A Habitat for Productivity and Comfort in the Lone Star State

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Mermet helps optimize sun control at new Austin Habitat for Humanity headquarters

Credit: Texas Sun & Shade

Mermet’s E-Screen and T-Screen products fit well aesthetically, and were already proven to be effective with heat reduction, which was critical for this project.

Habitat for Humanity, one of the most philanthropic companies in the building and construction industry, has helped thousands of people settle into safe and comfortable homes since it was founded in 1976. As the need for the non-profit’s services have continued to grow, so too has its need for a new Austin, Texas headquarters that could house both its corporate offices and Habitat’s local ReStore retail facility.

While initial, conceptual plans did not include window treatments, glare and heat from the Texas sun quickly made Mermet solar shade fabrics with KOOLBLACK® technology a necessity for the new building. Once the site was identified, Habitat enlisted the help of other philanthropic partners to outfit the building with the advanced shading fabrics and other building products, ensuring its corporate team could focus on what really mattered: giving back.

Habitat requested installer Texas Sun & Shade (TSS) provide sun control fabrics to create a comfortable office environment for its employees. TSS owner Ben Skoldeberg tapped Ken Fletcher, VP of Operations for local distributor VASA Window Coverings, to help recommend the best solution to mitigate intense sunlight, especially on the building’s eastern and southern exposures. The two agreed that specifying Mermet shading fabrics – the top selling line for both companies – was a “no-brainer.” TSS first used charcoal-colored E-Screen fabric with KOOLBLACK® technology for the motorized shades installed onsite.

Mermet also suggested its T-Screen fabric with KOOLBLACK® technology be installed to optimize thermal efficiency and UV protection throughout the office space. The attractive look of T-Screen with KOOLBLACK® in a white, charcoal and cocoa color palette matched Habitat’s design vision and maintained great visibility with three percent openness.

“Habitat trusted us to determine how to use shade fabrics to optimize energy efficiency, glare control and overall occupant comfort in the office space,” said Skoldeberg. “Mermet’s E-Screen and T-Screen products fit well aesthetically, and were already proven to be effective with heat reduction, which was critical for this project.”

VASA worked with Mermet to provide the fabrics for Habitat for Humanity. The distributor gives to a nonprofit monthly, and was particularly excited for the opportunity to contribute to a project in the local Austin community. For its part, TSS donated nearly 20 hours of installation time, in addition to a full warranty, and anticipates a further contribution in 2016.

“Habitat for Humanity is a wonderful organization that helps a lot of people, but can also be overlooked on occasion,” said Fletcher. “Mermet helped us make sure Habitat received the attention it deserved, not only by effectively communicating shipment statuses and deadlines, but also through its understanding of the value and importance of serving our local community.”

Conveniently located just a few miles from downtown Austin, the new site has already become an asset to the community and others who depend on Habitat for Humanity. The building offers the general public easy access to the ReStore retail facility, and with its beautiful design and high performance products, is set to be a local landmark for years to come.

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Evan Boyer
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