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Green Building Bible, Fourth Edition
Green Building Bible, fourth edition (both books)
These two books are the perfect starting place to help you get to grips with one of the most vitally important aspects of our society - our homes and living environment.

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    • CommentAuthorCX23882
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2016
    Has anyone here looked into exterior solar shades for windows in the UK? Do we get enough sun to warrant fitting them, particularly on large south facing windows.

    Compared to solar film, they can be removed in the winter when the solar gain might be desirable. Not all properties are of suitable style for brise soleil or pergolas, which is a different option I was considering.

    My only concern with them is how they are unusual for the uk, so might look a bit odd, since they make the windows appear very dark when viewed from outside.
    • CommentAuthorCerisy
    • CommentTimeJul 31st 2016
    We are a little further south in Normandy, but, yes I included solar shading on our self-build. Taking the angle of the mid-day sun I designed the roof overhang to protect the south facing first floor windows from the heat of the summer sun and a porch along the south elevation for the ground floor windows.

    We occupied the house towards the end of last year and got loads of winter sun - now we're in the heat of the summer we really need the shading with our low mass timber framed house. I despair of people wanting large south facing windows and conservatories - controlling the heat build-up is very difficult and we have to face up to rising temperatures ... allegedly.

    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2016
    I use external roller shutters to control solar gain in summer, in winter it heats my house. They are built into my wide cavities above the windows and computer controlled.

    These are typical in central and Southern Europe ans work very well.
    • CommentAuthorCerisy
    • CommentTimeAug 1st 2016
    We looked at roller shutters too, but considering the cost and shutting out the view meant we stopped with the overhang option. We did intend to fix typically French hinged shutters, primarily for security, but haven't got round to it yet - maybe never? Crime isn't a major issue around here.
    • CommentAuthorCX23882
    • CommentTimeSep 2nd 2016 edited
    I went ahead with the solar screens, externally mounted. The material is Phifer Suntex 80 Black.

    So far I've only got around to making up two of them on the North-West facing elevation (afternoon sun), and initial observations are good. Glare has been massively reduced, so that working in the office in the afternoons means I no longer have to close the blinds. It's not "dark", but more a feeling of it being perpetually overcast. During the daytime looking out is fine, but people can't easily see in. Obviously the mesh isn't remotely invisible, but the view out is still better than through almost-closed vertical blinds!

    I took some temperature measurements. I closed the interior blinds (PVC vertical blinds), on a warm but slightly cloudy day, and measured the temperature of the blind vanes. The vanes in front of the bare non-screened glass were at 30 degrees celcius, compared to those which were shaded, at 25 degrees celcius. Ambient room temperature at the time was 24 degrees. That seems like a good result to me.

    I'm hopeful that the South-East and South-West windows will see an even greater benefit. I've measured internal blind temperatures of 50 degrees celcius, which can't be good for the seals on the double glazed units. I measured 30 degrees celcius in that room, with 22 celcius outside on some days.

    I can take them off in the winter if I want the solar gain, but I find it uncomfortable from spring through autumn, due to the size of windows, so I think I'll just leave them up and avoid the risk of damaging them.

    Making them was simple, one-man job to install as well. I bought the kits from Streme, who supply an aluminium frame.
    • CommentAuthorSwarm
    • CommentTimeSep 4th 2016
    I am thinking of something like this:


    My house is south facing and I'm wondering about sails for the entire ground floor, then maybe even some sort of set up for the first floor, where the sail is only about 2 feet high but spans the width of the window at an angle, so it won't catch as much wind and can be left up for the summer.
    Pergola with a Deciduous Climber (*) or Overhanging Eaves to the angle of the midday summer sun.

    Clematis? Vine? Or a laburnum Walk.

    The people who live with this simple overhang tells me that it works well in summer and winter.

    It ha been there since 1970.

    Sorry - typoes :-(.

    The people .... tell.

    It has been there ....

    Also, the shaded window faces directly south.
    @Simon - did you ever install the sails that you linked to? If so, what do you think of them?

    I'm suffering from over heating in our new build and we have walk on roof lights in our flat roof. I was thinking that a simple shade like the sails you linked to could be a good option for a few weeks in the summer when it is actually a problem.
    • CommentAuthortony
    • CommentTimeJul 5th 2017
    Dust sheets, blankets newspaper, anything on the outside will help
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