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Project Highlights

Shades with KOOLBLACK® Technology Complete Office Retrofit for California Architectural Firm

Little Diversified Architectural Consulting, an international architecture and design firm, was faced with a key design challenge when they selected new office space for their LA offices.

E Screen™ KOOLBLACK®
Charcoal | Charcoal - 5%
specifications
Fabric E Screen™ with KOOLBLACK®
Room Type Office
Architect Little Diversified
Location Newport Beach, CA, USA
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Project PDF Digital Sample Card

Little Architectural’s expertise extends beyond architecture, combining human-centric engineering, interior architecture, occupancy planning and applied building technologies to deliver big-picture solutions that boost performance, aesthetics and occupant comfort. Key among these focuses is a keen understanding of the elements such as lighting, heating, traffic flow and more tangibly affect its occupants.

One of the biggest areas of focus: the complex interplay between daylighting and interior lighting. Little takes lighting seriously—all the way down to specifying the correct color temperature for replacement lightbulbs. So it comes as no surprise that the firm stipulated replacement of the old-school dark-tinted glazing in their new offices in Newport Beach, California prior to move-in.

The current façade featured four openings, as well as two doorways, with glazing from the mid-80s that utilized interior-applied dark film to block heat and glare from the sun. While this glazing solution performed as expected, it did little to elevate the interior or exterior aesthetics of the building – a compromise that wasn’t acceptable to the Little Architectural team.

Seeking a cost effective way to optimize daylighting and modernize design, Little stipulated that the glazing on the key front entrances on the east and south sides of the building be replaced with clear glazing prior to move-in. For the sake of aesthetic consistency, the street-facing north and west sides of the building couldn’t be changed.

The building management complied with the request, swapping out the existing glass on the east and south façade while retaining the current framing, allowing the current film to handle the harsh heat from the western façade and retain a modicum of exterior aesthetic consistency.

However, the introduction of clear glazing on the east and south facades created new challenges – increased glare and solar heat gain on the interior, reduced privacy from the exterior, and visual inconsistency with the rest of the building fenestration.

In order to solve all of these challenges, Little turned to solar shading from Mermet.

Having utilized Mermet solar shading in numerous projects, the team knew that black on black E-Screen™ with KOOLBLACK® Technology would be the perfect solution to mitigate all of the newly-introduced issues in one fell swoop.

Following installation of Mermet’s E-Screen™ with KOOLBLACK® Technology, the Little offices were transformed from a space in an outdated office park to a customized location that is a showpiece for the team.

With Mermet, Little realized across-the-board benefits, including:

Glare Reduction – By reducing the amount of visible light transmitted to the interior, direct and reflected glare from glazing or computer screens is dramatically reduced, leading to a more comfortable and productive work environment.

Solar Heat Gain – While dark shades generally absorb more solar energy and trap heat in a building interior, KOOLBLACK® Technology integrates reflective properties of light-colored fabrics into dark-colored fabrics, delivering the aesthetic benefits of dark shades while minimizing solar heat gain to the interior. Little benefits from reduced cooling loads and a more comfortable work environment.

Viewthrough – Little knows the power of establishing connection to the outdoors – a key element of “Well”design that Little advocates – and selected black fabric for its excellent view-through characteristics.

Interior Aesthetics – All of the elements above combine to maximize the interior aesthetics. With optimized viewthrough and solar control, combined with the modern look of black shades, the Little team benefits from an aesthetically beautiful installation that also ensures comfort and productivity.

Exterior Aesthetics – The appearance of black shades from the exterior delivers consistency with the glazing of the rest of the building, without the visual inconsistency of traditional blinds or the “snaggletooth” look that white shades can impart. Plus, with manual control, Little can raise and lower the shades in order to deliver the level of light desired at any point in time.

The new offices are now a major draw for prospective clients and a showcase space for Littles unique brand – and for the unique technology that goes into Mermet’s line of KOOLBLACK® Technology shades.