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Why blinds with metallised fabric are the best option for today’s offices
Category: All,Environmental,Technical
By: Mandy Biggs

A roller blind in screen fabric has long been the window shading solution choice of architects and interior designers when designing office interiors.

However, the increased use of large expanses of glass in the construction of office buildings means that a standard non-metallised screen fabric with a 3% openness factor will not cut out sufficient glare.

Standard screen fabric: the basic issues

A white screen fabric is popular aesthetically and will cut down heat, but will bring increased glare issues.

At the other end of the spectrum, a black screen fabric will provide good glare control and through vision but create heat issues.

Installing blinds in a blackout fabric will of course cut out heat and glare but also prevent any view through the fabric.

Metallised screen fabric: what is it?

Metallised screen fabric is a screen fabric with a thin coating of highly reflective aluminium on one side.  The metallised surface is installed facing the glazing and is capable of reflecting up to 82% of the solar energy entering the building through the glass.

Let’s talk through the Benefits of metallised screen fabric

Visual Comfort:

Blinds in metallised screen fabric will control glare and heat, and still offer the benefit of a view through to the outside.  This lifts productivity and is essential to the wellbeing of building users.  We often say, why block out a great view that carries a premium?

You will also be able to maximise the use of space by making areas close to the windows usable.

Thermal Comfort:

With a metallised textile, the majority of the energy of the sun is reflected back to the outside before it turns into heat.

Heat will be prevented from entering the building during the summer, and also will be prevented from escaping through uncovered windows in the winter.

Significant Energy Savings:

When metallised blinds are controlled through a building management system, optimum energy efficiency can be gained, providing the best control over glare, daylight and heat with an intelligent control system.  The benefits are not just environmental but also economic with less use of lighting, heating and air conditioning.

External Aesthetics:

We often get asked, will all the blinds at the windows on the outside of a building look silver or shiny?  Actually, no!  Aluminium is a super reflective material but doesn’t appear very reflective to the outside because the yarns are round and it’s a woven construction, so the light of the sun is reflected in a diffused way.  Also, whatever the fabric colour choice on the inside, the blinds will look the same from the outside so it will be a seamless look externally.

Conclusion:

A sound interior climate improves the wellbeing of personnel using the building, increasing productivity especially when the shades are automated and operated to maximum benefit.  This is design with functionality, increasing comfort and wellbeing in offices and the environment.

Book a CPD!

Our RIBA-approved CPD ‘Solar Shading to Improve your Environmental Credentials’ helps specifiers understand the benefits and science of metallised blind fabrics and includes a live demonstration with a heat and light kit. Contact us to arrange a presentation – now available online!

About the author

Mandy Biggs Marketing Manager