Solar shading can help combat growing overheating threat

Solar shading is going to be “key” for every building in Europe to prevent overheating as global warming causes harsher heatwaves, according to experts.

Solar shading is the external and internal systems which prevent overheating by controlling the amount of heat and light from the sun entering through windows and glazed facades.

According to the European Solar Shading Organisation (ES-SO): “Solar shading will have to become a key element of every building in Europe to prevent it from overheating in the future.

“Solar shading is the most cost-effective solution on the market, offering a direct impact on health, comfort and saving energy.”

It comes as it is revealed that in March 2020, average temperatures were almost two degrees Celsius above the 1981-2010 average, according to the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

High temperatures are known to affect elderly people and those with health conditions, but younger generations are searching for more comfort and want healthy indoor lifestyles and governments are starting to acknowledge the negative impact of overheating in buildings.

Automated solar shading systems can help by preventing rooms from heating up; avoiding the need for artificial cooling, thereby reducing energy consumption and contributing to greater comfort in all weather conditions.

The amount of energy used worldwide to cool buildings has doubled since the year 2000 and without efficiency gains, even this level could triple again by 2050. With regular heatwaves and extreme temperatures, solar shading will be a vital element to prevent buildings from overheating in an energy-efficient manner.

According to an International Energy Agency study in 2015, solar shading can deliver 22% of energy savings and cut Co2 emissions by 137 million metric tonnes in buildings in Europe per year.

One example of external solar shading being put to perfect use is on this new residential building in southern Germany (pictured). It is equipped with external Venetian blinds which let you decide how much sunlight you want to let into your rooms.

With externally mounted and automatically controlled solar shading systems daylight can be smoothly directed. The almost tightly closing slats can prevent overheating – the effective reduction in isolation here is 60% to 75%. This helps save money on an air conditioning system without losing daylight.

ES-SO aims to promote the positive impact of smart solar shading solutions on the management of indoor climates to support the ambitious energy efficiency commitments of the EU.

Read more about the benefits of solar shading on the BBSA’s ShadeIT website.

Read the full ES-SO press release here.

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