Imagine if we could bring the outdoors inside. The fresh air, the beautiful sunlight, that wonderful feeling of being invigorated through closer ties to nature. The outdoors is indeed a marvellous environment . . . but what about when it snows and we long to hurry inside where it’s warm? Or when it’s raining and we’re soaking wet and can’t wait to get out of the storm? The out-of-doors has definite attributes, but for most of us, it’s the inside world where we spend the majority of our time, and that means that we have to find a way to bring the outside in. Outdoor louvres are one way to do that: they can be opened all the way or half-way, or closed entirely, depending upon your personal preference and how much of the out-of-doors you want to welcome into your living and working space. The choice is up to you, and isn’t it wonderful to know that, even though we have no control over whether outdoor louvre let us control how much of it affects our comfort zone.
Why Outdoor Louvres Are the Answer for Personal Climate Control
With outdoor louvres, you make the decision on how much light and air you want to bring inside. On a rainy, windy day, you might not want the louvres to be fully open; you might even want them to be closed. If it’s a beautiful day and you don’t want that “stuck-inside” feeling, you can open the outdoor louvre halfway or all the way so that, even though you’re inside, you’re not missing out on the fresh air and sunlight outside. Outdoor louvres are a satisfying and responsible way to minimize your consumption of energy, which make them the environmental choice as well.
Outdoor Louvres and Indoor Daylight
One of the many advantages of outdoor louvre is the way that it lets you determine how much natural light is going to be brought into your spaces. Do you want lots of sunlight, or do you want shade? Outdoor louvres let you decide. When the louvres are open, you not only receive the amount of daylight that you want, but improved ventilation as well. Think of the seasons and how you enjoy them; now think of how much more you’ll enjoy then when you add outdoor louvres.
Danpal® Louvre Translucent Shading System and Outdoor Louvres
Danpal’s pioneering in the field of daylighting architecture is a triumph that matches cutting-edge innovation with natural light. That achievement is exemplified by the properties of outdoor louvres, which are designed to give daylight as much of a presence as you think is appropriate depending upon the weather and your preference. You can’t control the sky or what comes out of it, but with outdoor louvre, you’re the one controlling your own personal climate. You can count on Danpal quality and Danpal’s Microcell technology to bring you the most innovative products designed to ensure your comfort.
Dedicated to the services of the city, and Intercommunal Technical Center combines a variety of activities, some noisy (workshops of different services, oading areas near the railway line of the Bourget yard), and some quiet (offices, archives, company store in a residential area).
CTI-v5For the Bourget airport Urban Community Centre, the choice was to divide these activities into two parallel buildings, lengthwise.
Between the two, an interior street, 8 meters wide, acts as a link between the two worlds. A part of the street is covered by Danpalon®, creating an inner courtyard that enables the movement from one external space to the other without being exposed to harsh weather.
CTI-v4For workshops and storage areas, in-depth illumination, and good insulation were required (the whole is known as BBC), even if the heating requirements are less important than for offices. The facades blend wooden siding on the bottom part and, on the top, Danpalon® 16 mm clear of 4 m height.
“Aesthetically, it works well with a contrast between smooth, bright and modern material, and the softer, matt, and sober wood,” explains Jonathan Deschamps, Head Architect Project Manager of the Pierre Lombard Agency.
CTI-v7“During the day, Danpalon® brings a quality of natural light inside the workshops. It takes another dimension in the evening when the workshops are lit and make it visible from the outside. Its metallic side highlights woodwork and aluminum finish flaps, creating a material unit on the facades”.
You want to enjoy the great outdoors without actually being outside all the time. The workplace isn’t designed for an outside setup; schools, hospitals, offices are all dependent upon the amenities that come with inside settings. But sometimes, as you walk past the windows, don’t you wish that your daily routine included a bit more of the outside? With Naturalite Skylight Systems, that wish can come true. Skylights are intended to bring in daylight to internal spaces and Danpal has been a pioneer in daylighting architecture.
