I just received the latest issue of Architectural Products Magazine and was quite pleased to notice their focus on the Docklands office building in Hamburg Germany. Being the “Exterior Issue” of the magazine, it focused on the Docklands building’s exterior, discussing its amazing design. There are thousands of buildings out there, all with fascinating exteriors, though what was interesting was that the publication emphasized innovative shading solutions (amongst the other exterior products) while mentioning that architects should evaluate their notions of building exteriors.
Hmm.. is this possible nudge in favor of innovative shading?
In any case, I was even more pleased because the innovative shading solution they were referring to was our partner Warema’s venetian blind system. Similar to C/S, Warema has been in the shading business for over 50 years and is also a world-wide leader when it comes to having functional needs meet design requirements for blind systems.
The article starts off by stating that “Natural daylight comes with a price: solar heat gain”, yet it provides the solution in big bold text right beside its intro.
The solar heat gained when windows provide daylight and views can be easily and stylishly mitigated with responsive shading devices both inside and outside a building’s shell.
It was great to see this point reinforced; that architects, designers and owners can still maintain design integrity while reducing solar heat gain/glare and still maximize natural daylight.
The article goes on to state how the idea of designing buildings to reduce solar heat gain has come full-circle. It includes the benefits of utilizing natural daylight for various buildings, such as the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion (David Hansen, FAIA, LEED AP, Designer Principal, Perkins + Will) due to the improved healing conditions associated with natural daylight – so healthcare providers and healthcare facilities take note!
“The industry has come a long way in providing attractive and efficient alternatives that can be easily integrated into most building designs….The improved healing conditions associated with natural sunlight and view to nature were a primary focus of this project….Because of the susceptibility to glare, the sun shading was also employed to provide the best possible conditions…” says Hansen, referring to the Anschutz Cancer Pavilion.
It also goes on to mention the energy savings and reductions associated with automated shading systems by reducing both heat loads and lighting wattage allowances, plus even using them as light shelves, which is currently being done for a classroom at Houston Community College’s Northline Campus (Ben Crawford AIA, LEED, SR. Associate & Sr. Project Designer, HOK)
“We believe access to daylight is key to creating wonderful classroom environments…We look at (louvers) as a way to save energy by reducing heat loads…And you can even use them as light shelves to bounce light off the ceilings” Crawford says, amongst the many benefits.
The article also mentions how Europe has been using systems of this sort for decades and provides brief information on how the Warema system utilizes real-time weather and historical solar data to become an automated and responsive shading system that reduces the solar-heat gain coefficient to almost zero.
All in all, it was great to see a North American magazine focus on exteriors and the importance of innovative and responsive shading systems. As we’ve been saying for some time, they will not only help make buildings more energy efficient, but they will also help make buildings more comfortable with natural daylight while also meeting and exceeding design expectations. You can read the article in the current issue of Architectural Products by visiting arch-products.com.
Tags: automation, daylighting, exterior controllable solar shading, exteriors, external controllable solar shading, external venetian blinds, glare, human performance, Innovation, intelligent system, natural daylight, optimal daylighting, optimal human performance, reduce solar heat gain, responsive system, solar heat gain, solarmotion, student performance, warema