Cost-effective solutions for sunscreen systems

by Tania Wannenburg
RVI jnl5

Robertson Ventilation Industries (RVI) is a specialist company that has been trading in South Africa for over half a century ,operates in system design and equipment for smoke and fire ventilation, industrial ventilation, solar shading, natural ventilation and window automation, during which time its architectural solutions division has gained an exemplary reputation for quality products and customer service.
Sunscreen systems
Fixed sunscreen systems are generally very cost-effective solutions, with almost limitless design parameters and options. Unfortunately, fixed systems provide compromised shading conditions. However, the purpose of most if not all sun-screening or solar shading systems is not to prevent light from entering the building, but to prevent unnecessary heat build-up (solar gain) on a particular facade.

Heat build-up on glass is probably the most undesirable of all facade outcomes and therefore requires the most consideration at the design stage. Deflecting the solar heat gain build-up is what the fixed system achieves, However a fixed system can and will prove to be problematic at certain times of the day and in a particular season.

In contrast to this, a controllable system – especially one that is able to actively and continuously track the sun’s movement – is the best option. Everybody appreciates the benefits of working in an environment where the temperature is comfortable, and for office buildings the optimum temperature is 24°C with a range of about 4°C.

Countering the extreme temperature fluctuations in our warm Southern Hemisphere climate is often quite a daunting task. Even in air-conditioned buildings uncontrolled solar heat gain on the facades can lead to increased cooling loads, plant size and an increase in overall running costs.

Architects and consultants are increasingly recognising the part that solar shading systems can play in both enhancing the quality of the internal working environment and saving energy, particularly with the pressure from the building regulations SANS 204:2011 to ensure energy-efficiency in all buildings.

RVI Architectural Solutions is able to provide both fixed and controllable solar shading system options and solutions, and in consideration of either option on your next project you might be pleasantly surprised to realise only a marginal cost implication – in real terms – for the controllable system versus a fixed installation.

Obviously the scale of the project can assist to justify the additional costs, but it is something that needs very serious consideration to realise the long-term benefits versus the short-term cost savings, which are immediately realised and so tempting.

Robertson Ventilation Industries (Pty) Ltd
Tel: 011 608 4640
Fax: 011 608 4643
E-mail: info@robventind.co.za
Website: www.robventind.co.za

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