Exterior Solar Shades and The Passive House Los Angeles

by Greg Amato –

After years of popularity throughout Europe, The Passive House exterior shades is finally hitting the shores of the USA. We are seeing new projects being designed and built by architects and contractors trained specifically for this exciting technology. In fact, the tallest Passive House in the world is being built in New York City on Roosevelt Island for the new Cornell Tech housing facility.

Exterior Solar Shades

A primary goal of a Passive House exterior shades especiallyin Los Angeles is to reduce the energy costs of the building by 90%. Designers of the Passive House are using a variety of tools in their toolbox to achieve this goal. One of these tools includesExterior Shading Solutions and specifically exterior solar shades.

Exterior Solar Shades

One of the biggest challenges for a Passive House design is the glazing and solar heat gain passing through. While this works well in the winter months where you want that low sun to radiate heat into the space, the solar radiation needs to be blocked on east and west windows during summer months with Exterior Shading Solutions.

Of course the high summer sun also is effectively controlled by exterior shading blocking up to 90% of all solar heat gain when used with the properly selected shade fabrics.  Using mesh fabrics allows the preservation of the exterior views and can allow outside ventilation air to easily pass through to interior spaces.
Exterior Solar Shades

A particular effective solution is the Exterior Zip Shade, which can perform double duty as an exterior shade and an insect screen.

The Zip Shade is a breakthrough design that is revolutionizing the window shadeindustry. We call it a Zip Shade because a zipper-like locking device is welded to the fabric edges. The zipper slips into a side channel that keeps the fabric from falling out. The bottom hem-bar is weighted so when the shade is completely closed the fabric provides a drum like cover to the window.

Exterior Solar Shades

With the fabric locked in, the InSync Zip Shade offers multiple advantages. A typical problem with a standard Blackout Shade with side channels is that the fabric never stays in the channel. A simple push on the fabric, and the cloth pops out, leaving a wrinkled condition. The Zip Blackout Shade never allows for this to occur, which is great for bedrooms, hotel rooms, conference rooms and classrooms.Exterior Solar Shades

Exterior Zip Shade is where the performance soars. As an Exterior Window Shade, the system blocks over 90% of solar heat gain. With the Zip feature, the system is very wind resistant. The fabric stays within the side channels with winds blowing at over 80 miles per hour. The Exterior Zip Shade with a mesh fabric also can be installed on patios where they provide excellent insect protection.

Exterior Solar Shades

Zip Shade under wind test at 93 MPH

Extreme wind tunnel testing confirms the retention ability of the Zip system and attachment components. While we would never recommend leaving exterior shades deployed in such conditions it is comforting to know the durability and performance engineered into the system.

Where the system is place close to the faced glass the deformation of the fabric is even less noticeable as the wind force is shared by both the shade fabric and the structural glazing.

To cover overhead skylights the InSync Skylight Shade is an industry breakthrough. With the locked in fabric, the skylight shade needs no intermediate support bars to prevent sagging. The fabric remains taught even with large openings. The InSync Skylight Zip Shade can be used with either mesh or blackout fabrics. Exterior Solar Shades

Finally there is the Bottom Up Shade. This is an interior shade the stacks at the bottom of the window and is pulled up to the top, allowing the window to be partially covered at the bottom, leaving the upper portion of the window open. This is a nice feature for privacy with a view.

Bottom up shade

Bottom up shade

 

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