Click the book icon to navigate table of contents
swipe left & right
to navigate
Click the book icon to navigate
table of contents
Click here for
previous articles
Click here for
next articles
Scroll Down for
Feature article


Case Study


Innovative sunscreen enhances luxury home

A new luxury home in Sydney required custom-made window coverings that would permit a view to a lap pool and an expansive garden. Dawn Adams reports.

The Sydney suburb of Ramsgate Beach provided the setting for a new luxury home with generous windows that spanned 26 metres in a downstairs living area. The home owner had specific requirements for these windows that were designed in an L shape, with one section looking onto the lap pool and the other onto the garden setting.

Excellent visibility was sought to enable a view to the lap pool, as well as a reduction in heat transfer through the windows. Suitable for both purposes was a new energy efficient dark sunscreen fabric called KOOLBLACK.

The fabric
This new fabric was developed after Mermet USA joined forces with the BASF chemical company in 2007 to develop KOOLBLACK Technology for window shades. This technology enhanced the energy reflectivity for dark coloured yarn by increasing its near infrared reflection (NIR). It enabled the energy efficiency of dark sunscreen fabrics to reach levels comparable with light colours while retaining inherent benefits such as superior view through and exceptional glare control.

Mermet marketing manager Jennifer Elmer says its Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) is similar to a light coloured sunscreen fabric.  “SHGC is a factor that shows how effective a glazing system, glass and window covering, is at blocking heat from solar radiation,” she says.  “The lower the SHGC, the higher the protectionfrom heat gain.  In fact, KOOLBLACK shows up to 23 per cent improvement in SHGC compared to standard dark screen fabrics.”

Blinds In Style produced the window coverings working with the home owner to plan for their installation in the Techton Group-designed home.

“We decided the blind should sit in a cavity rather than be mounted on the wall or ceiling,” says Kirk Fitis, interior design manager and business partner. The cavity needed to be a sufficient size for the blind to rotate and to accommodate the fabric when it was completely rolled up.

Plans were also made to incorporate the electrical work, required to motorise the blinds, during construction. “If you’re building a lovely home, the last thing you want are chains hanging around,” he says.

Blinds In Style produced 12 roller blinds in four metre drops to accommodate the high ceilings. The blinds were either three metres wide or two metres wide and installed to present a symmetrical, balanced appearance.

From factory to completion, production took three weeks after the final measure with installation completed in a single day in December last year.

The Somfy motors were programmed on site with three sets of two blinds each linked together.  A multi-channel remote was also used to enable the individual operation of the blinds. A group channel was also provided to ensure all the blinds could be raised or lowered at the same time.