Innovations in textiles and sun protection

Monday, November 21, 2011

Industry hoping for a further boost to growth at R+T 2012/Energy efficiency and quality of life as the key topics

2011 has so far been a good year for the sun protection and textile industry due to the very sunny spring and the positive economic situation in the construction sector. After a period of caution, the buying mood among consumers could be clearly felt‛, says Gertrud Müller, Managing Director of the Industrial Association for Technical Textiles, Roller Shutters and Sun Protection Systems (ITRS). Even though sales in the summer months decreased slightly on account of the indifferent weather, the ITRS is hoping for an increase in sales that will primarily be boosted by R+T 2012. The leading world trade fair for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems will take place at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 28 February to 3 March 21012. ‚Past experience shows that sales rise after the trade fair. The weather, economic activity in the construction sector and raw material prices also naturally play an important role‛, says Gertrud Müller. The automation, roller shutter and sun protection industry has an average turnover of €2.5 billion and employs a good 20,000 people in Germany. This figure also includes the internal and external sun protection segment.

The industry now primarily relies on individual solutions with energy efficiency as one focal point. Modern and sustainable architecture makes provision for the use of solar energy. Large window areas, which create a connection to the outside world, are now a standard feature, for example in office and administrative buildings or in private houses. ‚Warema is systematically developing ideal sun protection systems. Warema Optisysteme, which were presented for the first time in 2011, are being continuously extended and are characterised by energy efficiency along with important factors such as visual and thermal comfort‛, says Gerhard Mader, Sales Director of WAREMA Renkhoff SE. According to Mader, however, the ideal sun protection product does not exist and the demand is currently for solutions matching the particular beneficial situation. These solutions normally comprise flexible external Venetian blinds or awnings and an internal sun and anti-dazzler protection system combined with an intelligent control unit. High flexibility and progressive automation are clear trends in the planning of climate-active building shells. ‚Together with our partners, we want to hold discussions at R+T 2012 to show how this is possible and how Warema imagines the future of sun protection systems‛, says Mader. He adds: ‚When designing our exhibition stand, we paid close attention to communication and the exchange of opinions and information with our partners. Extremely interesting innovations from all product areas will naturally again be presented. To sum up, it can be said that the role of sun protection in the area of sustainable building must be communicated to a greater extent. Based on the individual aspect of energy conservation, integrated solutions including the feel-good factor are required.‛ According to Mader, it is now necessary to firmly anchor the extraordinarily important contribution by integrated sun protection solutions towards the air-conditioning of buildings in standards and regulations. The industry still has a lot of catching-up to do. Warema is strongly convinced that R+T 2012, as the leading world trade fair for sun protection solutions, will help in this respect.

Consideration of energy-optimised architecture

Martin Egger, Head of Corporate Marketing at STOBAG AG, believes that business success can be achieved through a first-class product portfolio and the provision of market services on time in a flexible manner. According to Egger, purchasing, production capacity and logistics are key aspects for the company. On the product side the Swiss firm is focusing on large facade shades for energy-optimised architecture, terrace roofs with flexible glazing systems, HoReCa weather protection systems, solar technology and integration in building automation systems. With regard to sun and weather protection, the topic of energy conservation and building automation is becoming increasingly more important and planners and architects will require more easy-to-integrate shading solutions in the next few years. Sun protection systems are also frequently used as an individual design element. ‚Thanks to this diversity, we are producing less and less for stock. Optimised and ecologically sound production is therefore vital for a successful future for our company as a worldwide supplier‛, says Martin Egger. ‚The topic of ‘homing’ is very much in vogue. People are spending more and more time in their own garden or on the terrace. They also want to experience this open-air feeling, independent of the weather, from spring to late autumn and are investing in large sun and weather protection systems. We are therefore also enjoying great success with the Terrado glass roof system. This system offers great benefits due to ideally integrated shading, freely selectable side glazing and numerous extension options. The clever design of the Terrado glass roof system and the large number of options guarantee ideal flexibility in planning. The system can be easily installed – almost ‚round the corner‛ - even in complex building situations such as balcony sofffits.‛ Egger is expecting ‚a large number of motivated trade visitors and many interesting contacts and discussions‛ at R+T 2012.

