Measuring up – sash windows

How to do it – for a sash window. The blinds were designed specifically for sash windows, though they work on other windows (see this post). Here is a drawing showing how they fit & which dimensions we need. You can download the instructions as a pdf  (includes photos) here and if you’d like a Word version of the dimension chart to fill in it is available here.

typical sash winow showing where the blind fits

typical sash winow showing where the blind fits

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Background information

As a newly qualified architectural student Katy was involved in super-insulated homes built in the 1980’s, when working for Feilden Clegg Design. In some properties roller blinds were velcroed to window frames, and she has been searching for a better version of this idea ever since.  As a Conservation Officer in the 90’s & a Conservation Architects’ Assistant in the 00’s she worked on many old buildings with sash windows. As these are protected from change, a non-invasive solution to heat loss is needed. The idea of a magnetised edge led to some prototype blinds and thermal testing in late 2010 and by February 2011 the business was ready.

After a period of time during 2010 struggling to import alternative blinds from the US she now makes the thermal blinds in Somerset. The workshop is a converted school toilet building, fondly known as The LoobyLoo.

Thermal blinds in retrofit projects

We have supplied thermal blinds for five of the Retrofit for the Future properties, a national programme of whole-house refurbishments on a wide range of typical UK homes funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).

blind folded

Prince Rupert Road thermal blind fitted

The aim is to cut CO2 emissions by 80% & establish which specifications are best and most cost-effective for each type of home. A virtual meeting with Mark Elton, Associate Director and Head of Sustainability at ECD architects at the Sustainability Now conference gave us the opportunity to discuss how thermal blinds might be used where the existing windows couldn’t be replaced with high performance new windows. Continue reading

Retrofit for the Future

We are collaborating with Mark Elton at ECD Architects on the Retrofit for the Future project run by the Technology Strategy Board and are fitting the blinds in five properties in 2011. The blinds will be tested by the National Physics Lab in their hot-box test and the five homes will be monitored for performance by Wattbox for the Energy Saving Trust over a two year period.  Dr Steve Lo at Bath University is planning a paper with data from the tests.

NPL hot box

National Physics Lab hot-box equipment

The TSB Retrofit project includes for hot-box testing at the National Physics Lab which will give us empirical data to establish likely fuel savings and pay-back periods for the blinds. Steve Lo is working with us on a joint journal paper using these results. Initial test results can be seen here.

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Ecobuild Innovation Zone 2011

A fantastic opportunity came our way! We have been chosen to be part of the Innovation Future Zone at Ecobuild from 1st – 3rd March 2011.  The Technology Strategy Board, Modern Built Environment Knowledge Transfer Network and EPSRC (Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council) are joining forces to bring their Innovation future zone competition back to Ecobuild for a second year.  The Zone will showcase shortlisted competition entries of new or near-to-market technologies relevant to the priority areas of energy efficiency, refurbishment, climate change adaptation and process efficiency, and the winning entry will be announced on the final day of Ecobuild. You can see all the entries & [could] vote HERE.

Download our Exhibition Sheet here.

So please come along to Ecobuild at Excel on London docks & search out our ‘plinth’ in the Innovation Future Zone. You can download a plan of the exhibition here. We will be on stand N421, just above entrances N1 & N2 & the Saint Gobain stand.

Innovation Future Zone at Ecobuild

Ecobuild is the world’s biggest event for sustainable design, construction and the built environment and the UK’s largest construction event of any kind. The Thermal Blind Company will be exhibiting at stand N421. Ecobuild runs from 1-3 March 2011 in ExCel London. More information: