MY CHERISHED POSSESSION
My husband has built for me a “Mansion” as a token of his love and admiration. A fabrication of wood and glass, a Green house. Over the years my constant attempts at gardening have been endless, hours of trial and error and moments of smiles and tears, depending on the end result of my endeavors. What he saw through it all, was my endless devotion to anything I held dear to my heart, including my family, and the “never say die attitude” I always have at hand, however grim a situation would be. For me, this gift is close to enlightenment and absolute solace. I can spend endless hours at the huge work table, setting up each of my plants, scrutinizing them for any tell- tale signs of pests or preparing rows of recycled cans for sowing. The solar shades on the windows, a fan whirring above me and a sofa at one corner of the room makes my haven. Outside my Greenhouse are endless rows of greenery, a sand pit for my grandchild, and a tiny stream of recycled water gurgling through a pile of rockery. Against the back drop of a clump of bamboo, a stony Buddha emanates divine peace.
LOOKS CAN BE DECEPTIVE
A roof garden cannot come about simply. Trying to create it all took a lot of planning and consultation. The most important decision to be made is about the structural integrity of the building and whether it would be able to bear the burden of additional tons of soil, containers, plants and other elements used to decorate it. A structural engineer had to be consulted for this purpose. Water proofing is an important consideration to prevent damage to it. A proper drainage system to permit free flow of water to drains is necessary. There are endless other factors like easy access to water, controlling the heat of the sun, wind, electric wiring and most of all the cost of building and maintaining it that will spell out the success of your roof garden.
GOOD REASONS TO CONSIDER A ROOF GARDEN
They make use of unused space and can beautify an eyesore. Green roofs help in the absorption of carbon dioxide and reduce air pollution.
Temperatures around a building can be lowered in the summer and buildings get insulated from the cold in winter. A roof covered with a green shady roof garden stays relatively cool resulting in big energy savings all through the year.
It can be used for food production. The fulfillment of harvesting your own food and the aroma of cooking freshly picked vegetables wafting through your home is a pleasure unmatched.
Rain water captured by a covering of trees and plants filters through the soil of roof gardens and contains less pollutants. The quantity of rain water flowing through local sewer systems also is reduced.
WINDOW TREATMENTS FOR MY GREEN HOUSE
My Greenhouse can get very warm and humid at all times of the day, especially in the summer. Keeping a Greenhouse cool is accomplished by obtaining the right balance of shading, ventilation and humidity. Providing the right amount of each is the secret to a cool Greenhouse. When the sun is right overhead all thoughts of pleasant gardening have to be banished. When the mood is right for gardening the fingers work nimbly, but the hot glaring sun can be a spoke in the wheel. Installing Exterior solar shades, made a big difference to the comfort level inside my Green house.
FACTORS DETERMINING THE EFFICIENCY OF A SOLAR SCREEN
Solar screen fibers are essentially round and can refract light, increasing diffused light entering a space. The percentage of sunlight absorbed, reflected or transmitted by a solar screen is determined by two properties.
The Openness Factor
Openness is the combined area of the screen that is open space rather than filled with screen mesh. Higher openness mean less dense weave, more total view, less shading and less solar heat gain reduction. Openness factor ranges from as high as 25% to as low as 1%.
Color of the Screen.
Screen color changes the portions of sunlight reflected, absorbed and transmitted. Color affects glare and solar heat gain reduction as well. Color can range from white to black.
For the same color screen, the Openness factor can change the Shading performance between 5%-25%. Color can change the Shading performance as little as 5% or as much as 100%. Darker colors generally provide the best combination of solar heat gain/ glare reduction and visibility.
ADVANTAGES OF AN EXTERIOR SHADING DEVICE
When sunlight enters our home the windows cannot stop the penetration of the short wave radiations but will halt long wave radiations caused by convection. If we install a Solar Shade inside the house, short wave radiations enter the room and strike them. They absorb these radiations and convert them into long wave radiations which will try to pass through the glass pane back into the outside but get trapped and cause Passive Solar Heat Gain inside our homes. The advantage of an Exterior Solar shade is that it reflects and absorbs solar energy outside the home before it hits the window. Up to 95% of the radiation is reflected back and only 5% is allowed in, reducing heat gain significantly.
GRABER’S 3% EXTERIOR SOLAR SHADE
These shades are made especially for porches, patios, greenhouses and even mudrooms. They are made of 35% Polyester, 65% Vinyl on Fiberglass. They reduce glare and harm or strain on the eyes. One can bask in the sun and enjoy the scenery outside without any discomfort. One can enjoy outdoor activities like gardening without any restrictions. Darker fabric colors give better glare control and visibility while lighter fabric colors provide more temperature control.
These shades are available in the Inside mount and Outside mount options. Inside mounts fit within the window frame for a custom fit. Outside mounts are installed on or above the window frame.
The Continuous Loop lift option for operating the shade manually has a safety chain guide to keep it out of the reach of children and pets to enhance safety.
The Cassette Valence improves the look of the shade and is ideal for windows set at an odd angle like those in a Green house.
Hold Down Brackets are used to hold the shade to the bottom of the window frame.
A Standard Roll or Reverse Roll options help to roll the fabric over the tube to the front or back respectively.
Graber Lightweave Exterior Solar Shades are also available in the 5% and 10 % Openness for a perfect combination of natural light control and desired privacy.
These shades are also available with a motorized Lift System to control the movement with a wireless remote control and outside switches especially designed to be water proof and shock proof for outside use.
Crown Exterior Solar shades are made up of sunscreen material that blocks 80% – 90 % of UV rays while maintaining natural light. The Crown Blackout Exterior Solar shades are made of 100% filament polyester with acrylic foam blackout coating. They too are the ultimate solution for outdoor activities in summer.