External Blinds

Why External Shading?

Designers, Architects and Engineers now more than ever need to consider the performance characteristics of solar shading, at an early design stage of the building in order to satisfy low energy building requirements.

The Energy Consumption of Buildings Directive totally acknowledged the role of ‘solar protection devices’ in reducing energy consumption.

Here in the UK, we are catching up with the rest of Europe, who have always known the clear benefits of external shading in terms of solar gain. Not only the solar and heat usage improvements, but also the CO2 savings to be gained by specifying the correct products.

Typically energy consumed creates CO2. A building and its services are critical determinants in a CO2 footprint, because they use a significant amount of energy.

The correct usage of solar shading can dramatically reduce the CO2 footprint. It has been concluded by various organisations carrying out studies in this field, that ideally a window should have both internal and external shading.

Internal provides visual comfort e.g. glare control, darkening performance and  external for thermal comfort e.g. solar gain control.

It should be noted that the air space between devices and the glazing also act as a thermal barrier.

It is critical to understand the huge benefits of external shading and the World Green Building Council have indicated this in their publication, Health, Well-being and Productivity in Offices.

You will see that RIBA Awarded properties, like Caring Wood House have external blinds to control heat and glare which results in one of the most eco-friendly passive house designs in the country.

Due to the improved design of modern buildings, that are currently being constructed, buildings are normally well insulated.

As a result, the heat that arises during the day due to users, machines and most importantly solar energy, is retained. One way of reducing this is through use of air conditioning. However, this is extremely expensive to run, and is often noisy and worst of all, has a huge impact on the environment due to high CO2 emissions. One important way to combat this overheating, which is a common and increasing problem in modern day buildings, is to apply shading.

A recent study performed, showed that a newly converted flat with double glazing, with a U value of 1.1, had measurements taken with and without shading and over an extended period showed a significant difference in temperature. The room without shading, reached temperatures of up to 46 degrees, whilst the room with external shading only reached a temperature of 28 degrees.

Although internal blinds do reduce overheating, rooms with External Blinds reduce operating temperatures significantly.

Unfortunately, Air conditioning systems are becoming more and more available and used in Britain. But why “Unfortunately”? It is well known that air conditioning units are very expensive to run, but worse than that, they have a huge adverse effect on the environment. Air conditioning units are not only costly to the environment to manufacture with respect to CO2 emissions, they are even worse when it comes to their use.

Using solar shading, especially external solar shading can effectively reduce the temperature in your building. The benefit of using solar shading is that once they are installed they do not emit CO2, which makes them far more environmentally friendly. As with every product manufactured in the world, there is always associated with it, a CO2 footprint.

However, shading products are of particular benefit when it comes to CO2. For example, a Venetian blind will save around 8.5 tonnes of CO2 over its life cycle – and yet creates only 150 kg of CO2 from production to disposal.

So, when you need to cool down your building, don’t forget to choose a shading device rather than air conditioning.

building doesn’t forget to choose a shading device rather than an air conditioner.

Most internal blinds will control glare to varying degrees.

External Awnings and Smartlouvre systems provide uninterrupted views but still control solar gain as well as glare.

Controlling Glare is about creating a comfortable and pleasant environment in which to function.

We all know, that we as humans, need to feel comfortable with the temperature, when we go about our daily tasks. In the working environment, it is more critical to have the right ambient temperature and a comfortable workspace in order to gain the best performance from our people.

A comfortable workforce will be a more productive one.

By controlling the massive heat build up that the sun creates, through all types of glass, the use of internal and external blinds as a combination, are the best way  forward. In many cases, due to building and window design, only internal blinds can be used. So, they need to be effective in reducing heat caused by solar radiation and ideally reflecting as much as possible.

Many studies by companies like Smartlouvre, have proven this time and time again, and now the BBSA and ES-SO are all pushing hard to educate everyone.  Many tests are being carried out measuring and guiding us as to how to reduce CO2 and highlighting how critical it is to have solar shading products particularly external solar protection devices.

Our products


External awnings

Markilux awning is as unique as you wish. More than 45 awnings with over 250 timeless fabrics and lots of accessories give you the opportunity to create the awning that just fits to you. Lighting, radiant heater, io radio control and much more additional features will enrich your life on the patio and balcony – day and night.

The widest variety of colours and designs. Modern colours, classic designs and patterns. Markilux fabrics are unique. With more than 250 designs, Markilux offers you a selection worth exploring. Design and function in perfection.

Every single Markilux awning combines design, quality and technology to create a unique solution – fitting for your needs. Discover their products and configure your unique Markilux awning.

Hallmark Blinds

External Venetian & Non Retractable Rooflight Blinds

Their specialty at Hallmark Blinds is being able to provide a solution for even the toughest job. They have years of experience as the company, that people go to when they have a unique shading problem. They also sell the standard products but, as can be seen on their website, there are many shading solutions with which most blind makers would lack any knowledge.



MicroLouvre™ mesh is made from miniature woven bronze louvres, only two times thicker than a human hair, angled for optimum sun control, glare and light , it is easily and inconspicuously installed externally on buildings, in lighting units, display cabinets and many other applications.

MicroLouvre™ is normally coated in protective black polyester for a durable, light absorbing finish, almost eliminating re-reflected sun and light but is available in a wide range of colours to suit the application. There up to 700 micro louvres, each only 0.33mm thick x 1.27mm wide, in every metre of mesh.

MicroLouvre™ Solar Screens, on a vertical surface, shade 100% of all direct sun above 40° and blocks 86% of the heat, reducing temperatures, eliminating glare and saving energy, whilst maintaining almost perfect ventilation and outward visibility. MicroLouvre™ is the perfect solution to combat the Greenhouse Effect.


Unique Louvers

The passion of Sunshield is creating effective solutions to manage daylight, avoid glare and control heating by the sun. Regardless of the complexity of your situation or your request, Sunshield ensures a healthy and comfortable indoor environment, with a strong positive effect on the energy balance. Every day and for many years.

For every project, Sunshield creates a unique product. Such a product is applied in a certain way.