Naturalite Skylight Systems Bring In Natural Light
Studies show that exposure to natural light has a positive effect on people. As an element of the workplace, natural light can increase productivity among employees and create a more pleasant overall environment. It may seem strange to think that the choice of a roofing system could have such a dramatic effect on the occupants below, but when you think about it, don’t you feel your mood improve when you go out into a bright, sunny day? But you don’t have to worry that you’re going to be overwhelmed by glare as a result of more natural light coming in, because the system is designed to control the amount of light that comes in.
Naturalite Skylight Systems Are Strong Enough To Stand Up to Weather
People who are unfamiliar with skylights sometimes labor under the misconception that the impact of snow, rain, or hail will break through the skylight. That’s not at all true; Danpal building materials for skylights are incredibly strong and resistant to impact. You’ll have a first-class view of the weather and what it’s doing outside, but you’ll remain safe and dry and warm inside. So there’s no need to worry; your Naturalite Skylight System can handle Mother Nature.
Roofing System: Often going unnoticed, the roof of a building holds the fate of the structure in its . . . well, hands, if a roof had hands. As is the case with so many things, building health begins at the top. A roof is the first target for the weather, the initial spot where a downpour of rain is detected. Heavy snowfall has to build custodial staff concerned about the weight of the snow and the potential damage it can do if it stays. Hail strikes like a volley of ice missiles, landing on the roof and staying there until they melt. Sunshine and heat can be intense. That’s why roofing systems are such an important part of architectural design and why Danpal roofing systems offer so much reassurance. Research and development have led to the creation of innovative technology that makes our roofing systems superior in performance when it comes to withstanding weather.
HOW DANPAL ROOFING SYSTEMS PROTECT BUILDINGS FROM WEATHER
A building isn’t the Batmobile; it can’t immediately produce new gadgets that protect it each time a different weather system strikes. Danpal has developed roofing technology that maintains a calendar year of defense. We have a double-tooth, grip-lock connection to provide 24/7 weather protection from the elements. If you look outside and see snow falling, or you hear the wind howling, there’s no need to worry because a Danpal roofing system is already on the job. Sunshine? It’s powerful, you know, and has the potential to damage a roof too. So we offer co-extruded UV protection. The result of all this protection is our maximum thermal performance keeping insulation dry and temperatures comfortable.
ROOFING SYSTEMS AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY
Keeping insulation dry and free from dampness is one of the key roles played by the different Danpal products and it’s no different for a roofing system. As long as the insulation is dry, energy usage is consistent. But once moisture invades and the insulation gets wet, the heating and cooling systems struggle to maintain a consistent temperature. The result is wasted energy; the cost is passed on to the consumer, who is paying for energy that isn’t being used. But it’s also borne by the environment because we all know that our fragile planet must be protected from energy waste.
ROOFING SYSTEMS SHOW OFF THEIR LOOKS
A good, well-developed roofing system never forgets that its primary purpose is to protect the building from weather issues. But Danpal likes roofing systems to be attractive as well as functional. One of the ways in which our roofing systems are transforming the industry is through the use of daylighting architecture. Natural light enhances the illumination inside a building, but it must be admitted in just the right amount: not too much, not too little. With the tight spacing between the roofing system ribs, natural light enters at exactly the perfect balance for the occupants. The results are holistic. People who have the benefit of natural light in their working and living spaces find that they’re more productive, more energetic, and in a better frame of mind. If you’re looking for a roof that will give you an unexpected mood boost, try a Danpal roofing system.
October 2019 saw the 10th anniversary of our subsidiary, Danpal Mexico, led by their General Manager Mr. Hector Avila, who was also in attendance. This momentous occasion was held on the 51st floor of La Torre Mayor, one of the most iconic buildings in Mexico City, and was well-supported by all the top Mexican architectural firms. The firms represented, were in attendance by invitation only and included; Sordo Madaleno Architects, VFO Architects, GROW Architects, Arditti + RDT Architects, Moyao Architects, DIN Interior Design, Eclipse architects and Oxigeno architects, among others.
The evening rolled forward, as our team headed by Mr. Avila, highlighted their efforts and direction. A number of initiatives implemented by Mr. Avila and his team, have shown great success in both promoting the Danpal brand, and in developing their local market. In truth, they have been able to successfully create a much larger market for our Danpalon based systems, partly by focusing on specifications unique to Danpal.
