The hot and dry summers experienced over the last few years due to climate change have made suitable shading solutions ever more important. However, the standard systems available on the market do not meet individual customer needs either in terms of movement mechanisms or their form. That is why KAV’s engineers are offering customised aluminium shades that reflect contemporary trends in building. Károly Lovász, Managing Director of KAV, provides an insight into these special solutions.
Why are shades and shading technology an important issue for anyone currently building or renovating property in Hungary?
There are two reasons why this is so topical. We are seeing that that the sunny period of the year has become much drier and warmer, and lasts longer, than in the past. Because of this, people who could previously make do with cheap simple methods, such as indoor curtains or exterior shading devices, now need more shading. There has been an explosion on the market for terrace shading as large terraces are being covered with pergolas or textile shade sails. In Hungary in the past – even centuries ago – peasant houses used verandas and small windows to solve this problem: the roof was extended, enabling a mass of shaded air to be created around the building. The other reason, besides climate change, is that there are more and more houses that cannot use traditional types of shading (slats or textiles guided by rails or possibly wires) as there are irregular two or three-dimensional geometrical structures on their façades due to the use of bold minimalist, Bauhaus or other architectural styles. During the past few years, we first had to design and build motorised blinds with rotating slats in front of triangular features, and now shutters have reappeared, which we previously thought had completely gone out of fashion. The latter are typical of the market for renovation.
Have these needs caused the development of customised aluminium shading to take off?
Yes. Because of customer demand, we realised that this was scarce. At a global level, there are few companies offering shading that can design customised solutions for individual geometrical shapes. When a ready-made solution is forced on a unique design, it can never be both attractive and effective. We think in a completely different way – for our shades, just like our doors and windows, we try to construct unique forms and build know-how from standard elements with our characteristic KAV approach. An example in shading is the motorised folding shutter, which is only being manufactured experimentally by a single company for the German domestic market. We are now constructing complete buildings with these solutions. The built-in motorised sliding shutter is now available as standard, while the folding shutter is not. We are now preparing our own product range for other interior and exterior geometrical forms. We would also like to move in the direction of textiles and slats so that we can cover any geometrical shape. The challenge for organic architecture is the amoeba or other organic shape, which can have curved or finely-segmented edges – of how not to provide shading by spreading out square surfaces or canvas, but by offering sun protection and access control through shading solutions designed to truly fit the building.
In this case, does customised means that there is a standard base which can be customised with different solutions, or that you create completely unique shading for every individual façade?
In our view, customised shading means that we work with standard moving, opening and closing mechanisms. These are our own solutions. Then we can operate the movement with different textiles, lamellar surfaces and types of motors. So, for a given façade or roof surface, we complete the overlay in a customised way. The components we use to assemble it are standard but the movement has a bespoke design. You cannot get or even see this elsewhere. With this mindset and method of design, we can provide exterior or interior shading for any type of geometrical shape. Therefore, shading can be varied not only in its colour, surface and structure, but also in terms of its movements – opening, closing and operating. I don’t need to point out that shading should not just be practical but also attractive when it’s closed or open.
Are you also aiming at foreign markets with this solution?
Obviously, the Hungarian market for customised products is limited. In fact, even in the premium sector here, there is an increasing focus on price shopping or on the price-quality ratio. Customised products have added value and service, which requires more energy invested, and this needs to be paid for. So, it’s important for us to target international clients too with these products.