Insulblind IGU with Integrated Blind for Hospital

Challenge

The recently completed Dandenong Hospital Mental Health Facility (Stage 1) in Melbourne’s south eastern suburbs, designed by architects Bates Smart in association with Irwin Alsop Architects and constructed by Kane Constructions at a cost of $59 million, posed specific challenges for the design team, as aesthetic and practical considerations were tightly interwoven to achieve performance goals in harmonious ways. Venetian blinds were identified as the preferred shading and privacy system for double glazed surfaces, perfectly matched to the honeyed timber tones incorporated into much of the structure, but conventional suspended blinds were inappropriate because of ligature hazards and onerous cleaning requirements.

Solution

The solution, supplied by AGG and IND Window Fabrications, was Insulblind – a venetian blind system embedded between the glass panels of each double glazed insulated glazing unit (IGU). By housing the venetian blinds between glass panels, it was possible to achieve the warm and controlled ambience that only venetians can offer, while removing the dangers associated with cords. A tandem benefit of using a fully encased venetian blind system related to general cleanliness and infection minimization. Removed from day-to-day contact with dust and airborne pathogens, venetian slats require negligible maintenance while facilitating interior hygiene.

Furthermore, the client (Department of Human Services – Monash Health) insisted that ongoing facility management requirements be kept to a bare minimum in order to preserve the wellbeing of patients as much as practicably possible. The venetian blind system recessed within each IGU, therefore, was superbly compatible with all these stringent design parameters. Not only are these units aesthetically pleasing, but they are also safe and built for reliable, trouble-free operation over many years.

Insulblind when combined with Low-E glass in the IGU design provides a superior energy efficiency platform for enhancing the heating and cooling characteristics of the building, but interstitial venetians added yet another level of controlled heat and glare protection for the comfort of users, as well as customized privacy management. Insulblind IGU’s are easy to operate – an essential prerequisite for residents who may have special needs – and can be fully raised or lowered if required. Not only do units continue to look ‘as new’ year after year, but they are also immune from the kinds of damage that usually degrade venetian blinds, including accidental tugging or pulling, strikes from shoes or vacuums, or creased slats caused by pushing down on assemblies.

Project Details

Product – Insulblind IGU

Site Address – Dandenong Hospital Mental Health Facility, Dandenong VIC

Architect – Bates Smart Architects & Irwin Alsop Architects

Builder – Kane Constructions

Window Fabricator – IND Window Fabrications