A well-designed fabric awning or canopy impacts building energy use.
The benefits of fabric awnings go far beyond aesthetic appeal. They offer energy saving benefits as well as protecting furniture, floors and carpets from fading caused by harsh sunrays.
You can actually feel the energy saving benefits. In a typical building, more energy is lost through glass doors and windows than through any other construction element. In fact, on a hot day, more energy comes through one square foot of glass than through an entire insulated wall. Solar radiation through glass is responsible for approximately 20 percent of the load on an air conditioner. Window films and lightly tinted glass effectively reduce heat gain, as well as glare. Properly designed awnings accomplish the same purpose and substantially increase energy saved over the film and tinted glass alternatives.
Studies by the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers show that during the period of the day when the sun shines directly on southern facing windows, a fabric awning reduces heat gain by 55 to 65 percent. For western exposure, the reduction in heat gain is 72 to 77 percent.
You will want to consider all angles when selecting awnings for your business. Style, venting and color selection all effect the energy saving performance of the awning.
It’s important to select a style that will accommodate how much the sun penetrates the windows. For southern and western exposure, sides may need to be added to the awnings for additional protection. For northern and eastern facing windows, less protection is necessary. Seasons will also make a difference. In order to take advantage of the sun’s warmth on cooler days, some awnings are designed to be retracted. Further, awning can be designed to accommodate the opening of casement windows.
The awning’s design could create more air circulation to dissipate heat build-up. Select a shape that best suits the windows being protected as well as the orientation of the windows.
Color choice and types of material are important energy-saving considerations. Awnings with low solar-absorbing surfaces (white) maintain temperatures closer to the outdoor air temperature. As a result, air temperature under the awnings isn’t raised appreciably. Awnings that absorb solar radiation (dark colors) may need to be vented to reduce radiation and heat build-up underneath the awning.
Brand your business with a fabric awning or canopy.
With a vast color palette and a myriad of design options, fabric awnings and canopies enhance visual appeal. Incorporate your logo, company colors and other distinctive architectural details into your building design with the help of an awning or canopy.
A multitude of customization options afford you the ability to create an iconic image for your exterior as well as provide shade and shelter.
Your awning professional can help you design an awning that fits your corporate image, helps you promote business and sets your building apart from the competition.
Signage – Color – Customization – Quality – Durability
Take advantage of the visibility of your fabric awning or canopy to provide commercial signage for your business. Using advanced technology, a PAMA professional can provide complex multi-color logos and detailed fonts and text to add special affects to your awning.
Awning graphics can be applied through a variety of methods:
Digital printing is the method of using computers to create and manipulate digital files with the use of one or more of the many graphics software programs available. Pixels (dots) on a field are arranged, colored and manipulated until the desired image is perfected and then is reproduced on a physical surface such as paper, film or cloth using any one of a wide range of printers specifically designed to accept and transfer (inkjet, laser, etc) such images.
There are two types of digital printing: direct and dye sublimation. Dye sublimation printing is performed by first printing the image onto paper and heat pressing it into the fabric. Direct digital printing is printed onto paper backed fabric, the color is set with steam, then the fabric is washed and dried. Some printers are now available to print onto fabric up to π-inch thick, eliminating the need for paper-backed fabric.
Handpainting is the most traditional and often the most economical method of applying graphics. Handpainting the graphics directly onto the awning, with materials selected specifically for fabrics, can provide a customized effect to any awning. When two-color effects are required, many manufacturers recommend spray-on air brushing methods, which can achieve color blending or shading. Typically graphics are drawn onto the awning and then blocked out with a masking compound. The entire awning is then spray painted in one or more colors, while the awning is on the frame. This method produces an even consistency of paint application and a smooth finish.
Awnings can be decorated through the use of a heat color-transfer method, which utilizes a vacuum applicator to adhere color to the fabric. Any number of colors can be applied simultaneously, as pigments and resins are embedded into the fabric. Colors are actually baked into the fabric, creating bold color separation.
Simple to moderately complex graphics can be applied with great accuracy through the use of pressure-sensitive vinyl films. The films are cut by hand or by computer to a desired design and then placed in the proper register on the fabric.
Eradicating is usually used for illuminated awnings. It involves eliminating, with special chemical, an existing color from a white vinyl fabric that has been precoated at the factory with eradicable inks.