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Wide shot of the viewpoint at 8 Bishopsgate overlooking London with automated blinds concealed.

Automated blinds: Three key specification considerations

By: Oli Birch Category: Automated Systems

The importance of specifying automated blinds has grown significantly in recent years. With temperatures continuing to rise, it’s imperative our buildings have sufficient solar shading to accommodate for this and prevent overheating.

Specifying an automated blind system is the ideal shading solution here.

What are the key considerations when specifying automated blinds?

  • Level of integration
  • Method of operation
  • Level of automation

Level of integration

Let’s take a look at the different levels of integration. First up is a standalone system. Standalone automated blind systems are commonly specified for multi-use buildings to accommodate clients require control over their space.

This often restricts the level of automation available and limits the amount of data able to be collected.

Next, we’re looking at a fully integrated system. This allows for a completely open protocol connection over communication systems like BACnet or KNX, which are often the preferred choice.

Finally, we have complete building control. Here, we’re talking about integrating the automated blinds to the BMS and running the communication over a dedicated network. As mentioned above, this is usually through KNX or BACnet.

This is where our S3 Synchronised Solar Shading range comes into its own.

S3 Synchronised Solar Shading allows architects to specify an automated blind solution that is fully open protocol and provides benefits across seven key areas. Furthemore, our three-tiered system provides a range of integration levels to suit the requirements of each client. You can read all about our S3 Synchronised Solar Shading systems here or by viewing the video below.

Method of operation

While automation is crucial for building performance, it’s also important to consider the wellbeing of occupants. An override can be integrated within the system to ensure users within the space can adjust the blinds accordingly, if they need to. There are several options for this.

Localised control is the first option to consider. Local controls mounted on or near the windows allow architects to provide options for individual, zone or room control. This allows users to override the automation settings for a set time or until the sun conditions change and the system intelligence takes control.

Another option is app-based control. Linked to secure networks, apps provide a secure option to ensure only occupants using a space can control the blinds. Alternatively, they can integrate with room booking systems to enable preset positions for meetings within a space.

Furthermore, the third option is control integration. If touchscreens, wall panels or smart controllers are already used in a space, they can be linked to the automated blinds via BACnet, KNX or other communication systems. This provides seamless control.

Automated blind room booking panel at 150 Holborn

Level of automation

The level of automation tends to be determined by what the building will be used for, the budget and the occupants.

Automation options range from intermediate set positions and time clock functionality, through to full sun-tracking sensors and integration with the BMS.

However, upgrading the level of automation at a later date is possible, as long as the backbone of an open-sourced system has been installed, like our S3 Synchronised Solar Shading range.

If you’d like to discuss automated blinds, S3 or solar shading in greater detail, contact us here and our expert team will be in touch!

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