Civic architecture demands a unique approach, considering the community context of a project and also the particular needs of local government clients. Architecture firms that work on publicly funded buildings have usually experienced the ups and downs of this process.
Being part of a project that benefits the community or supports mission critical services like fire or police departments is a rewarding experience. It also entails working with city or county officials and navigating the political process. These local officials are spending taxpayers’ money, and they could be potentially held accountable for their decisions based on internal audits and public scrutiny. Architecture firms need to look for every advantage possible to make the process go smoothly.
Listening to public sector clients is always an important part of the process. The process often becomes more complex the larger the government, with various stakeholder interests to address.
The building itself is a key part of the process, but fixtures like awnings are sometimes neglected even though their longevity is important to the building’s long-term costs. This makes it especially important to know the sourcing of key building materials.
Awnings Provide Energy Savings
Effective use of awnings is an important component of recent environmentally-driven design trends like passive solar. The energy saving benefits of this approach can be useful to public sector clients who need to find ways to keep costs down over time.
The Department of Energy estimates that awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by 65% on south-facing windows and 77% on west-facing ones. The reduction helps to lower air conditioning costs.
The quality of the fabric used in the awnings often has a significant effect on how effectively it creates these energy savings. Natural fabrics aren’t as opaque as synthetics and therefore don’t perform as well. Additionally, low-quality awning fabric may allow too much light through or may degrade over time.
Herculite uses vinyl-based polyester composite material to create high performance awning fabrics. This material is not only the best at blocking light, but it’s also waterproof and resistant to fading and other damage that might diminish the energy-saving potential.
Durability Is Important to Both Longevity and Energy Savings
To get the full energy-saving benefit of awnings, architects should include ones made from the highest quality fabrics. Durable material will last longer without having to be repaired or replaced. This is great for municipal buildings, which sometimes have difficult time with upkeep. Since these buildings will often be used for decades, the longer fixtures can last, the better it is for everyone.
Herculite awning fabrics are waterproof and resistant to mold and mildew. They weather the elements especially well and stay vibrant over time. Public sector clients can be confident knowing awnings made from these fabrics won’t degrade prematurely.
Herculite materials have a high degree of structural stability and many feature a Rain Kleen® topcoat that makes them easy to clean. Overall, with greater durability comes a longer useful life as well as reduced maintenance costs, both of which are important considerations to cost-conscious public officials who need buildings and their fixtures to last as long as possible.
Made in the USA: A Standard of Quality
The best architecture firms take time to understand the communities they serve. Both average citizens and public officials prefer it when local building projects reflect their values. When given a choice, most public officials would choose American suppliers and materials manufactured in the USA over imported alternatives.
Herculite manufactures its awning fabrics in small town Pennsylvania, and its American pedigree assures a higher level of quality. They’ve been an innovative textile company specializing in high performance fabrics for more than 60 years. They never use inferior quality lamination as many imported fabrics do.
Herculite uses the highest quality raw materials and takes pride in their workmanship and US manufacturing operation. Tight control over the manufacturing process ensures the highest quality control standards are met. When Herculite fabrics are used for awnings on publicly funded buildings, local officials can cite another example of how their spending choices are supporting American manufacturing. They can also have high confidence in quality of their awnings.
Want to learn a little bit more about the important of awning fabric quality? Download our free guide, "Five Factors to Consider When Determining Awning Fabric Quality"