resistance to surface abrasion created by the slats rubbing against each other. This also reduces maintenance by providing protection to peeling, corrosion, chaffing and fading.

Manufacturer: Levolux

Type: venetian blind

Application: office buildings, commercial and residential

Material: aluminium

Operation: manual, motorised, or fully automated

Hardware and louvre colour: a wide colour choice available

Usage: externally

Maximum width: 5000mm

Maximum drop: 6000mm

Slat sizes available: 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, and 100mm

www.levolux.com

 

Abrishade

Abrishade

A fabric blind designed for use on large expanses of glazed roof, making it particularly well suited for greenhouses and other industrial applications. The fabric is designed to fold into a storage box for protection when not in use.

Manufacturer: Living Shade
Type: fabric blind
Application: conservatories, atria, commercial, industrial, and greenhouses
Material: waterproof fabric
Operation: motorised or manual control
Fabric colour: white
Usage: externally or internally
Maximum width: 3000mm

www.livingshade.com

 

VertiTex

VertiTex

This system can be installed either on the window frame or within the window reveal. It is controlled automatically with the both a wind and sun monitor. The fabric used has a surface which repels water and dirt minimising maintenance.

Manufacturer: Weinor
Type: roller blind
Application: residential, balconies and patios
Material: acrylic fabric
Operation: remote controlled motor
Hardware colour: 47 standard RAL colours available
Fabric colour: 9 colours available
Usage: externally
Maximum width: 6000mm
Maximum drop: 2400mm

www.weinor.co.uk

 

External Roller Blinds

Caribbean Blinds

Used by Venner Lucas Architects on their Sunnybank Passivhaus, these blinds block up to ninety-six percent of incoming solar radiation. They can be fitted outside both windows and doors creating a unified facade.

Manufacturer: Caribbean Blinds
Type: roller blind
Application: residential
Material: fabric
Operation: motorized or manual
Fabric colour: up to 5 different fabric ranges
Hardware colour: powder coated to any specified RAL colour
Usage: externally
Maximum width: 6000m
Maximum drop: 6000m
Life expectancy: 15 – 20 years for motorized operation, and 10 – 15 years for manual operation

www.cbsolarshading.co.uk

 

Venetian Blinds

 

venetian blinds

These blinds are typically supplied motorised, enabling them to be connected to the buildings BMS system for greater control and flexibility. Optional cable and side guiding systems are available to meet the needs of individual projects.

Manufacturer: Faber
Type: venetian blind
Application: commercial, office buildings
Material: aluminium
Operation: motorized
Hardware and louvre colour: powder coated to a range of RAL colours
Usage: externally
Maximum width: 3000mm
Maximum drop: 4000mm
Slat sizes available: 50mm, 60mm, 80mm, 88mm, and 100mm

www.faberblinds.co.uk

 

Architectural Blinds

Solarmotion

These blinds control heat and glare while allowing filtered daylight into the building. They can be easily retrofitted to both masonry and curtain walls. The manufacturer claims that its use can lead to a 39 per cent reduction in the building’s energy costs.

Manufacturer: CS Solarmotion
Type: venetian or roller
Application: commercial, education and residential
Material: aluminium
Operation: motorised or automated using a solar tracker
Max width: 4,800mm
Max length: 4,600mm
Slat sizes: 60mm and 80mm

 

Cayman Tensioned Roof Blind

Cayman

Using a range of dim-out or blackout fabrics, these exterior roof blinds control solar heat, glare, UV and sunlight. Their motorised control can be optimised through the use of a variety of different automatic sensors.

Manufacturer: Caribbean Blinds
Type: tensioned roller blind
Application: commercial, education and residential
Material: fabric with a TEXgard coating
Operation: motorised
Colour: available in any RAL colour
Max width: 5,000mm
Max drop: 6,000mm

www.cbsolarshading.co.uk

 

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