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Interwoven with layers of functional and decorative art, Waitakere Central showcases the latest sustainable building techniques

Smart meets art

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Despite the obvious attractions of direct sunlight, on a practical level heat and glare are common workplace distractions and harmful UV rays can reduce the lifespan of many timbers and furnishings.

To prevent the penetration of direct sunlight into the council chamber, and into other areas of the civic centre, a motorised double-blind system was designed and installed by New Zealand Window Shades. The Luxaflex system offers two shading options – one blind, made from translucent fabric, reduces glare and heat transfer and provides shade from the sun. The other offers a total block out, says Kim Jarman, commercial division manager for NZ Window Shades, the distributor of Luxaflex.

"The mechanical system allows precise control over natural lighting in the council chamber. The first layer of translucent fabric reduces glare and heat transfer, protecting the interior from UV rays. Lowering the second blind provides an ideal environment for presentations," she says.

Luxaflex blinds can be controlled by a number of methods, but in this instance the mechanical blind system was integrated with the centre's building management system. This means the blinds can be operated remotely from a laptop computer. Integration with the building's C-Bus control system also means the blinds can also be preprogrammed to close at the times of the day when direct sun is most intense.

For more information, contact New Zealand Window Shades, PO Box 12-785, Penrose, Auckland, phone (09) 574 2200, fax (09) 573 6198. Email: salesandmarketing@nzwindowshades.co.nz, website:www.luxaflex.co.nz .

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First published date: 20 September 2006

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