Managing thermal comfort is a key factor in achieving good indoor environmental quality and a sense of well being for occupants. As more and more buildings are constructed with substantial areas of glazing, developing strategies that enhance natural daylight, reduce glare and regulate thermal gain are essential in managing thermal comfort and achieving good indoor environmental quality.
Indoor temperatures are directly influenced by solar heat gain through windows and facades. Hunter Douglas solutions contribute to the reduction of energy use and conserve energy with different design solutions:
External systems regulate heat
Exterior solar shading solutions can substantially reduce cooling loads. Decreasing the primary energy requirement of the building is one of the most valuable steps in sustainable design. Architects are increasingly designing double-skin passive and active ventilated facades to lower buildings’ energy requirements for heating and cooling. Whilst more expensive to build than a traditional design, such facades provide significantly higher levels of environmental control and offer both long-term financial and sustainability advantages. Integrating external and internal solutions is a key element in reducing energy hungry cooling power that affects the environmental impact of the building.
Designed for use in a wide variety of hot and cold climates, Hunter Douglas external blinds, sun control systems and louvers can pay for themselves in as little as three years.
From motorised folding screens and sliding shutters to large scale custom louvered blinds, the Hunter Douglas engineering team collaborates with architects and designers to develop innovative and sophisticated solutions that meet the aesthetic and performance requirements for any project.
Assessing the consequences of a shading strategy in the early stages of a design can have a significant impact on the energy use of a building. Solar shading transforms windows into dynamic valves for solar energy: blocking heat when unwanted and harvesting when required, in the winter for example. Controlling and harvesting free renewable ‘solar income’ can significantly reduce the non-renewable energy needed for cooling, lighting and heating a building.
Manage thermal gain to save cooling / heating
Automated solar shading not only reduces the energy consumption for cooling but also reduces the required cooling capacity. Reductions in both energy consumption and capacity can be as much as 50% making a compelling business case for investment in solutions that have a direct impact on the total cost of indoor climate control. Shading systems automated by the Hunter Douglas EOS PRO Control system, manage the sun’s energy very efficiently by controlling light and heat before it reaches the building. Control systems include simple switches to intelligent sun tracking that fully integrate with building management systems. Hunter Douglas External Window Coverings and Sun Control Systems can reduce the maximum temperature in a room by 5-10°C without air conditioning.
Energy Tool and Light Tool
Choices made in the early design phases can have a huge impact on the energy use of a building. Quantitatively comparing the energy consequences of shading designs can be a big help. Hunter Douglas has therefore developed a state of the art Light and Energy software tool that can analyse how different internal and external solutions optimise light and heat and show the resulting energy consumption. This tool analyses a number of key elements, based on certified data, to determine the right light level for optimal IEQ: the amount and type of glass, the orientation of the façade, the geographical location, the climate and season. It quantifies the energy requirement for heating, cooling and lighting for a sample space. The tool can also determine the required heating and cooling capacity.