Top Two Automated Shade Systems for LEED

Did you know automated window shades can play a significant role in creating a sustainable design for your commercial space or office building?

Automated shade systems adjust with the movement of the sun to reduce solar heat gain and glare while optimizing daylighting. With its increase in energy efficiency, while boosting occupant satisfaction through daylighting, automated shade systems are an ideal design for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) or green buildings.

LEED provides organizations a model to create healthy, highly efficient and cost-saving green buildings. LEED certification helps to identify how environmentally friendly and sustainable a building really is. In order to receive LEED certification, buildings must have a sustainable design that incorporates the following:

  • Water efficiency
  • Energy efficiency
  • CO2 emission reductions
  • Indoor environmental quality

If your organization is looking to receive LEED certification, an automated shade system can contribute points for energy savings and controllability of lighting systems by:

  • Maximizing the use of natural light
  • Maximizing heat retention during the winter months
  • Reducing solar heat during the summer season

Here are the top automated shade systems software for LEED to consider to create a more sustainable building:

Hyperion solar-adaptive shading by Lutron Hyperion solar-adaptive shading software automatically adjusts window shades throughout the day in response to the changing position of the sun. As a result, this automated software increases energy savings and comfort while also reducing glare. Hyperion can also lower the load on a building’s HVAC system to further reduce energy consumption.

SolarTrac by MechoShades SolarTrac is an automated shading system designed to maximize natural daylight. This automated shade system increases energy efficiency while providing a comfortable environment and views to the outside. Using the sun’s positions, SolarTrac can automatically adjust shades to protect against solar-heat gain, brightness, and glare saving up to 70% in lighting costs.

If you are interested in learning more about any of the window treatment products listed above, please click here or give us a call at 781-332- 3030 to visit our Boston showroom and experience these solutions firsthand.

Ver-Tex Shading Solutions and Suffolk Install Shades at Northeastern University’s $225 Million Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex

Boston, MA Over the last decade, Northeastern University has become a strong research university, requiring new facilities to attract and host world-class researchers. This year, Northeastern opened the doors to the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Complex (ISEC), a six-story open-air science and research building. The new $225 million facility will expand the university’s research capabilities for its students and staff across a range of fields such as community resilience, cybersecurity, coastal sustainability, and even drug delivery.

The facility was designed by the architectural firm Payette. Northeastern also worked with Ver-Tex Shading Solutions to design and install window treatments for the new glass walls surrounding the six-story, sky-lit atrium addition. Ver-Tex worked with Suffolk Construction to install large motorized shades and draperies during the project.

“One of the things this building will do is provide opportunities, space, for undergraduates to do research,” Olin Shivers, a Northeastern professor of computer science, said.

Located on Columbus Ave., the building features offices and lab space to accommodate 700 faculty members and students. The new facility also has a conference center with a 280-seat auditorium, staging area, cafe, and room for 200 seated dinner guests.

ISEC is on track to obtain gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) as part of Northeastern’s commitment to sustainability. With the help of Ver-Tex, the facility’s motorized shades and draperies will maximize natural daylight throughout the building while also minimizing heat gain, reducing energy costs and consumption.

Ver-Tex executive vice president Brianna Goodwin said, “We are thrilled to work with universities and other established institutions to help create spaces that cultivate exciting ideas and research. After such a successful project, we look forward to future opportunities with our partners that can similarly foster growth and academic achievement.”

By partnering with Ver-Tex to provide the latest in manual and motorized shading technology, Northeastern’s new research center will continue to encourage more student collaboration, foster new and innovative research, and help the university’s initiative toward sustainability.

This article was originally posted on the New England Real Estate Journal.

