Shading Devices and Sun Control in Architecture

The use of shading devices and sun control is an important consideration for architects while designing an energy efficient building. Simply put, they can reduce a building’s overall cooling requirement, thus saving energy as a result.

Shading Devices - What Is Their Function?

Sun shading devices ensure a greater level of comfort for those inside the building as they block sunlight and reduce the amount of solar gain. This ultimately makes the indoor environment better for occupants as it balances the temperature, humidity and the intensity of light.

These shading devices are customizable and designed in a way that makes them durable and cost-effective.

Most energy efficient schools and buildings use shading and sun control devices as a part of their architectural design strategy as they allow natural light to filter in – thus reducing the need for artificial lighting.

3 Benefits of Using Shading Devices and Sun Control In Architecture

Apart from providing comfort and being durable, the use of shading devices in your structure can prove to be beneficial in the following ways:

1. Architectural Appeal

In a world where the climate is changing and sustainability is a top concern, there is an increasing need for ways to control how buildings are impacted by sunlight.

Architects utilize different sunshades and related products that not only lead to energy efficiency but also do not compromise on the style and design of a structure.

Take for example AWV’s variety of cantilevered sunshades; they are made from extruded aluminum in different styles, sizes and patterns to give your building a unique appeal.

2. Reduced Energy Loss

External window shades reduce solar heat gain and improve the comfort inside a building. Their use also ensures that your cooling and heating bills are reduced to a minimum.

That’s why shading devices are a vital component in energy-efficient buildings and architecture. Sun shading reduces the energy requirement for lighting and optimizes the use of natural daylight throughout a building.

3. Increased Comfort for Occupants

The correct use of heat and light in any work or living space can make it more comfortable for the occupants.

Sun control and shading devices are often used to improve the visual comfort for users as they can help control sun glares and significantly reduce contrast ratios, also reducing the strain on eyes. Not only does this promote indoor comfort, but the regular use of shading devices can also stimulate productivity.

Design Ideas Using Shading Devices and Sun Control

During warmer seasons, an excellent way to prevent unwanted heat from entering a space is through the use of external window shading. Shading can be done by natural landscaping or with the help of awnings, overhangs and trellises.

For smaller commercial buildings, fixed exterior shading devices such as overhangs are more practical – their length depends on the size of the window and the heating and cooling requirements within the building.

The solar orientation of a building is also a deciding factor while choosing the design of shading devices. For instance, fixed overhangs are more suited to shading south-faced windows during summers. However, these devices may not be that effective at blocking the low afternoon sunlight from entering the west-facing windows.

Below are a few design ideas for energy-efficient schools to take into consideration:

  • For south-facing glass, it’s a good idea to use fixed overhangs to control direct solar radiation. To block indirect radiation, consider a low e-glazing.
  • Since east and west glass is harder to shade compared to south glass, the number of such windows should be limited. To shade a building’s interior from the east and west, the use of landscaping must be considered.
  • Shading affects the daylight in a room – for instance, a light shelf bounces natural light further into a room through high windows, while it shades the lower windows.
  • Remember that roller blinds or Venetian blinds provide glare control, but they do not reduce the cooling load as the heat has already penetrated the glass. They also contribute to visual comfort in energy-efficient schools.
  • Fixed overhangs are useful for shading south-faced windows during the summers when the sun is high. And in the winters, the lower sun angles can bring in more heat, and that can mean lower heating bills for the user.
  • Use deciduous trees that drop leaves in the wintertime and let the sunshine through, but provide ample shade in the summer.
  • Incorporate passive solar heating features into the building design by using surfaces with a high thermal mass that can store heat during the day and let it out at night.

Incorporate Shading Into Your Architectural Design

At AWV, we cater to all your needs for dynamic architectural designs that are aesthetically pleasing – with our louvers and sunshades in different styles, shapes and sizes, you are sure to find an option that allows your building or school to stand out from the rest.

If you need to know more about our collection of sun shades and sun control devices to build energy efficient schools, contact us here. You can also visit our website for more information about sunshades and vision screens.