w In addition to color, architects and designers can SELECT THE DENSITY
OF A SHADE’S WEAVE to achieve optimal levels of daylighting, privacy,
and view through. Openness factors of 1, 3, 5, and 10 percent progressively
allow more daylight and enhance views to the exterior, which can be valuable
based on client desires or occupant needs. Higher openness factors have
been popular in many modern buildings as architects strive to create peo-ple-centric designs that provide occupants with a connection to the
outdoors. In fact, occupants with views of nature are 6 to 12 percent more
productive than occupants without such views1. Still, an emerging design
trend is toward tighter OFs in order to enhance privacy and minimize solar
heat gain within a space.
In many cases, specifying shading fabrics to enhance occupant comfort can be
markedly more important to the bottom line than the energy cost savings they help
provide. To illustrate that point, consider that companies spend, on average, up to 100
times more on employee compensation than on their building’s energy consumption,
according to a study done by the Rocky Mountain Institute.
One of the most important considerations for an architect or designer is whether certain
products help to achieve an intended design result. While some still believe shade fabric
appearance only affects aesthetics to the interior, the reality is quite different.
In addition to performance, shade fabric color affects a building’s outward
appearance when combined with the aesthetic properties of the glazing. Light-colored shades are often more visible from the street-side and can appear slightly
green behind clear glass due to the levels of iron content in the glass. When
manually lowered to different levels, light-colored shades can create a “
snaggletooth” look that is visually distracting during the day. To protect the integrity of the
selected glazing’s reflected color, darker shades can provide an aesthetic continuity
to the exterior façade no matter how far they are raised or deployed. Dark shades
tend to simulate the darker interior cavity of a building when the more dominate
light source is on the exterior.
One performance-related drawback of specifying a dark-colored interior shade
interiorsandsources.com september2016 interiors+sources 27
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An understanding of innovations in solar
shading, in addition to how they can
enhance the built environment as well as
human health and comfort, has become
important in the A&D community. With such
knowledge, an optimal design solution can
be determined and delivered.