Metal Fabric Serves as Valuable Alternative Material for Daylighting
As builders and architects continue to discover innovative ways to increase energy efficiency in new and existing buildings, they are turning more and more to daylighting as a viable solution for their projects.
At its most basic level, daylighting is the practice of placing windows or other openings and reflective surfaces so that during the day natural light provides effective internal lighting. While it seems a simple enough process, proper daylighting requires creativity and expertise. ‘Finding the light’ is one reason that woven metal fabric has become such a valuable alternative. Providing various amounts of transparency, GKD offers an extraordinary collection of woven metal fabrics designed, engineered and manufactured for use by the architectural community when considering daylighting options.
Woven metal provides a host of benefits specific to daylighting:
- Offers a unique way to control solar heat gain and extreme daylight. By shading a building’s interiors and keeping it naturally cooler, less energy is needed to power HVAC systems.
- Metal fabric allows the transmission of natural light which provides effective internal illumination while reducing related energy costs. This reduces the use of and need for artificial lighting.
- Stainless steel fabric offers strength, durability, design flexibility and increases a building’s overall energy efficiency.
LEED Certification Opportunities
Using metal fabric can also contribute to Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design (LEED) certification points:
- Woven metal fabrics are inherently sustainable; stainless steel does not require a surface coating nor does it require hazardous cleaning products to maintain its finish.
- Because of its transparency, it permits usable natural light for energy savings.
- Metal fabric improves indoor quality. It has the benefit of connecting occupants between indoor and outdoor spaces through daylight and view. This leads to greater productivity, healthier environments and increased airflow and shading.
Another consideration when choosing products for cladding, sunshading or daylighting is the potential obstruction of the building’s architecture. Here again metal mesh fabric is a practical option. The open area of the woven fabric ranges from 0% to 71% open, which ensures visibility from the inside out and allows natural lighting from the outside in.
May 11, 2011