The right set of window treatments does more than simply provide a respite from the sun’s glare; they contribute to the desired aesthetic of offices, hotels, restaurants, or other workspaces keeping employees and customers cool, while protecting furniture from sun damage along with a host of other truly undervalued benefits. But, have you ever stopped to think about everything you might need to consider when shopping for commercial roller shades? In the event you haven’t, we’ve put together a list of a few things to keep in mind when selecting window coverings that are best suited for your business.
Commercial Safety and Building Codes
As a business owner, one of your primary responsibilities is ensuring the safety of those entering your workspace, whether they are employees, customers, or vendors. With that in mind, you’ll need to consider the design of, and the method in which your window coverings will be installed. Some questions to consider include: Will your chosen shades and mounting choice hinder evacuation in the event of an emergency? Are the materials selected flammable or do they offer fire retardant qualities? These factors should be discussed with your contractor as well as the manufacturer of the blinds so that you can be certain the product won’t be a detriment to safety.
You should also be aware that different jurisdictions may have different building codes which could impact the decision on how your window coverings are installed. Remember that if done incorrectly (based on the building codes in your area), you could be liable for certain penalties and fines. It’s always best to reach out to your municipal, or provincial regulators to ensure your installation is in compliance with all applicable laws.
Commercial Room Comfort
If you’ve seen an employee or customer actively lower a shade or remove an outer layer of clothing, it’s a fair guess that your workspace is nowhere near optimal comfort. The comfort of a workspace is the primary reason to invest in window treatments, but you should know that “room comfort” is generally comprised of the following elements:
- Controlling the light. How much light needs to be blocked from the space? Some businesses require near complete darkness, while others need only partial opacity. Ask your team for their input on how much light is optimal for them to complete their tasks.
- Window positioning. Consider the direction in which the windows in question are facing. East and west-facing windows receive a considerable amount of direct sunlight so you may need to choose a material that is a bit more robust than you would for any north or south-facing windows.
Commercial Room Design
Much in the same way you wouldn’t choose appliances or furniture that clashed with the existing elements in your home, your window treatments, including commercial roller shades, should complement your workspace’s aesthetic (or at the very least, be subtle enough so as not to clash with it). The window coverings you choose should look like they belong in the space, opposed to a last-minute addition added as an after-thought. If you have the opportunity to design your workspace from scratch, take advantage of the blank slate and dig into some of the current trends and fresh concepts being implemented in contemporary workspaces across the country. If you need a hand getting started, consider the following design elements:
- Colour – Consider choosing colours that are part of the brand identity of your business or those that are complementary.
- Pattern – Subtle patterns or elaborate ones, either is fine provided it matches the aesthetic already in place. Minimal patterns are clean, while complex ones add visual interest to the space.
- Fabric – Commercial window coverings tend to be made using thicker fabric due to the noise dampening and light blocking qualities. Be mindful that thicker fabrics tend to be more difficult to clean and may not provide the soft finish you’re going for.
Commercial Light Control
Maintaining light control is one the most important pieces of criteria that needs to be considered when choosing commercial window treatments. Many spaces need a balance to be struck between the amount of light needed in order to complement the space’s aesthetic and the amount necessary to keep the space comfortable and conducive to work. Regardless of which wins as being the most important consideration, your commercial window coverings should be flexible enough to meet either objective as needed. Here’s a list of which products offer the most light control:
- Cellular shades
- Roller shades
- Aluminum blinds
Naturally, the investment required to update all your window coverings may be considerable, depending on the number of windows that need to be covered and the solution you choose. With this in mind, take some time to calculate the long-term energy savings that can justify one solution over another. More than a third of the heat that enters your workspace comes through the windows. Ideally, you want your window coverings to create a barrier around the window so as to mitigate the amount of heat that is allowed to permeate into the space. With that in mind, what do you look for? First, look for a product that has a high R-Value. This value is a measure of the amount of heat that passes through a shade. The higher the R-Value, the greater its heat blocking abilities. As roller shades are ideal for limiting solar transmittance since there are no breaks in the material, there are many fine choices from which to choose, so you shouldn’t feel as though your choices are limited.
Durability and Sustainability
The current trend associated with modern window coverings is one of durability and sustainability. Consumers don’t want to invest in a solution that will need to be replaced in a few short years, nor do they wish to spend money on something that will cause harm to the environment once it’s discarded. While there are certainly options available on the market that don’t adhere to these trends, there are plenty of options that are designed to last many years and can be recycled when no longer needed. Look for green window treatments made from natural, biodegradable materials that are just as energy efficient as their non-green counterparts.
When choosing the right window coverings for your workspace, it’s important to find the solution that checks all the right boxes. Whether your priority is reducing solar transmittance, lowering heating and cooling costs, or simply style, know that there is the perfect commercial window covering out there for you. To begin your search, be sure to check out Elite Pro Shading’s commercial roller shade options today.