DHL UK Headquarters, Heathrow

Office blinds with Silverscreen fabric reduce heat & glare

DHL’s new state of the art headquarters building and distribution hub was designed from the outset with the environment and occupant wellbeing at the forefront of requirements. Waverley’s Silverscreen blinds – ShadeTech® RBL-E electric and RBL-C manual roller blinds with Verosol® Silverscreen fabric were specified by architects Barton Willmore to help achieve a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating. Accommodating 750 staff, the need to create a working environment to boost productivity and promote health and well-being was a high priority for DHL.

Reduce glare & heat whilst maximising natural light and maintaining a view of the outside
The theory that outside views and adequate solar heat gain control have a significant positive impact on worker health and wellbeing is well-proven. Therefore it was essential that blinds in the offices should perform both of these functions whilst controlling glare to allow comfortable use of screens and monitors and blend into the overall aesthetics of the building.

With BREEAM in mind, the building design includes floor to ceiling glazed curtain walling over 5 floors to maximise the use of natural light. This minimises the reliance on artificial lighting as well as providing optimum visual comfort for staff. Given the large expanse of glazing, it was critical for Waverley to supply a blind fabric that would protect against the inevitable effects of solar heat gain, whilst maintaining a view to the outside world which includes a panoramic outlook on the Heathrow airport runway.

This is a common challenge presented to architects when working on commercial office projects. How do they balance the need to reduce heat so that reliance on air conditioning is minimised, reduce glare but maximise natural light, and maintain a degree of through vision to help create stimulating working environments?

Associate architect, Neha Abayawardana took advantage of Waverley for a solution:

Our client ‘DHL Express’ was very specific when we were given the brief for the blinds for their new UK Head-Office and immediately we knew that Waverley’s ‘Silverscreen blinds’ was the product to specify. The roller blinds are of high quality and control light and temperature creating a comfortable work environment in the summer with minimum disrupted views outside. The blinds are available in many colours which made it easy to compliment the interior design of the new offices something which the client was keen to do. As architects, for us, it was important to use a manufacturer that could provide us with a full service from the initial meeting where we discussed the product and specification to the site survey and finally with the installation. Silverscreen blinds are a contemporary product perfect for modern architecture and we’d be delighted to specify this product on other projects.

Verosol Silverscreen blinds – the window blind fabric for BREEAM projects
Waverley installed over two hundred ShadeTech® RBL-C chain operated roller blinds with Verosol® SilverScreen fabric to all the main office areas and ShadeTech® RBL-E motorised roller blinds to the main reception areas with the same fabric. The 4% openness option was selected to provide a good degree of through vision.
Verosol® Silverscreen fabric is the highest performing solar shading fabric on the planet. A thin layer of highly reflective aluminium applied to the back of the fabric means that 77% of all solar energy entering this building via the glazing is reflected away from the office interior. The 2% openness option results in solar reflectance values of up to 82% being achieved.

This has a dramatic impact on the amount of air conditioning needed to cool the building in hot weather. In winter, the blinds can be lowered to help retain heat within the building. Unlike standard screen fabrics, the metal backing makes the individual fabric yarns almost opaque reducing the amount of light diffused through the yarns and improving the anti-glare performance of the fabric. This produces a visible light transmission factor of 3%, well within the maximum BREEAM parameters of 10% Tv.

Waverley manufacture all Silverscreen blinds in their own factory and installed on site to ensure the project was completed on time. The end result is an exceptional working environment for DHL staff.

Waverley’s RIBA approved CPD helps architects to specify solar shading solutions that will enhance the environmental credentials of their projects.

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