Shade Specifier Optical Properties Database V1.0

About the database of Solar Shading Materials


To support the development of Shade Specifier the BBSA in conjunction with our partners in the European Solar Shading Organisation (ES-SO) have developed a database of solar shading materials. This database includes independently validated performance data of blind fabrics and materials to European standards so comparison between blind types and materials is simple.  

Manufacturer’s data that are submitted for inclusion to this database have been determined to the requirements of EN 14500 and EN 410. Before being included data are scrutinised and checked by a Peer Review Committee to validate the data and the testing process.

This is an identical process to that used by the glazing industry and is a robust and effective way of ensuring the integrity of the database. The Shade Specifier database calculates the energy performance of blind and shading products when used in combination with reference glazings defined in the European standards EN 13363-1 and EN 14501. All calculations are performed in accordance with the relevant European standards and procedures. Outputs include  

• The total solar energy transmittance, gtot

• Visible transmittance, Tvis

• U-value in W/m2/C

• Shading coefficient, SC

• Shading factor, Fc

• Direct energy transmittance, DET

• Secondary heat transfer, qi  

Calculated results are obtained from the Search Products page of this web-site. Manufacturers submitting data to this database are listed on the Products Summary page.  

Technical information supporting the calculations is provided on the Knowledge Base page.  

The optical and thermal properties of the reference glazings defined in the European standards EN 13363-1 and EN 14501 are shown on the Reference glazings Info page.  

Solar Shading – Traditional Benefits  

The benefits of solar shading have been known for centuries. However, comparison of specific and independently proven performance characteristics of solar shading materials has not been possible – until now. Shade Specifier allows the specifier and building owner to make an informed choice.  

Commercial and Public Buildings  

More stringent building regulations and emissions legislation are forcing designers and developers of new buildings to ensure that they are increasingly energy efficient. However, most commercial and public sector buildings were built when energy was more plentiful and cheaper so tend to be less energy efficient than their modern alternatives.

Solar shading can help improve the energy efficiency of new build and existing stock by helping to control the effect of the sun on the building.

The high and volatile price of energy coupled with concerns over security of supply is forcing us all to investigate ways of reducing consumption but a proven technology already exists – the use of effective solar shading. Blinds have been used for millennia and advances in systems, styles and materials technology ensure that they are even more effective at controlling the sun’s effect on the built environment. When correctly specified and operated, solar shading can help significantly lower energy consumption by reducing heat gains in the summer, heat loss in the winter as well as harvesting daylight but controlling glare.  

Domestic Buildings  

Whilst many specifiers appreciate the benefits of solar shading in reducing summer heat gain blinds and shutters are effective insulators to windows for heat retention in the winter too.

Disclaimer: Every care has been taken in the creation of this database to ensure that the data are correct. However, no warranty is given either expressly or implied as to the exact accuracy of the data . We reserve the right to alter, modify, correct and upgrade the database without notice and without incurring liability. The Shade Specifier database is developed by Sonnergy Limited; UK;