When it comes to commercial office space design, window treatments can play a huge part in the success of the overall look and feel of the space. Commercial office blinds can be a perfect cost-effective solution to managing light and the overall aesthetic, making the working environment more comfortable and productive.
When you come to choose the right blinds for the space you’re designing, there are some important factors you need to consider, such as functionality, price, quality and style.
There are also important legal and safety considerations when it comes to commercial blinds. The Work with display screen equipment Health and Safety (Display Screen Equipment) Regulations 1992 states blinds are required to ensure no direct glare or distracting reflections appear on screens that can lead to visual fatigue or stress.
So, if you’re designing for an office space where screens and any kind of digital display is present, the blinds you recommend need to block out enough direct sunlight to avoid any glare whilst still providing enough natural daylight to fill the space.
Here are some of the things to consider to help you make the right choice when it comes to commercial blinds:
There are few things to take into consideration when choosing the most functional blinds for the windows in an office space.
The first thing to consider is the shape and size of the glazing you need the blind to cover. Are there vertical or horizontal panels in the windows, do they slope or are they a unique shape?
The second thing to think about is the material of your blind and how it can control daylight and solar heat gain. Roller blinds come with a wide choice of fabrics, each with varying degrees of openness, light transmission and reflection characteristics. What’s important to note is the blind fabric and colour you choose can have a direct impact on the indoor daylight conditions and potential glare.
In today’s office spaces, floor to ceiling glazing is increasingly common. Whilst it offers great views and natural daylight, office temperatures quickly increase.
If you’re looking to control solar heat gain and glare, you should choose a high performance metallised fabric. High performance metallised blind fabrics have a thin, highly reflective aluminium backing, which provides exceptional glare and solar heat gain control, whilst retaining great through vision and is not dependent on the colour chosen as with traditional fabrics.
Studies have shown that metallised fabrics can reflect up to 82% of the solar energy entering the building through the glass, (giving comparable performance to externally mounted blinds without the drawbacks of maintenance), having a massive impact on your building’s overall efficiency and wellbeing of the occupants.
Durability and maintenance
When it comes to picking the right blinds for any office space, it’s important to research how easy they are to use, how they function on a daily basis and how much maintenance is required to ensure they last.
The different methods of operation are the first thing to consider. For example, manual blinds may be a cost-effective option in a small office space with only one or two windows but could be impractical in a big space with multiple windows or large glazing. In this situation, motorised blinds would be a more suitable alternative.
You should also consider whether they will be situated in easy to access areas where they may be prone to knocks and scuffs.
Waverley’s range of commercial blinds always feature durable fabrics supported by operating systems that can take intense wear and tear. However, you may still need to commission high-performance fabrics and systems if you need a particularly hard-wearing blind or a solution that’s especially dirt-resistant and maintenance-free.
Light and heat management
As we mentioned earlier in this article, commercial office blinds also control solar glare and ultimately the visual comfort and temperature of the office space they’re situated in. They are able to control the amount of light – and glare – coming into the workplace contributing to improved energy efficiency, whilst maintaining visual contact with the outside.
Metallised blind fabrics offer excellent energy efficiency thanks to their thin reflective aluminium layer. They manage glare superbly, reflecting 82% of the solar energy that would otherwise come through the glass – ensuring a comfortable room temperature, and a reduced reliance on air conditioning.
For the most efficient results, a customised integrated motorised blind system is the best choice. These systems function automatically, using sensors and digital control to ensure optimal environmental control, even when the building is empty.
In a large open plan office environment the acoustics are becoming an increasingly important consideration for architects and interior designers. With large areas of hard services, managing noise levels can prove difficult.
One solution is to use acoustic screen fabrics that are suitable for roller blinds and panel blinds.
Installing blinds with acoustic fabric to glazing and even the ceilings will have a positive impact on the acoustic performance of the office.
More tailored office blind insights
There are other performance values you need to factor in when specifying commercial office blinds. Including whether privacy and security are a high priority, and whether some spaces will need a blackout system to facilitate presentations or video conferencing calls. In this case, sometimes a dual blind system is installed, giving the option of a screen fabric with great through vision, or a blackout fabric with none at all.
If the form and function of your blinds will vary widely across the building, assistance in creating a customised solution can be a wise investment. Waverley offers expert commercial blind advice that includes site surveys and a design consultation service.
If you’d like to discuss a project you’re working on or learn more about our shading solutions, reach out to us by navigating to our contact page.