With their ability to block, screen or limit sunlight, blinds play a significant role in improving thermal efficiency of buildings. As a result, they also contribute to reducing energy costs and cutting carbon emissions.
In other words, if used judiciously, blinds – and particularly those that are digitally connected and operated via building management systems – have an important role to play in a sustainable future. However, specifiers seeking ‘environmentally-friendly’ products need to be cautious as thermal efficiency is only part of the story.
Evaluation of products should also consider several other factors, including the manufacturing process and its associated waste, raw materials, packaging, transport, and more. And it must factor in the concept of ‘embodied carbon’.
It’s a quite a complex path and one that can be difficult for specifiers to follow. So how should you go about evaluating the sustainability of blinds and what tools are available to help you do so?
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Key Learning Outcomes
At the end of this presentation, you should be able to:
- Explain the concept of ‘embodied carbon’ as it applies to blinds and window coverings.
- Outline the role that window coverings can play in improving energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions.
- Identify some of the harmful by-products of blind manufacturing and how they can be mimimised.
- Explain the role that ‘Smart Buildings’ and the Internet of Things can play in improving the efficiency of blinds.
- Identify environmental certifications that you should look out for when choosing products.
AACA Competency Standards
Design: Project Briefing: 1.2, 1.4, 1.5
Design: Conceptual Design 3.3, 3.4, 3.7
Design: Schematic Design 4.2, 4.4, 4.6
Paul Humber, Managing Director, Norfolk Blinds
Paul took a break from an intended career in the metal engineering field in 1990 to join his father’s window furnishings business and has been in the industry ever since. Paul went out on his own in business to pursue his own manufacturing of window furnishings and now has manufacturing facilities in NSW, Victoria and Tasmania and has installation teams in all states. Paul’s business is still very much a family business with his son Brendan and nephew Wesley Humber holding key management roles in the team.
Fast forward 31 years and Paul is based on the NSW Central Coast and is still active in the business management, building Norfolk Blinds with the help of his experienced team to be a known influence in the window furnishing manufacturing industry. His company has become specialists in the supply and installation of blinds, external shade solutions and curtains to commercial and multi-residential buildings.
Ben Roco, External Furnishings Manager, Norfolk Blinds
With 20+ years experience in Sales and Technical capacities, Ben has refined his skills developing business relationships with a keen understanding into the window furnishings market he operates in. His proficiency in designing, specifying and implementing external shading solutions for residential and commercial developments is pivotal to his successes. Specialities include building management integration and sustainable control options with a hands on approach to project management providing an outstanding implementation which his clients have come to rely on.