June 04th, 2018
The façade of any building is much more than a means to keep out the elements: it is an expression of the creativity of the designer and sets the tone for its owner and occupants. With the right choice of materials, the building façade can also help to reduce energy consumption in an environmentally conscious world.
Part of the Saint-Gobain’s SHEERFILL® family of architectural membranes, SGM Shade Mesh materials bring creative freedom to designers of façade and shading applications, including custom façades, modular façades and architectural umbrellas. SGM applications can range from a skylight to a stadium: unique and creative designs that enhance the comfort of building occupants by reducing solar heat gain, while still allowing for visibility and airflow. The shade from an SGM installation reduces cooling loads and the diffuse light through the mesh reduces glare and minimizes daylighting needs.
Figure 2 shows the construction differences between SHEERFILL V and SGM fabrics. Both SHEERFILL V and SGM are composite materials made of fiberglass and polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE), and are extremely rugged with operating lifetimes of 40 years or more. In addition, both products offer exceptional fire safety performance, as they are intrinsically non-combustible and generate extremely low levels of smoke.
There are important differences between the two fabrics, however. As befits a roofing membrane, SHEERFILL is a solid material that allows limited light transmission, whereas SGM is a mesh that allows air to circulate through the fabric and transmits more light, up to 55 percent depending on type. The table below compares the mesh sizes and translucency of SHEERFILL V and the SGM product family.
SGM is available in a natural light beige color that quickly bleaches to white when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun; the PB varieties are pre-bleached for use indoors or in environments where there is limited sunlight.
SGM comes in several versions, allowing the designer to tailor the characteristics to the application. SGM-20 PB provides shade for interior spaces, while still allowing diffuse light to enter. With the smallest mesh size, SGM-20 PB also provides significant noise reduction and is rated under ASTM C423.
SGM-30 has a medium mesh for use in both shading applications and as a façade material; it is also available in standard and custom colors. SGM-30 PB is designed for interior shading.
SGM-50 has the largest mesh size, the largest air flow and the greatest translucency.
Complementing architectural roofing membranes, a mesh fabric offers a designer the opportunity to wrap their building in a distinctive façade that is eye-catching, colorful and energy-efficient. Saint-Gobain’s SGM Mesh family of products is part of the SHEERFILL family and is suitable for a wide variety of buildings.
This article was produced by IEEE GlobalSpec.