Posted in education
on May 21, 2015 10:57 am EDT
Shading, Simple Yet Sophisticated
How to shade the light and sun for better viewing and occupant comfort is an important consideration on church campuses. Some good news: Today's options are both aesthetically appealing and highly functional.
Architectural shade sails are one option for church campuses. Images courtesy of Tenshon LLC.
The biggest challenge of shading is allowing light to illuminate the window, while still preventing over-lighting and over-heating.
With increased use of videos and large screens in churches, how to shade the light and sun for better viewing is an important consideration in many worship spaces. The biggest challenge of shading is allowing light to illuminate the window, while still preventing over-lighting and over-heating. Chris Dolce, vice president and shareholder with Austin, Texas-based Sixthriver Architects, says to alleviate this problem, consider vertical shading devices and the building’s orientation in relationship to the path of the sun to provide the most even amount of light.
Joe Parks, national sales manager for commercial window treatments at Lutron Electronics Inc. based in Coopersburg, Pa., says one of the company’s popular options in automated shading is the Roller 300 with Lutron Intelligent Façade Technology, which is capable of controlling 300 square feet of fabric from one low-voltage shade drive.
One daylighting option: the Roller 300 drive with Lutron Intelligent Facade Technology. Image courtesy of Lutron.
“The Roller 300 moves similarly to our other shading products with a simple press of a button or via Hyperion solar-adaptive technology, which automatically responds to changing daylight levels and environmental conditions for a balance of comfort and energy savings,” Parks says. “Hyperion adjusts the shades based on the sun’s position and manages the appropriate amount of daylight in a space while minimizing glare and solar heat gain to create a more pleasant interior environment.”
Another cool addition to its line is the Radio Shadow Sensor, which works in conjunction with its Hyperion solar-adaptive technology. The sensor maximizes views as well as available daylight by compensating for cloudy conditions and shadows from neighboring buildings. It also detects levels of daylight and overrides the Hyperion default, ensuring that shades only close when conditions are appropriate.
New construction church projects may incorporate sustainable design options such as sunshades and other architectural features to make the most of natural daylight and shading. Shading options for churches run the gamut from stained glass to drapes, curtains, roll-up, and pleated fabric shades to wood plantation louvers.
“[One] option is electro chromic glass that tints when the sun’s UV rays are prevalent, although it’s making its way into the market slowly,” Christine Marvin, director of marketing for Warroad, Minn.-based Marvin Windows and Doors, says. “Smart window technology, the capacity to control glass tint with an electric switch, is an innovative but usually still cost prohibitive shading option,” she says.
As for stained glass windows, there is no special material needed for shades over stained glass, Parks reports. Using sheer solar screen fabrics, as opposed to dim-out or black-out in front of the glass would be best, so that a view of the glass is preserved—in addition to the amount of ambient light entering the space.Architectural Shade Sails
Some worship facilities are gravitating to shade sails, which are an artistic shade canopy that provides sunshade and UV protection.
Architecturally, shade sails are visually pleasing and provide a much thinner profile than traditional awnings and shades.
“A lot of clients utilize shade sails for common areas [on] worship campuses, small and large,” says Matthew Dickerson, head of legal for Tenshon LLC in Mesa, Ariz., a manufacturer of shade sails. “People utilize them as the more traditional awning setting, where they are pulled off [a] building onto a steel framework, to independently [cover] areas like staircases, playgrounds or barbeque areas.”
Architecturally, shade sails are visually pleasing and provide a much thinner profile than traditional awnings and shades, Dickerson reports. “For a lot of campuses, they help create a more contemporary feel,” he says. “They are aesthetically pleasing and blend into the atmosphere.”