The French textile company Dickson-Constant recognises energy efficiency in sun protection as a trend topic: it is currently focusing on the systematic integration of sun protection systems in public and commercial buildings since sun protection in general and awnings and roller blinds in particular visibly improve the energy performance or rather the energy efficiency of buildings. High-quality sun protection systems on the facade – affixed either inside or outside – regulate thermal build-up and sunlight. With Orchestra Max, Dickson-Constant offers an ideal fabric for use in public areas such as cafés, hotels and restaurants (HoReCa). ‚The material is extremely durable, waterproof and easy to clean. This is especially true of the latest generation‛, says Lars Rippstein, Managing Director of the German branch: ‚Awnings can therefore be used the whole year round, irrespective of the climate conditions!‛ However, Sunworker, a technical sun protection fabric for indoors and outdoors, also definitely belongs to the category of ‚innovation and sustainability‛. Rippstein: ‚This fabric is microperforated, flame-retardant according to fire protection class 1 and extremely resistant to any environmental influences. Sunworker acts like a natural air-conditioning system.‛ The new awning material collection will be presented during R+T 2012 at the Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre and will represent the quality, innovative capacity and technical know-how of Dickson. According to the company, one of its key concerns is to make sun protection more interesting again in the design and renovation of buildings, professionalise specialist retailers and sensitise the general public to the need for suitable sun protection systems.

Colours and design in the sun protection sector are playing an increasingly more important role. However, technical aspects such as cleaning and care or durability are vital for end customers. The sun protection textiles of the Austrian textile manufacturer Sattler AG combine both optics and technical efficiency. Based on previous developments, the company will present at R+T 2012 a fabric whose innovative properties represent the next level of sun protection: ‚The special feature is that it not only looks good, but also contains excellent technical values. The fabric is characterised by higher strengths, soiling resistance and high resistance to water pressure. However, we are not allowed to reveal any more‛, says Markus Szotrell, Managing Director of Sattler GmbH in Deutschland. ‚Our exhibition stand at R+T 2012 will also again be totally eye-catching. Visitors can look forward to some illuminating inspiration – and we are naturally expecting a large number of customers, partners and interested parties. In 2013 Sattler will launch a new collection. We are looking forward to setting new standards in the area of textile sun protection.‛

The terrace as a living area

Dan Schmitz, a member of the Board of Management of Schmitz-Werke GmbH + Co. KG, is delighted with the recovery of the markets even though the situation is not good everywhere, especially in Europe. ‚We resolved to do a great deal and want to intensify our activities. We are relying on a large number of new products in this respect. We have long realised that simple installation and durable products with high design standards are just right for our company and are achieving success on the market‛, says Schmitz. According to Schmitz-Werke, environmental compatibility and energetic properties of products are becoming increasingly more important. That is the reason why there is great interest in materials with new properties. With the terrace as an outdoor living area, there is more demand for design and, thus, a need for matching products in order to create a harmonious overall appearance. This also includes the smooth transition from the living room to the terrace. Thanks to the unique constellation with swela, the textile developer, and markilux, the awning innovator, it was possible to develop both directions in a purposeful and practical manner with extremely user-friendly new results as the outcome. Schmitz is planning to celebrate the world premiere of many new products with its regular and prospective customers at R+T 2012. ‚We are looking forward to everyone who is prepared, with us as a partner, to shape the future together. We are continually working towards this objective.‛

Every three years, R+T is the industry meeting point for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems. Around 800 exhibitors and 60,000 trade visitors from home and abroad are expected at the booked-up Stuttgart Trade Fair Centre from 28 February to 3 March 2012. R+T provides an attractive platform for suppliers, manufacturers and planners to present new trends and developments, forge contacts with customers, suppliers and customers, and establish new business contacts. The trade fair is accompanied by numerous events and technical discussions with renowned speakers.

Pressekontakt: Silvia Stoll | Tel. +49-(0)711 18560-2696 | Fax -2460 |