Pleasant interior temperatures and sleek design
At first sight, this recent, ultramodern new-build villa with sleek white walls and huge windows in the leafy landscape between Mechelen and Leuven seemed to offer everything needed for a carefree and comfortable life. Unfortunately, the residents soon had to look for something to help keep the indoor temperatures fresh on hot days without sacrificing the daylight.
The top floor especially quickly became too hot when the sun came in through the large window. One of the residents has a room there where she gives sports lessons. “Even in the low morning sun, it took no time at all for it to get too warm inside for exercise, and that shocked me. But the same large window also caused excessive indoor temperatures in the stairwell.” The problem was just as bad in spring as it would be in summer. “The only difference was that you could open a window at that time of year to let some cool air in.”
“Even in the low morning sun, it took no time at all for it to get too warm inside”
So the owners started looking for a good solution to lower the indoor temperatures. They had already considered sun protection fabric when they built the house, but they eventually moved away from the idea as they feared such large surfaces would not be able to handle the wind load. They were told the sun protection glass would be enough to keep the sun out. But it turned out not to be the case.
They were forced to look for alternative solutions: an inner curtain with a reflective layer (didn’t offer a solution because the heat was already inside at that time), sun protection foil on the glass (which does not let in any heat during the winter, although it is welcome), a pergola or garden room with a louvred pergola in front of the large kitchen window (removed too much light), etc. The various options were reviewed, but none of them solved the problem properly. “And so we finally came back to sun protection fabric last year,” it seems.
“Sun protection glass, internal curtains, sun protection foil: nothing was able to match the benefits offered by outdoor blinds, as long as they didn’t compromise on the look of our minimal windows”
Tailored to minimal windows
“The only problem,” installer Luc Boonen recalls when the owners knocked on his door, “were the narrow window profiles of the minimal windows which significantly contribute to the sleek look and feel of this home. The side guiding channels of other sun protection fabric systems on the market would be in front of the glass, and that would have been a shame for this house. Luckily, Renson had just introduced its latest generation of windproof sun protection fabric: Fixscreen minimal, with slimmer side guiding channels and more subtle fabric boxes for large windows like this one. It was as if fate was on our side.”
The residents were convinced that the side guiding channels of the outdoor blinds would be as wide as the window profiles. In addition, the transition between the two large windows on the ground floor and first floor was nicely worked out with an aluminium plate in the same colour and plane of the lower fabric box. As a result, the fabric box is barely noticeable.
“With side guiding channels that match the width of the window profiles and the subtle integration of the fabric boxes, the retrofitted outdoor blinds are barely noticeable””
A successful result
After their first spring with the new system, the owners have noticed a real difference in their home. So far, excess heat hasn’t been a problem on the top floor any more. “On the contrary: I’ve had to raise the outdoor blinds on some occasions in spring as it got too chilly and I wanted to let the sun in to help warm the space up. And this is the advantage of outdoor blinds, you can operate them perfectly according to your own wishes”, they say.
As soon as the sun shines on the window, she lowers the sun protection fabric. This keeps the house pleasant, even on hot summer days. “Last summer, at one point I recorded 26 degrees inside with an outside temperature of 33 degrees. The customers joining me for a workout are all pleasantly surprised. Not to mention the great advantage that, thanks to the transparency, you always have a view to the outside," says the resident.
“We’ve really noticed the difference in our house: we’ve got no problems now keeping it cool inside on hot days.”