Sunpro Enterprises: Exterior shutters and awnings absorb save energy costs for Passive House projects


Canadian Design and Construction Report special feature

Sunpro Enterprises supplies key components for Passive House projects: Shutters and awnings, including rollshutters, patio covers, exterior venitians and rollscreens and patio covers.

Owner Jorg Volmar says the most effective way to keep a building cool is to avoid the sun hitting the glass, something European designers have known and embraced for decades.“Interior blinds and window covers are not as effective because they still allow the sun to warm the glass, creating solar heat gain, and that heat radiates in.”

He says exterior covers and shades will absorb, reflect and re-emit up to 95 per cent of the total solar radiance. Some structures with large expanses of sun-facing glass have reported lower air conditioning cost by more than 50 per cent. “Exterior shading devices are not only environmentally friendly but can also pay for themselves in energy cost savings.”

Exterior shades and shutters he says, also provide a high degree of privacy and shutters may offer the added benefits of security and storm protection.

“Our exterior venetians are an aluminum profile, similar to an interior venetian but bigger. Guide rails stabilize it against wind and weather.”

These motorized units can be raised and the angle of the louvres adjusted for full control over natural light coming into the building and so they can be fully retracted at times when full sun and heat gain may be desired. “Such flexibility is not only cost effective but also much more desired in today’s energy and environmentally conscious society.”

Volmar says the product is suitable for residential, commercial and institutional applications and comes in a wide range of colour options. “Product like this has been used in applications all over Europe for more than 50 years. We have supplied it locally to many homes in Vancouver and also to a local hospital.”

For more information on Sunpro products, visit


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