The ability to create unique specification, is an immensely powerful tool that our competitors cannot equally match, and which directly speaks to the needs of today’s architects. Today we speak the language of Green Building, sustainability, carbon emissions, and energy efficiency, because this is the language that today’s construction professionals understand. To do this effectively, we must understand the market, understand the possibilities of our systems and direct our efforts towards creating these new specifications for the market.
Also making an appearance, all the way from Colombia was the General Manager of Danpal Andina, Luis Fernando Rodriguez and his special guest the very recognized Colombian Architect Mr. Juan Felipe Cadavid. In addition, we welcomed the special participation of architect Mr. Han Young Keun. President of the Korean Institute of Architects and director of our official subsidiary, Danpal Korea.
Those in attendance at our closed event, were treated to a special talk, put together and delivered by Mr. Han. The talk focused on our concept of Light Architecture, its benefits and how this integrates with modern-day thinking on daylight, as an element in architecture. The evening then became a great opportunity to introduce the local architects, to these principals of daylighting, and how to possibly introduce this into their projects.
In an era where energy efficiency, carbon footprints, and Green Building Concepts is leading the global building trends, Mr. Han’s talk was most welcomed. The effect on those in the audience was pronounced, as a renewed sense of purpose, filled the air. It is at events such as this, where cultures and perspectives combine, to bring about leaps in creative thinking by our global Danpal family.
The 10-year marker also was not only an opportunity for Mr. Avila and his team to reflect back on their achievements, but also, to set a renewed focus on delivering on our company’s core objectives. Our Latin American counterparts, recommitted their efforts, to bring the principles of ‘Light Architecture’ to influencers in their region. To provide both technical and marketing support, directly to the professionals who need it most for their projects. Lastly, to always seek out the most effective Danpal solution for their customers, delivered with a smile, the Danpal way.
DANPAL Interview with Héctor Avila – General Manager Danpal Mexico
10 years and Danpal Mexico, has grown into a major contributor, to our global sales effort. Please introduce yourself, and tell us a little more about both you and your team?
Hello, my name is Héctor Ávila Díaz, a Civil Engineer by trade, who after 9 years in the plastics and adhesives industry, took the initiative and started my own company – Tecnoimpacto. I ran Tecnoimpacto for 20 years, we specialized in dealing with various brands of polycarbonates, acrylics, sealants, and architectural panels – but always with a focus on quality over price.
In 2009 I chose to close Tecnoimpacto, and together in a joint venture with Danpal Israel, formed Danpal-TI. From then on, I have focused almost exclusively on Danpal Systems, and on instilling the values of responsibility, professionalism, and loyalty, within my team. I can also say with great satisfaction that during this time, most of my employees, have gone on to put down their very own roots in the company, often permanently. I mention this with pride, as I believe that this stability has allowed the company to move forward with both a sense of confidence and purpose.
Looking back at the past 10 years, what can you tell us about your market in Mexico, and how has it changed/evolved?
The construction industry in Mexico is an important indicator of the ‘state of health’ of our economy, and as such, reflects any instability within the country. Our politics, a major influencer of our economy, has unfortunately not created the conditions conducive, to attract the amounts of investment needed. However, despite this, we have enjoyed an influx of private investment into maquiladoras, shopping centers, educational institutions, corporate transnationals, and other real estate developments. This has created a niche market, which demands higher quality construction materials that are positioned above the “price war”, and this is where DANPALON features.
What would you say have been the major challenges, which you have had to overcome, in your market? If possible, can you also elaborate on the strategy that you employed, to overcome them?
We positioned our Danpal systems against the backdrop of, a range of traditional polycarbonate sheeting, available in the Mexican market. These sheets, have been traditionally known for their low prices, but inferior quality, and so we developed a strategy to combat this. We focused instead on our product’s superior quality, leading performance and recommitted ourselves to provide the best service possible to our customers.