Lawrence Fagan

Born in Weymouth, Ma in the early 1990’s Lawrence spent most of his early days chillin’ out maxin’ relaxin’ all cool and shooting some b-ball outside the school. He graduated from Lasell College in Newton, Ma with a degree in Business Management; and was also a member of the men’s soccer team. A lifelong sports fanatic and washed up college athlete who now focuses on building strong relationships in and out of the workplace. When Lawrence isn’t giving 110% at work he loves golfing, playing soccer, candlepin bowling, and heading to the beach with friends. His future dreams and aspirations include owning a beachfront property, a thoroughbred racehorse, and becoming a father. His guilty pleasures include; watching unnecessary amounts of food network, 80’s love ballads, and scrolling Instagram for the best memes.

Curtains or Blinds? Choosing the Right Window Treatments

When addressing how to dress your naked windows, the decision between curtains and blinds can be trickier than you think, say the experts. That’s because selecting an ideal window treatment for a particular room in your home will depend on many variables and personal preference.

All of the top options — curtains, drapes, blinds and shades — are intended to accomplish the same thing: create extra privacy and add a decorative and stylish look to the room. But making the wrong choice can create an esthetic eyesore and functional faux pas. Picking carefully, on the other hand, can help elements in the room harmonize and result in greater satisfaction.

“Using curtains or draperies in a room is usually more of a decorative treatment employed in more traditional settings, unless you choose to cover the windows with full traversing drapes for privacy or light and sound control,” says Brianna Goodwin, CEO of Ver-Tex Shading Solutions in Boston.

“Blinds typically solve more light control and privacy issues in areas where that’s more important and are often used in less formal or more contemporary applications.”

Debbie Clifton Perez, owner of Tampa, Fla.-based Tweak Your Space, says she usually prefers curtains or drapes.

“They’re a great way to add colour or texture and help with the acoustics in a space. They can be made with sheer fabrics that let more light in, standard weight fabrics, or drapes with blackout lining to make a space darker and quieter,” Perez says.

Kymberlyn Lacy, owner of International Flair Designs in Little Rock, Ark., meanwhile, is big on blinds and other hard treatments, “such as Roman shades for extra privacy,” she says. “Two-and-a-half-inch horizontal blinds are considered pretty standard in room design, but vertical blinds are making a comeback since the addition of different textures and features like two-way mechanical panels operated by remote control.”

To help narrow down your choice, Maria Elena Holguin, designer with Robb & Stucky in Coral Cables, Fla., says it’s important to answer key questions.

“What is the purpose of the room, how will it be used, what is the view and to what extent do you want to block it, and are there any children, pets or people with special needs?” Holguin asks.

In the bedroom, Perez and Lacy recommend heavy drapery panels to reduce noise and control the amount of light. Alternatively, consider room darkening blinds with drapery side panels, suggests Holguin, who advises blinds only if you have a spectacular view.

“Living and family rooms are often used for TV or movie watching, in which case room-darkening blinds may be the best choice,” Goodwin says.

Then again, “blinds tend to be less formal in the family or living room, so I would recommend drapes,” Perez says.

If you have a formal dining room, Holguin says drapes add a classy touch, “but if you have a more casual dine-in space, blinds only or blinds with side drapery panels are best,” she adds.

Blinds are also ideal for kitchens and bathrooms “because they’re more resistant to stains, odours and absorbing moisture,” Perez says.

To help settle the horizontal vs. vertical blinds debate, consider that “vertical blinds should be used in more contemporary rooms on larger windows,” including sliding glass doors, Goodwin says. Horizontal blinds are preferred almost everywhere else.

Whatever treatment you choose, be sure the colours, textures and materials mesh with your room’s contents.

“I like blinds to flow with the floor or wall colour, while drapery fabrics should flow with other fabrics used in the room,” Holguin says.

To measure correctly for blinds or curtains, first decide whether the window treatments will be mounted inside or outside the window frame.

“Most curtains or draperies are installed outside the window opening, whereas blinds can be installed either way — depending on the depth of the window,” Goodwin says.

“To create a formal look, curtains should pile on the floor or skim the top of the floor, covering the baseboard. To create the illusion of a larger window, extend the hardware three to four inches beyond the outside of the window frame, and add up to five inches of fabric on both sides of the window for maximum privacy.”

Measuring for blinds can be a bit more complicated. For tips, visit

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