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SilverScreen metallised blind fabric lowered halfway down on the sloped glazing at Gulfstream's Farnborough Airport HQ.

Using dynamic solar shading to provide project cost savings

By: Oli Birch Category: Automated Systems

The common assumption with automated solar shading is there is an uplift in cost compared to other systems such as manual or motorised roller blinds. And the assumption is often correct; the initial cost of automated solar shading does tend to be greater.

This can often result in automated systems being overlooked or value engineered out of a specification.

However, there are two key areas in which automated solar shading provides significant cost savings that, again, are often overlooked:

  • Reduced building operating costs
  • Significant saving on cabling and containment

Reduced building operating costs

When explaining the most effective way to use automated solar shading, we discuss these six points with architects and contractors:

  • Enhanced natural lighting
  • Reduced cooling load
  • Improved thermal comfort
  • Natural ventilation
  • Occupancy-based control
  • Maximising fabric performance

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

By specifying an automated system that incorporates each of the elements above, architects are ensuring the solar shading strategy is working to its full potential. Therefore, the reliance on carbon emitting HVAC systems and artificial lighting is significantly reduced, resulting in savings on energy consumption and emissions.

Saving on cabling and containment

Typically, a motorised blind system using relays would require a spur for each relay, which would control two to four blinds switched individually.

You could then network the switches over several relays, but this would only be a contact closure switch. Furthermore, it would only be possible to send the blinds up or down at the press of a switch.

And in this scenario, there are more points of failure due to the amount of cabling and containment required.

However, an dynamic solar shading system eliminates a significant amount of such equipment. The diagram below explains this in greater detail by comparing the typical wiring requirements for traditional motorised and automated systems:

A detailed graphic explaining the difference in cabling and containment required for automated blind systems

This demonstrates the significant saving on cabling and, therefore, money.

If you’d like to discuss dynamic solar shading for your project, please contact us here and our expert team will gladly assist.

Alternatively, visit our S3 Synchronised Solar Shading page for more information.

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