Households and businesses of all sizes can take advantage of another important way of saving energy with all the positive implications this has for both climate change and more directly for their financial budget. A conclusion which also emerges from the proceedings of the general assembly of ESSO, the European Organization of Shading Systems, which was recently held in Athens on the occasion of the inclusion of the newly established Association of Greek Shading Companies, reports APE-MPE.

But how are shading systems defined? What are the growth prospects in Greece? Can they only be applied to newly built buildings and residences?

According to informational material released to the public, shading systems protect building facades from solar radiation and its effects. They are distinguished in internal and external shading systems: External shading systems such as awnings, pergolas and external blinds and roller shutters. Internal shading systems such as blinds and roller blinds. Also, they can be static, manual or with automatic operation and sensors (intelligent systems). Smart systems also have the possibility of self-protection such as e.g. from the air, due to their sensors. They are very easily applied to new and existing buildings with the exception of traditional settlements, historical buildings, monuments and neoclassical buildings. The prospects of shading systems in Greece, according to the Association’s estimates, are particularly positive due to the climate crisis and increasing warming that make the need to protect homes and commercial buildings imperative. Shading systems also cover to a great extent the development of tourism: shading is a necessary condition for the need to shade the external spaces in hotels and places of recreation and catering.

Incorporating solar shading to combat global warming

As global warming accelerates, reliable research and studies lead to the conclusion that shading is shaping up to be one of the safest, most efficient and most reliable solutions to manage heat absorption for buildings of all types. In particular, according to a study presented at the general assembly (Guidehouse study), the days required to use air-conditioning annually in Europe by 2050 will have increased by 30%, while at the same time the need for energy consumption can be reduced by 60% for cooling with the parallel use of an automated shading system. Also 58% can be reduced carbon dioxide emissions (up to 100 megatons less by 2050) if a shading system is used along with air conditioning. Energy cost savings between 2020 and 2050 due to the active use of shading systems in Europe could reach 28%.
According to the Association, for households and businesses the main benefits of shading are saving money on energy by improving the energy efficiency of the building, protecting ourselves and our building from harmful UV rays. Also the acceleration of thermal comfort, by maintaining the temperature at better levels and of course the contribution to the reduction of harmful greenhouse gases.

Up to 60% savings on cooling needs in summer – Investment cost

As the president of the Association of Greek Shadowing Companies, Giorgos Papamichail, reports to APE-MPE, Greece, as a Mediterranean country, is among the countries on the front line in dealing with the challenges of the climate crisis. Especially in the summer months, the cooling needs of commercial buildings and residences will constantly increase in large urban areas, such as Athens and Thessaloniki, so that the living conditions of their occupants are bearable. The intelligent shading systems, through the new Smart Home technology, ensure that they are correctly adjusted to the ideal position every time, so as to protect the facades of the buildings from solar radiation to the maximum extent. In this way, their contribution is extremely positive: through natural cooling, the need for air conditioning is reduced and, by extension, energy savings are achieved, with all the positive implications this entails for the ordinary resident. The mission of the Association of Greek Shading Companies is to quantify these benefits and make them understood as soon as possible by the experts involved in the specification and integration of technical applications (such as architects, energy engineers) in modern buildings. With a low cost, a great energy benefit will result, says the president of the Association.
The cost varies depending on the surface area that the interested party wishes to cover. For example, in order to cover a simple window with an electrically powered shading system, eg from a blind or roller that ensures increased protection from solar radiation, the cost can start from 350-400 wide, according to estimates. The cost increases according to the size of the surfaces we wish to cover. The payback time of the investment depends on the degree of energy savings achieved in each building. The right combination of insulation & application of shading systems in a building can lead to up to 60% energy savings for its cooling needs during the summer. Of course, this also depends on the geographical location and orientation of the building. Also, the “smart” shading systems contribute to maximum savings as they adjust their position at any time so that the building is better protected from solar radiation.

The conclusions from the General Assembly

They are summarized in the main directions and actions of the organization with a three-year horizon, with an emphasis on the action plan for 2024:
-The realization of the World Shading Day on March 21, 2024 with the support of all the National Shading Associations of the European countries. The goal is the wider dissemination of the organization’s central message for energy saving & thermal comfort through the “intelligent” management of shading systems on building facades.
– The strengthening of funding for the implementation of scientific research and studies so that the significant contribution of shading systems to the energy efficiency of buildings can be proven with valid and reliable results.
-Strengthening the investment in professional training and education of ESSO with the main target of the construction industry (shading industry professionals and engineers).
-The systematic and coordinated action of exerting influence by ESSO and the National Shading Organizations in order to achieve the technical integration of Shading Systems in the European Energy Performance of Buildings Directive (EPBD). The aim is to play a leading role in the overall Energy saving and in the reduction of the corresponding emissions of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in the environment.