November 2019

GFS blinds were contacted last year by a large Facilities Management company who’s client was moving into a new commercial unit on Bumpers Lane in Chester. Nothing unusual about that. Commercial units generally have plastic roof lights which do let in light but also UV as well as heat in the summer (and heat loss in the winter). The client was a wholesaler of hair and beauty products which can be seriously affected by UV and heat.

Shading Challenge

With no ‘off the shelf’ solution available, the team at GFS set to work designing a custom blind that could be installed to minimise UV and heat transmission into the Unit. Early solution ideas included roof sails which would cover multiple roof lights. However, it was felt that although UV would be minimised, this solution would allow in too much heat.

The Final Design

The final solution was an aluminium frame covered with Solar Reflective Fabric which wrapped around the frame and was spring tensioned on the back to ensure the fabric stayed tight and did not sag. Permission was given by the landlord to fix the blinds to the galvanised steel roof purlins with self drilling screws. 50% scale samples of the design were sent to the FM Agent and the end customer who approved the design.

Survey and Installation

The survey and installation process involved using a scissor lift to get up to the roof lights. The gaps between the purlins was measured with a laser measure. In an ideal world these would all have been identical, however a tight fit was needed and slight variations meant a bespoke blind was needed for each of the 35 roof lights. With 16 screws needed per blind in total 560 screws were used. (I was impressed with my DeWalt driver which managed the whole lot on a single battery).

Surveying the Roof Lights

Before and After

Once the blinds were installed the light and UV was all but eliminated.

Before Installation
After Installation