Home > Improving a building’s NABERS UK rating through automated solar shading
The upward pulling tensioned shaped blinds to gable end windows at Lambrook School

Improving a building’s NABERS UK rating through automated solar shading

By: Oli Birch Category: Automated Systems

Building rating scheme NABERS UK looks set to play a significant role in the future of the construction industry.

Earlier this year, the City of London “formally approved plans to require all major office developments in the borough to have a minimum NABERS UK rating of five stars,” as reported by Building Design.

And the following month, the Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) was named the as the new administrator for the scheme.

But what exactly is NABERS UK? And what is the link to automated solar shading?

We answer both questions in this blog.

What is NABERS UK?

Introduced four years ago, NABERS UK is an adaptation of the original NABERS (National Australian Built Environment Rating System) rating programme launched in Australia in 1998.

It utilises a 6-star system to measure the yearly operational performance of a building across the four areas below:

  • Energy
  • Water
  • Waste
  • Indoor environment

A wide shot of the rooftop terrace at 150 Holborn, showing the motorised blinds covering the windows inside the building.

NABERS UK provides two offerings for UK office buildings:

  • Design for Performance – In this instance, the owner or developer of a new office development or major refurbishment commits to achieving a specific NABERS rating from the design stage, normally a rating of 4 or above.
  • Energy for Offices – An offering used to measure the operational performance of an existing office building.

The scheme’s focus on the continual energy performance of a building rather than an overall rating for the building design has seen it grow in popularity since its introduction four years ago.

The role of automated blinds

Automated blinds play an important role in helping to achieve a high NABERS UK rating, especially when specified with a metallised blind fabric.

When programmed into a sensor that tracks the movements of the sun throughout the day, automated blinds can be programmed to change in height based on the position of the sun. This, combined with the metallised fabric, ensures the inside of a building does not overheat due to the amount of solar heat gain entering the building.

And with a cooler internal temperature comes a significant reduction in the reliance on air conditioning units to regulate the temperature. This is hugely important for a high NABERS UK rating, as such systems can be incredibly damaging to the environment and increase energy bills.

Furthermore, the use of a metallised fabric provides excellent control over the amount of glare entering the space, thus improving the indoor environment for occupants.

If you’d like to discuss the certification or automated blinds in greater detail, please contact us here and our expert team will assist.

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