How solar shades can improve the indoor climate and reduce energy consumption
Simply put, because it helps building occupants to be more productive and feel better while in the built environment, at least according to the research.
According to the Center for Building Performance and Diagnostics at Carnegie Mellon, providing access to a view of the natural environment via windows has measurable benefits on energy and productivity. Studies in their research show that the introduction of daylight in the workplace could increase individual productivity by up to 18% and increase sales by up to 40%.
With regards to student and classroom productivity, the guidebook highlights findings that point to the importance of controlled access to natural daylight. It shows that negative student performance is associated with direct sun into classrooms. On the other hand, students with adequate natural daylight in their classrooms showed 20% faster progress in math tests and 26% in reading tests during the course of a year.
Natural ventilation on its own, when automated intelligently, has also been shown to provide very promising benefits to occupant health. In buildings where high-performance ventilation strategies included automated natural ventilation, respiratory illness such as asthma and allergies were reduced by as much as 90%! When combined with controlled solar shading, HVAC and lighting expenses can be reduced by 50 – 80%.
With the combination of improved health and reduced operating expenses, using intelligent natural ventilation and solar shading as a joint strategy is a nobrainer for providing the best indoor climate possible.
Solar shading can be fixed or flexible. Fixed measures cannot be varied according to the season or the time of day. These measures can include window size and orientation, shading by other buildings or surroundings, or a reduction of total solar energy transmission of the glazing. In some cases, these measures can result in disadvantages compared to flexible systems.
Flexible measures (venetian or roller blinds etc.) allow the user and control system to have influence on how much solar radiation enters the room. Accordingly, the heating energy demand in winter can be reduced, while overheating (and cooling energy demand) can be avoided during the summer.
Venetian blinds have the potential of providing shading while also giving building occupants a view to the outside since the blades in many cases can be angled. Flexible systems are therefore often preferred to fixed systems.
Integrating sun screening functions into your indoor climate control system allows venetian blinds, awnings etc. to be controlled automatically, both in summer and winter, so that the position of the sunscreens can be continually adapted to the prevailing lighting and heating situation in a room. This allows an optimal use and exploitation of the sun screening product as well as optimizing the use of solar thermal energy. The actual control is based on measurements of lux and temperature.
It is beneficial to incorporate solar shading in your overall indoor climate design strategy, so all systems act in unison. Automatically controlled natural ventilation and solar shading are two crucial passive measures in buildings. Both ensure a high quality indoor climate and have low energy consumptions.
WindowMaster control systems, for natural or mixed mode ventilation solutions, can also include a built-in solar shading controller. The controller includes functions that allow the shades to open, close, and tilt depending on lux levels, indoor temperature, and the option of manual override by users.
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