Commercial properties, as building owners are well aware, come with a range of issues in terms of light management and external design situations. In most cases, a combination of internal and external features like roller blinds and sunroofs or retractable awnings is used as a basic layout, providing the design features as well as the functional effects.
Tip #1: What you need and where you need it – Planning
Design is all about planning and dealing with practical requirements, simultaneously. The most common uses for blinds, sunroofs and awnings are all related to specific lighting and environmental issues. Designers study the entire layout, and then formulate the combination of types of screen into a single design.
Tip#2: Design and function in practice
The basic issue in terms of finding the right style for any building are color, shape and placement. Many commercial buildings, like office blocks, are basically a collection of different functions, styles of décor and tastes. It’s often necessary to construct your design like a layer cake.
- In a building with a retail area at the ground level and offices above, you’re dealing with very different environments with different needs.
- The retail area has outdoor cafés and a need to make use of valuable external space.
- The office floors are completely different environments, requiring shade and screening in some areas, and light in others. Some parts of the offices are shielded from natural light at times by an adjoining building.
- The upper floor, where building administration is situated, has all round facing, is above the other building, and needs seasonal screening from the summer sun on two sides.
- A retractable awning is used on the retail level to cover the valuable external areas.
- The office floors are given appropriate translucent blinds, suitable for all lighting requirements.
- The upper floor is provided with adjustable sunroofs, which can be adjusted for seasonal screening.
Tip#3: Color and style issues
Most buildings have unique design characteristics which require that a lot of thought has to go into interior and exterior screening. Color and style can make a huge difference to the visual presence of any building.
Professional designers are also consultants. They spend a lot of time checking out the client’s preferences to ensure that they’re happy with the new design concepts. This process is sometimes called “design therapy”, because it’s a way of improving the premises and providing a good working environment.
Design has a lot to do with how the users of a building, customers and employees alike, perceive their jobs and their businesses. A corporate client, for instance, naturally prefers a stylish, modern place of business. A customer for a retail business is sensitive to the general appearance of a shop, and more inclined to spend in a nice environment.
Blinds, awnings and screens directly affect lighting. That means they also directly affect the perceptions of clients and customers. If you’re considering design changes to your building, or looking at options for your business, it’s a good idea to talk to designers about blinds, sunroofs and awnings before you make a financial commitment.