As a result, we can say with great satisfaction that today, the Danpal brand is recognized as such within our industry and is in high demand. Each and every country has its own unique market conditions, but we recognized that we had to target the top architects in Mexico and introduce them to the superior advantages of Danpal.
Many a time, we hear from distributors, that their market is not advanced enough for our more sophisticated panels or systems. Mexico, is also considered to be a developing country, how is it that you have found such success? For example – with selling our more advanced 3DLITE panels?
As mentioned already, we recognized that the traditional limitations in the Mexican market is the tendency for projects to prioritize price over quality. We realized, however, that our Danpal systems, are not direct competitors to these cheaper products. For this reason, our efforts have been to position our products above this segment, toward more profitable projects that demand higher performance. At this higher level, we do not see much competition and so we are able to obtain better results.
A good example is how we have focused on 3DLITE panels, as its unique design, visually sets itself apart from traditional polycarbonate panels. Of course, we find that the 3DLITE option, has excellent light transmission vs thermal efficiency properties, not to mention stand out aesthetics. Building on this, we have prioritized delivering complete solutions, which include all the engineering necessary for a successful end result. Lastly, on completion of the project, we guarantee all our work beyond that offered by other providers.
Moving forward, what sort of changes do you expect in your local building industry, and how do you envision Danpal Mexico adapting to meet these new challenges?
We foresee, that the sector in which we are already positioned and recognized, will continue to demand solutions of higher quality. However, the market continuously seeks new and ever more efficient products, so the continuous development of new Danpal systems is very important. One area of opportunity we have is in facades, where we offer an economically viable alternative against traditional translucent solutions. Compared to traditional roofing solutions, we have a big advantage because of Danpalon’s balanced LT and thermal properties. So, we believe that this will continue to be a very attractive market for us.
We understand that you have taken bold steps, to prioritize the use of specification, as a tool for securing projects. Can you tell us a little more about this, do you have specially trained employees who take responsibility for this?
We find that in Mexico, construction companies often tend to manipulate or change specifications, in favor of cheaper but inferior alternatives. This is another reason, why we choose to focus on top architectural firms, as they often have the power to better retain original specification. As a part of our sales cycle, we place a heavy emphasis on specification, which is reflected by our company’s structure. We have a separate department that deals exclusively with the specification, our specifiers also operate at a high-level, which is reflected in their appearance and ability to liaise with top architects.
We have seen the rise of Green building, Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, as global trends in the architectural field. In what way, has this affected both your marketing and your technical efforts? (how have you or are you adapting to the trend)
The new trend is not only reflected in our segment of the market, but we also find that prospects looking at cheaper solutions are now also seeking ‘Greener’ solutions. The way in which our Danpal systems contribute toward satisfying the need for both natural lighting and thermal control, in a single specification, is definitely in our favor. Other issues such as savings in energy consumption, and the reduction of artificial temperature control, make a Danpal system an attractive alternative.
Lastly, drawing from your experience over the past 10 years, what words of advice can you offer our other global partners who are also in developing countries? Sometimes unstable markets require a more ‘dynamic’ or flexible approach.
My main advice is to never abandon the essence of our Danpal systems, which is that they efficiently INTEGRATE several solutions for a project, into a single product. This presents a Danpal system, in total differentiation against our competition in the market. Which is why I say, that it is not valid to put to Danpal in the same basket, as traditional polycarbonate offerings. This has allowed DANPAL MEXICO, to not only survive but to maintain a strong growth trend.
I firmly believe that each country must develop its own strategy according to its culture, traditions and unique market conditions. The best specification, are those that at the end of the day, are implemented. This is to say that whether it is minimal, or vast and fully-developed if it does not find its way to the right professional in the project… the specification risks being changed.
Look up! It doesn’t matter whether it’s day or night; there’s still something to see. Can’t see anything but the ceiling? That’s because you don’t have skylight roofing. Danpal skylight roofing systems deliver dynamic possibilities for architectural innovation with buildings that are filled with light in the amounts that are comfortable for the occupants. There are health benefits associated with daylight that are enhanced by skylight roofing, one of which is increased exposure to Vitamin D, that vital nutrient that so many of us are lacking because of insufficient exposure to the sun. Skylight roofing protects a building’s occupants from the harsh elements of weather that need to be kept outside while allowing the beneficial aspects, like daylight, to come in. If you’re looking for a way to make your building healthier for its occupants, why not contact Danpal for more information on skylight roofing? Danpal’s Controlite® skylight roofing optimizes the benefits of daylight while still protecting a building’s interior from the harmful effects of weather.
