Thermal comfort fabrics
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FABRICS FOR THERMAL COMFORT
Thermal comfort has been shown to have a significant impact on the productivity of office workers. People perform best when the ambient temperature is between 21 °C and 25 °C. Seppanen derived the relation below from 9 scientific studies on the relation between temperature and productivity.
Fabrics for thermal comfort
The role of shading
Shading has an influence on the amount of energy entering through the transparent facade and therefore on the interior temperatures.
When looking for interior shading giving good protection against overheating, high reflectance is the key property to look for. The higher the reflectance, the less solar energy will be transferred to the interior. Shiny metals such as aluminium have the highest possible reflectance. Therefore, metallised fabrics will have good thermal performance.
There are also non-metallised fabrics having high reflectance. These can do an equally good job when it comes to heat gain control. Their glare protection performance will generally be less than adequate because light yarns are often also translucent.
The European norm EN 14501 defines a scale of 0 to 4 for the influence of a shading device on thermal comfort, where 0 indicates very little effect and 4 indicates a very good effect. High reflectance interior shading when combined with solar protection glass can achieve class 3 “good effect”.
Best fabrics for thermal comfort
SNU (all colors)
Panama Chrome (all colors)
XL BO (all colors)
Panama Pro (white)
Star (snow, desert)
Eco chrome (all colors)
A closer look at thermal comfort
Besides air temperature, the temperatures of the surfaces surrounding us are equally important for thermal comfort. Therefore, the surface temperature of a blind is something to consider when choosing a shading solution. The graphs below show temperature profiles for two fabrics that have comparable glare protection and view through characteristics. Under summer conditions, the all black fabric will reach temperatures up to 42 °C in the full sun. Sitting next to a 42 °C surface is clearly not very comfortable. The metallised version stays 10 °C cooler.