Who does not know it: It is piercingly hot, the air is stuffy and neither at home nor in the office is it bearable. But what can we do about the heat in living spaces? The most sustainable solution for a comfortable indoor climate and against oppressive heat is automated outdoor shading. External blinds, Venetian blinds or roller shutters attached to the window reflect the sun and ensure that the heat does not enter the apartment in the first place. Here, sun protection products have a clear advantage over air conditioning systems when it comes to sustainability. The latter not only consume energy, but also directly contribute to the warming of the urban space through the warm exhaust air. For example, cooling a room by 10°C with air conditioning requires the same energy as heating it by 30°C.
HELLA is one of the leading European suppliers of sun and weather protection technology. How is the idea of sustainability lived in your company?
Andreas Kraler: We have specialised in premium quality and offer customised products for the entire range. We work hard to ensure that our products are simple to operate, digitally controllable, durable and environmentally friendly. For example, our parent plant in Abfaltersbach in East Tyrol is CO2-neutral because we generate our energy renewably via our own hydro power plant and by means of biomass. These efforts are rewarded by our partners and this also has a positive effect on the order status. As a traditional family business, we have also clearly anchored this topic in our strategic planning.
What should people consider in particular when planning sustainable sun protection?
Andreas Kraler: Intelligent sun protection can fully develop its potential if it is integrated early in the planning phase. It is not only about shading and indoor climate, but also about the guidance of daylight, as well as an aesthetic appearance that integrates into the streetscape. Sun protection must become an integral part of climate-efficient buildings in a sustainable city. The integration of digital sun protection is thereby without alternative.
The keyword is digital sun protection. Do sustainability and digitisation go together?
Andreas Kraler: In our case, yes! Systemic sun protection works like passive air conditioning - but is much more environmentally friendly. Sun protection can be controlled easily, using a remote control, an app or via voice control. We have developed our own system that can be connected to all common smart home systems: This lets the sun in only where it is desired. Be it a light-filled room in winter or a cool bedroom on hot summer nights. In addition, our shading systems help to reduce energy consumption when equipped with weather sensors. Then, the app automatically prompts the user to take action based on the weather, no matter where he is.