CONTROLITE® SKYLIGHT ROOFING OPTIMIZES DAYLIGHT
Danpal’s half-century of innovation has led to the development of architectural solutions that deliver high-quality performance and exciting possibilities. This intelligent daylighting system features skylight roofing with integrated, rotating louvers that adjust positions throughout the day in order to adapt to the changing amount of daylight. Whether it’s the depth of winter or the height of summer, the system enables control of the intensity of the light to suit your personal preference. Skylight roofing by Danpal makes natural light a partner in the building design. In addition to the optimization of light, this skylight roofing system provides a larger surface area; it’s an energy-efficient, sustainable design, and can withstand harsh weather and extremes of temperature.
DAYLIGHT IN, WEATHER OUT: THAT’S THE BEAUTY OF SKYLIGHT ROOFING
Our interior living and working spaces are meant to be comfortable. Walls and ceilings are part of the barrier that keeps the weather from intruding on us; we’re indoor beings and we couldn’t function properly if we had to work and live out in the open, with no escape from cold weather, high temperatures, rain, snow, wind, and hail. Danpal understands that while we appreciate having more daylight inside, we don’t want all of nature’s seasons to intrude upon us. That’s why Danpal’s skylight roofing is built for durability. We use microcell technology so that our panels can deliver complete, 100% watertight protection from the bitter cold, oppressive heat, and rain and snow that weather brings. With skylight roofing, the weather performance is on display outside, but you’re comfortable inside.
CONTROLITE® AND ENERGY CONSERVATION
In a world that has gone from being agricultural to industrial, buildings play a vital role in the way that energy is consumed. With Controlite® skylight roofing, energy used from heating, air conditioning and artificial lighting is significantly reduced so that a building’s environmental impact is less negative. Danpal Controlite® panels can be integrated into the energy-efficient design of a building, making designers eligible for credit points through the green building rating systems.
For a large swimming pool complex, high winds and cool temperatures outside make thermal efficiency targets that little bit harder to attain. Add in the need to maximize the amount of natural light poolside, and achieving required heat gains presents a challenge. Translucent Danpalon® façade systems are providing building designers with an elegant solution.
Pachuca in Central Mexico is a very windy city and by Mexican standards is also quite cold, with an average temperature of 16ºC throughout the year. When Alberca Universidad Politécnica Metropolitana came to rebuild its swimming pool complex the building’s thermal efficiency was a key design criteria.
At the same time, the project needed to reuse as much existing infrastructure as was possible. With the swimming pool then largely determining the building’s orientation, façade design played a vital role in maximizing natural light and heat gain on the inside while handling the high winds on the outside.
The architects, Instituto Hidalguense de la Infraestructura Fisica Educativa (INHIFE) also had to face the challenge of building in sandy soil conditions that offered a relatively low weight resistance. With the weight and movement of the swimming pool being a significant part of the structure’s overall loading, the use of lightweight façade materials was vital. Turning to translucent Danpalon® polycarbonate façade systems, the INHIFE architects found an aesthetically pleasing and technically robust solution capable of meeting the project’s competing demands for light diffusion, thermal insulation, physical strength and low material weight.
A full-height Danpalon® façade constructed using 16mm Ice panels runs the complete length of one side of the swimming pool on a steel frame, while a further Danpalon® façade using a combination of 22mm 3DLite metallic grey and red panels sits at one end of the pool.
INHIFE architect Edgar Baca said, “The fantastic level of light diffusion that these two complementary façades achieve creates a truly unique ambience, with high quality daylight for the interior and a wonderful luminosity for the exterior at night.”
