Home > Why metallised blinds are the sustainable choice when upgrading office blocks

Why metallised blinds are the sustainable choice when upgrading office blocks

By: Oli Birch Category: BlindsInsights

Metallised blinds provide part of the solution to retrofitting office blocks to meet environmental standards in the UK.

Last summer’s heatwave showed that many office buildings are not equipped to deal with the impacts of climate change.

From June 2022, new office buildings must produce 27% fewer emissions than existing buildings. This is an interim measure to help owners prepare for the full impact of the Future Buildings Standard in 2025.

Blinds protect asset values

2023 regulations will impact existing office buildings. Research from property services expert Colliers, indicates that up to 10% of London office blocks will be unleasable when the regulations come into force.

Tom Wildash, co-head of West End leasing at Colliers, told CNBC that landlords must decide whether to upgrade their buildings to an energy rating of ‘E’ to comply with the 2023 rules, or renew the energy rating directly to a ‘B’ to comply with 2030 legislation.

Real estate agents predict a sharp downturn in value of office buildings which fall short of new green standards.

Retrofitting is often the only option. And high-performance blinds should be part of that retrofitting strategy.

Part O Building Regulations, which came into force in June, placed a focus on external blinds. However, internal blinds play a big role in cutting heat loss from buildings. They are simple to fit, effective and easy to take care of.

 The benefits of metallised blinds

Ger Bras, Global Sales Director at Verosol, says:

“This is a hot topic in Europe, where we are all facing energy problems. Our blinds keep heat in buildings as well as keeping solar gain out.”

A metallised layer does not simply reflect heat, it works as a low emissivity coating, trapping heat inside the building in wintertime.

If users keep the metallised blinds down in winter, they can dramatically reduce the heat and cold transfer through the window. Depending on the glazing type, the U-value of the space improves by 20-30%. (U Value is the measure of the resistance to heat transfer through the glass.)

Ger Bras uses some simple analogies:

“If you want to keep your coffee hot, you use an aluminium flask. After a sports event, athletes use an aluminium blanket to keep the warmth in. High performance interior blinds put a metal layer around the whole building when they are drawn down. The blinds act in the same way as the bottle and blanket.”

While the aluminium layer acts as an insulator on the building during winter, in summer you have less solar gain while maintaining the outside view.

Waverley supplies Versosol’s best performing products, such as SilverScreen 202. This has the world’s highest solar reflectance of 85% and excellent insulation properties. Verosol claims its G Value can be equal to external blinds.

G Value, often called SGHC, is a measure of the total solar radiation (solar gain in the form of heat) passing directly through the glass, and what is absorbed and re-radiated by the glazing.

The SilverScreen data sheet shows its impact is greatest on windows which have the lowest in-built protection against solar gain, so metallised blinds provide a great solution to refurbish older buildings.

Other blinds commonly in use do not have the same properties:

  1. White blinds have good energy reflection but suffer from high glare issues, limited view outside and no visual comfort.
  2. Dark coloured blinds have a negative effect on thermal quality and create heat because they absorb high levels of energy from the sun. That increases demand on internal cooling systems.
  3. Blackout blinds create no glare and reduce heat but necessitate artificial lighting whenever drawn and cut out healthy, natural daylight.

Metallised, high performance textiles overcome these issues and create the best balance to achieve glare and heat reduction while also providing views and daylight regardless of the chosen colour. The metallised exterior gives privacy to the user inside, while giving them a view outside.

Blinds can be recycled

Under the new regulations, it is also important to source more recyclable building materials. Not all blind fabrics offer recyclability. Waverley will help you specify systems where all components are readily recyclable at the end of their useful life. Designers and specifiers are increasingly minded ensuring colours chosen are not too ‘fashionable’ but will stand the test of time.

Richard Webb, Specification Sales Manager at Waverley concludes:

“The use of metallised blinds such as SilverScreen improves the solar gain performance of façades without having to undertake costly upgrades to the glass. They are the perfect retrofit solution to boost user comfort, enhance regulatory compliance and keep operational and capital costs to a minimum.”

For more information about all your commercial shading decisions, talk to Waverley.

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