The trend for outdoor living noted at R+T Stuttgart.
New sector solutions for roller shutters, doors/gates and sun protection systems are presented every three years at R+T in Stuttgart, Germany. The trade fair organizer has already listened to the industry and given a preview of what trends for awnings the visitors can expect next year (February 24-28, 2015). The trend is definitely towards weatherproof systems.
The terrace as additional living space with all possible comforts: Many awning manufacturers are following this trend with their development of new solutions. This means that the function of awnings is not only to protect from the sun, but also against the rain. One of the greatest challenges for weatherproof systems is exposure to strong winds, also confirmed by Jürgen Schulz, managing director of the Augsburg awning manufacturer Leiner GmbH: “The trend is towards awnings that can be used in almost all kinds of weather. For very windy places, stable folding terrace roofs are in great demand. Waterproof PVC fabrics as awning material are required here.”
With regard to the systems’ durability, the manner in which the materials are joined together also plays an important role. Martin Troyer, managing director of Hella Sonnen- und Wetterschutztechnik GmbH, explains: “Water-permeable materials that are glued and not sewn together improve the function of the awning as rain protection. Greater wind resistance is ensured by the innovation of creating pergola-type shades.” Adding to the residential comfort desired by customers, he mentions the light fittings. Thanks to the LEDs integrated into the sections, the awning practically makes it possible to use the terrace around the clock.
Wanted: service and simple solutions
Each year, the service concept is at the top of the trend list. End users in this respect also attach special importance here, says Troyer: “Consumers expect a technically mature product and perfect installation. Only a real expert is able to mount an awning on a wall with full heat insulation.” The salesman must find the right solution for each respective customer. The various awning types and extras should make it possible to provide the customer with a solution tailored to the customer’s particular requirements.
The service concept is also reflected in the improvement of awning systems. Awnings are used more intensively than was the case a few years ago, so the awning fabric is also now replaced more often during the product’s lifecycle. “Systems designed for fabric replacement help to minimize the costs and allow the replacement of the fabric without impairing the quality,” says Schulz. “And it is equally important to guarantee the availability of spare parts for several years after purchase.” End users are ultimately prepared to invest a lot of money in awning systems if they meet their requirements and are guaranteed a long service life.