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Proof that Solar Shading Reduces Overheating

Back in October 2016, the British Blind and Shade Association (BBSA) and London South Bank University conducted a study into whether or not solar shading can effectively reduce overheating in homes and offices.

The study took place after it was found that overheating and glare were becoming considerable problems as a result of changes to building regulations which means new builds are being built to be more air-tight, better insulated with higher proportions of glass. When overheating occurs, living conditions become more uncomfortable and sometimes even dangerous to the health of the occupants.

The main problem for many living and working in these buildings is finding the right solution to help reduce overheating and glare. Opening the windows to allow fresh air into the building isn’t a suitable solution for many as the noise levels from outside aren’t pleasant to live or work with. Not to mention, leaving windows open poses a security risk and it is estimated that 34% of burglars enter buildings through an unlocked window.

Air conditioning also isn’t a realistic or practical option for many as they can be incredibly expensive to run due to the high amounts of electricity they consume. The most logical solution seemed to be shading.

In order to confirm this, a study was carried out by Zoe De Grussa (PhD Researcher) on two west-facing flats in London that were built according to the latest building regulations at the time. One flat had closed external venetian blinds whilst the other had no shading in place.

De Grussa measured the operative temperatures (the temperature a person feels) and the lux (light levels) of the two flats for 8 hours each day, with values recorded every 8 minutes over a twenty day period.

Measuring the Operative Temperature

The thermal comfort range (the temperatures at which most people feel comfortable) for homes and offices is between 22ºC to 26ºC.

In the unshaded flat, by 3pm, the temperature reached a high of 47.5ºC- an unbearable temperature that is a significant risk to health. It’s worth noting that this is the same temperature of California’s Death Valley (one of the hottest places on Earth) during the hottest months. 

In the shaded flat, the temperature reached a high of 28ºC, proving that external shading can reduce the internal operative temperatures by between 10ºC to 18ºC. They also found that internal solar shading reduced temperatures by 8ºC and 13ºC.

Measuring the Light Levels

Optimal light levels for homes and offices are between 300-500 lux.

In the unshaded flat, by 2pm the lux was 45,900+. There are uncomfortably bright light levels and can cause too much glare in offices which causes strain on the eyes when trying to look at computer screens.

In the shaded flat with closed venetian blinds, the light levels never exceeded 300 lux, making it an ideal living area in regards to light levels. This proves that smart solar shading mitigates overheating and controls glare, helping to keep occupants safe and much more comfortable.

At Aspiration Blinds, we offer a range of both internal and external shading solutions so you can effectively manage your home’s temperature and light levels without compromising on style. Our blinds and shutters and external screens offer a full array of benefits including:

  • Absolute Light Control
  • Ultimate Privacy
  • Fantastic Insulation and Temperature Control
  • Guaranteed Quality
  • Low Maintenance

We have a wide range of affordable, made to measure blinds, shutters and external screens so you can be sure to find a solution to suit your personal style and requirements. Why not take some time to browse our products or book a free consultation today.

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