5 questions to ask to get the most out of your window shades

Draper Solar Shades

Too often, window shades are overlooked in the beginning stages of the design process. To get the most out of your shades, consider them early on when windows, curtain wall, and HVAC are being planned. The sooner in the process you start planning for shades, the more impact they will have.

Here are five questions to ask yourself at the very beginning of the design process to make sure you’re getting the most out of your shades:

Draper Solar Shades

#1: How will shades interact with other building systems?

  • Window shades work with other systems to improve building operation and performance.
  • Motors and control choice can impact electrical wiring, building management systems (BMS), lighting, security, and audiovisual systems.
  • Shade hardware—such as brackets, fascia, headboxes, and channels—can affect acoustical ceilings, perimeter trims, and mullions.
  • The shade cloth combines with window glass to have an impact on solar heat gain, affecting the HVAC system.





Draper Solar Shades#2: What will the space be used for?

  • For healthcare facilities, choose shades with Phifer fabrics containing Microban antimicrobial protection, inhibiting the growth of bacteria, mold, and mildew.
  • For schools, spring roller shades or bead chain clutch operators in rooms where children will be able to reach them should be specified with a cordless hembar or an ANSI/WCMA A100.1 compliant spring-loaded chain tensioner for child safety.
  • Our Mermet and Phifer fabrics are Greenguard and Greenguard Gold certified for low chemical emissions into the indoor air.
  • Office buildings typically feature a lot of glass on their façades. In such settings where people are working on computers and other devices, shades directly affect productivity and worker comfort.




Draper Solar Shades

#3: Who will be using the space?

  • Physicians and others who require privacy for their work may prefer to have blackout shades.
  • Employees working after dark might also prefer blackout shades or a tighter, directional weave for privacy. Basket weaves not only preserve views to the outside, but can allow people outside to see in.
  • We offer shades with fabrics that have the Seal of Approval from the Melanoma International Foundation (MIF) for effectiveness in preventing sun damage to the skin or eyes.





Draper Solar Shades#4: Where will the shades be in relation to the sun?

  • Fabrics like E Screen offer a large range of openness factors, allowing the specifier to adjust light filtration levels for each façade, while keeping consistency of color and weave from room to room.
  • On those windows facing the sun at various times of the day, use the more reflective light colors or E Screen with KoolBlack technology, which allows darker colors to perform like light colors when it comes to heat gain.
  • These windows will also more greatly benefit from being connected to a solar tracking system to keep them properly deployed for maximum effect.





Draper Solar Shades#5: Is sustainability a major design goal?

  • Sustainability is an important factor in design and shades can play a role there, as well.
  • Using window shades to manage daylighting and solar heat gain can reduce dependency on artificial lighting and HVAC systems.
    Draper can provide shades with Mermet’s GreenScreen® Evolve™ and Revive fabrics. Evolve and Revive are both Cradle-to-Cradle Certified™ Bronze and contain Repreve® fibers, made from 100% recycled post-industrial and consumer plastic waste.
  • Shades using Phifer SheerWeave fabrics made with Ecolibrium are a renewable, phthalate-free alternative, offering a more sustainable option, while having the same great performance and feel of current materials. Since it’s mostly from non-fossil fuel-based feed stock, there’s a much lower carbon footprint, as well.
  • Draper also powder coats our shade hardware. Powder coatings contain no solvents and release little or no volatile organic compounds (VOC).