Verosol roller blinds are among multiple climate control features at the National Herbarium of NSW that are helping safeguard Australia’s natural heritage for future generations.

The Herbarium houses over a million botanical specimens, some of which are more than two centuries old.

The Building

The Herbarium is operated by the nation’s oldest scientific institution, the Australian Botanic Gardens. Opened in 2019, it is located at Mount Annan in South Western Sydney and designed by Architectus in conjunction with FDC Construction & Fitout.

The collection was earlier stored in an older facility in the city’s centre. The decision to move it was prompted by damage caused by mould and insects. Considering this, in designing the Herbarium, the architects focussed squarely on protecting the collection from these dual problems, as well as the additional threat of bushfire.

The Requirement

Given that the collection has been valued at $289 million, it is no wonder that significant effort has been taken to ensure its wellbeing. The specimens, themselves, are stored in six vaults. Within these vaults, in taxonomic order, the individual samples are separated into 900 cabinets.

Environmental conditions were also critical considerations for the architects. Temperature and relative humidity are set at 16°C and 45-50% respectively, and high-performance blinds perform the dual roles of light and temperature control.

The Solution

The architects specified blinds featuring 203 SilverScreen Vision in a light grey colour throughout the building. Though most are chain operated, as per the requirements of the Herbarium staff, in some hard-to-reach places, motorised blinds were installed.

Constructed from a hardwearing PVC coated fibreglass yarn, and inherently flame retardant, the blinds meet the brief in terms of minimising the bushfire threat. Beyond that, and more importantly, they dramatically reduce heat and glare at the window. To quantify that, the 203 SilverScreen fabric has been shown to carry a solar reflectance capability of 82%. It blocks heat and glare, while at the same time, allowing excellent vision out. In short, they represented the ideal choice for the project.

Project Details

Location: Mount Annan, NSW

Architect:  Architectus

Floor area: 5,000m²

Window Coverings:  Ambience Chain Operated and Automated Roller Blinds

Featured Products:

  • Ambience Multi-Link Roller Blind
  • Ambience Roller Blind

Featured Fabric: 203 SilverScreen Vision – Light Grey