In our dynamically changing world, we face the dual challenge of increasing temperatures, due to climate change on one hand and the need to reduce our energy footprint on the other hand. Smart innovations and new concepts are required to tackle these challenges and exterior solar shading is one way to help achieve that goal.
Sun protection systems fitted on the outside of buildings and houses are indeed a clever way to help climatise our indoor spaces, without draining our electricity supply. A motorised screen with a solar-shading fabric that is placed in front or on top of a window will absorb most of the heat that would otherwise seamlessly make its way into your office or living room.
A high-quality fabric can block approximately 90% of the sun rays that leads to a net temperature decrease of 7°C. If the outside air temperature is 32°C, an exterior solar shade could curb the inside temperature to just 25°C without even using the air-conditioning. In Europe, this concept has already proven to be a genuine success, needless to point out the potential it holds for the Middle East.
Another reason to look into exterior shading applications is for increasing domestic comfort and for enlarging your living space. A retractable awning on your patio can let you enjoy evening drinks or family meals without facing the direct sunlight that is detrimental to the human skin. Pergola systems can transform the terrace area of any hotel or restaurant, turning them into an enjoyable outdoor setting where you can relax for a few hours. Sitting outside and breathing fresh air without having to endure the heat of the sun, it seems like an impossible combination but thanks to exterior shading, it really is not anymore.
The benefit of the exterior shading approach for windows is twofold: during the heat of the summer, the air-conditioning would have to work less hard to achieve the desired inside temperature, thus saving power and therefore bouncing less heat back into the circuit. During the rest of the year, the need for air-conditioning could be all but obsolete. The power saving on annual basis would be considerable, not to mention the user-comfort one would get from blocking out the light during movie sessions or corporate presentations.
At Harol, we are one of the pioneers in this market segment. Founded in 1946, this Belgian company started out as a manufacturer of roller shutters in post-war Europe. Later, we developed systems for superior heat and light control and that is how exterior shading came into being.
Whereas the first generation consisted of a basic box with retractable fabric placed in front or on top of the window, the next-gen products are equipped with high quality ZIP technology and superior wind resistance performance. Different kinds of fabric allow the consumer to choose between different shades of sun protection, varying from 14% transparency to a zero transparency fabric.