Sonya Awning April 28th, 2018 - 11:32:22
Differences in Style The different reasons for retractable awning use in Europe and the US have produced different emphases on style. Because awnings had a stylistic influence in European history which transitioned to efficiency uses, European awning fabrics and designs tend to be more dramatic and flamboyant. For example, European fabric lines average about 400 fabric designs, while American lines average 200. Color choices in Europe tend to be lighter and brighter. American homeowners, approaching retractable awnings as a functional addition to a house, without the stylistic background, tend to be conservative, choosing fabrics in blacks and grays in sedate stripes and staying with more traditional frame styles.
Longevity. Fixed awnings have a fabric lifetime of five years or less because of constant exposure to the sun, snow, rain, and wind, all of which can fade or tear the fabric. Retractable awnings have a huge advantage in being able to retract - the fabric can be protected in adverse weather conditions. Combined with options like a motor and sensors (for light, wind, rain, and motion), the awning can be closed automatically in conditions which would normally damage the fabric or frame. Retracting the awning when its not in use, like on shady or cold days, cuts down on sun damage to the fabric from UV exposure. With a retractable awning, the average lifetime for the fabric is 15 years - three times better than a fixed awning. Since retractable awning frames have warranties of up to 25 years and motors have warranties up to 5 years, motorized retractable awnings offer a really excellent cost investment.
Retractable awnings were quick to catch on in Europe, from open air markets to apartments and homes. In fact, the classic lateral arm awning is called a California Style Awning in Europe - and a European Style Awning in the US. Now, the retractable awning market is decidedly driven by Europe. Millions of retractable awnings are sold there annually and are found on the majority of homes and businesses, even being considered in the architectural design process. The highest quality manufacturers, most innovative new designs, and emerging trends are coming from European companies. By comparison, the awning market in America has been limited to mainly commercial buildings. Substantially fewer awnings are sold in the United States yearly - less than 50,000 - so the market, according to the Industrial Fabric Association International, is only about 2% saturated. Theres room for a change.
Different Reasons for Using Awnings Various factors have come into play for why Europe has, for nearly a century, been consistently integrating retractable awnings into architectural plans. Many of the initial reasons were cultural; prevalent open air markets had contributed to a long history of fixed awning use, so it was a natural transition to easier to use and longer-lasting retractable awnings. More practically, though, the widespread use of retractable awnings comes down to cooling and energy efficiency. Europe has very high energy costs and, because of many old homes and flats, most residences do not have air-conditioning systems installed. Therefore, European homeowners have had an imperative to find inexpensive, effective cooling and efficiency products - and one of the most effective methods for controlling interior heat is retractable awnings.