He continued, “Danpalon® has added a huge amount of character to the building thanks to the interaction of material, light and surroundings. At no point does it ever look the same. The hue, texture and appearance depends on where it’s viewed from and the weather conditions. It has given the project real life and personality.”
The new swimming pool complex is a unique wedge-like form composed of gentle slopes, elegant curves and striking lines. A heightened façade wall to increase the natural light diffusion and enable optimization of roof span and pitch was aided by the use of extra long Danpalon® panels, which also avoided the need for horizontal jointing. Panel installation was rapid, taking just a few days from delivery to completion.
Baca added, “Considering the enhanced thermal efficiency the new swimming pool building has attained, and the tremendous functionality it is now providing, this is a project that to date has not once caused us to think that any kind of design adjustment was merited – it really is working to perfection.”
The benefits of daylight in public buildings are many, including a positive effect on mental capabilities of the people who work and conduct business there, as well as the potential for saving energy. However, with that said, it is not enough to simply place a large, glass window on one side of a room and make the assumption that it will provide natural light for a room. Danpal translucent façade material offers an intelligent alternative to the plate glass window, with all of its attendant problems.
Why Windows Do Not Maximize Daylight
While windows increase the amount of light in a room, they can also create glare and solar gain. Without careful planning, a large glass window can flood a space with painfully bright light and can act as a lens that will increase the amount of heat in a room. Because of these two factors, people who work in spaces that have large, glass windows frequently add window shades and curtains that can obviate the benefits of having a large expanse of transparent material capable of admitting natural light.
The result is the classic office or large living space that is rendered dark and gloomy thanks to heavy curtains. Furthermore, in warm climates, the energy savings of having natural light is heavily offset by added air conditioning needed to compensate for excessive solar gain. One might think that because of the ability for a glass window to warm up a room, that it would be an ideal situation for colder climates where daylight is minimal at certain seasons. Sadly, even in the winter months when daylight is admitted for shorter amounts of time, simple window glass has some serious drawbacks. Although it heats up a room during the day, it also allows heat to escape back out of the room – particularly at night. Furthermore, at certain times of the day – frequently at daybreak or at dusk, the lower angle of the sun’s rays can create a blinding glare in rooms where windows face either east or west. Here, again, inhabitants will use heavy curtains to cut the glare or they will use insulated drapes to minimize the natural heat exchange capability of glass.
How Danpal Translucent Facades Can Help
Danpal translucent facadesare a smart and attractive alternative to the traditional glass window. First of all, they are translucent, rather than transparent. This immediately cuts down on the glare, and it also provides a modicum of privacy for desk workers while still admitting natural sunlight into a room. The translucent panels create a more diffuse light that creates a pleasant glow conducive to reading, writing or quiet conversation.
Second, Danpalalso creates panels with operable shade functions so that people can adjust the settings to personal comfort levels without completely shutting out natural light. These translucent panels can create a variety of colorful effects that lend interest to the building as well as comfort to workers, customers and others who might be inside. More than that, the translucent facades come with UV blockers, which keep out the harmful parts of the sun’s rays, and well as toning down the heat index that is so characteristic of plain window glass. This allows enjoyment of natural light without the harmful potential for sunburn, skin damage or glare.
The Benefits of Daylight
One might ask, if natural light through windows has so many problems, why should we bother with it at all. The answer is that, even with all of the attendant difficulties, natural light has been shown to convey many benefits. Humans are primarily diurnal. That is, we are set up to function best in the daylight hours. Daylight not only make it easier for humans to see, it has a positive effect on the pineal gland – and organ modern science is only just beginning to understand. School children who are exposed to natural light for at least fifteen minutes per day – and more is better – tend to be more able to focus during class time, producing better school work and correspondingly good grades. Hospitals have found that patients who have undergone surgery have a better recovery rate when their rooms are open to an outside view and when they are exposed to natural, rather than artificial, lighting. Natural light or light therapy has even been shown to have a positive effect on Alzheimer’s disease patients, particularly the ones who have difficulty sleeping at night. When the light was administered in the morning, it was found that it reduced aggression sometimes displayed by some Alzheimer’s patients in the afternoon. For the rest of us, sunlight is simply uplifting.