Joel Schlesinger © Postmedia Network Inc.
Your grandparents’ drapes, they’re not.
Neither are today’s window coverings for commercial buildings the typical blinds that you must adjust manually to cut out the sun’s glare. Rather, the most advanced window coverings are increasingly a key component of the most energy-efficient commercial buildings.
“Designs for buildings are more sophisticated, diverse and non-traditional while seeking to meet new energy-efficiency goals like net zero,” says Jamie Ferguson, vice-president of window coverings division at RGO. “With that comes a set of different requirements for window coverings.”
RGO is a trusted leader in Alberta for providing solutions for commercial buildings from furniture to flooring options and, of course, window coverings.
Increasingly, it works with architects, engineers and others involved in large-scale developments from the get-go to provide window covering solutions central to their design, especially from an energy-efficiency perspective.
“More and more of these professionals understand that window coverings are not just an esthetic consideration,” Ferguson adds. “They’re actually a technical part of the overall building and have an impact on its function.
“The shades are often driven by a motor often connected to a controller tracking the sun’s movement with exterior sensors that then adjust the shades to an optimum position for natural light while also reducing glare and solar heat gain.”
Ferguson adds RGO has been a key partner on many local projects in the city, including the redevelopment of the McKimmie Complex at the University of Calgary — one of the most energy-efficient buildings on Canadian campuses. Yet technology and energy efficiency aside, occupants’ comfort is central to RGO’s window covering enterprise.
“Obviously, if you have blazing sun right in your face, that’s not good,” he says.
However, the negative effects are often more subtle, yet equally impactful.
“Having to adjust your eyes constantly to different light levels leaves you more fatigued,” Ferguson adds.
In turn, the best window coverings adjust automatically so employees’ eyes do not become strained, helping them be at their best.
“Companies’ biggest expense is their people so you need them feeling their best,” he says. “So ensuring the workplace environment is comfortable is very important, and window coverings are a key piece of that.”
This story was created by Content Works, Postmedia’s commercial content division, on behalf of Calgary Economic Development.