The Delft-based company Kindow guarantees smart management of sunlight and natural light in buildings which improves their indoor climate and conserves energy. In the belief that daylight is essential for a pleasant, healthy and productive work environment. Vertical blinds and roller blinds can also save a fifth of the amount of energy used for cooling, heating and lighting, as calculated by the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Communication manager Loeki Kin explains their core activities.
Where did the idea for Kindow come from?
We spend 90% of our time indoors. A lack of daylight has negative effects on mental as well as physical health. Kindow wanted to change this by optimizing the amount of natural light in areas where people spend most of their time: in the workplace. We use natural light as a means to improve levels of comfort and consequently productivity. In addition, this also has a significant effect on the energy efficiency of a building.
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What are your core activities?
We have brought two solutions to the market: Kindow Verticals, as in vertical blinds, and Kindow Rollers, as in roller blinds. Both systems track the sun according to a unique algorithm so that they continually have the most optimal position in relation to the sun.
Kindow Rollers look very sleek because they encompass a uniform surface. When the weather is cloudy, they retract so that the window is fully uncovered. They are ideal for smaller areas and for mounting in window frames.
Kindow Verticals are ideal for larger, taller glass surfaces and provide optimum transparency over the entire length of the glass. A great choice for The Netherlands and other countries where the sun is often low down on the horizon.
By using our products, employees in buildings benefit from natural light without being inconvenienced by it. In addition, these enhance the acoustics of a room. The intelligent automation takes away any hassles for the user while also giving them the freedom to operate the systems themselves.
What sets Kindow apart from other companies?
Unique to our products is that they are equipped with a variety of intelligent and automatic settings. Such as sun tracking, summer/winter mode, energy mode and a day and night mode. The key advantages are energy savings on lighting, cooling and heating by as much as 25% as well as up to 60% more daylight, up to 40% less light pollution and views are obstructed by up to 40% less. And all this when the investment costs are comparable to standard motorized blinds. One other important advantage of Kindow systems for our clients is the uniform aesthetic of the façade, thanks to the even arrangement of the slats.
Kindow is working with the Building Performance Simulation research group at the Eindhoven University of Technology on quantifying the effect on energy consumption and user comfort using science-based simulation models of buildings. Kindow develops, constructs and installs its own equipment. Our team designs the electronics and intelligent software control systems. By combining these in its own products, Kindow can offer automated, affordable indoor blinds.
How is the response been to your products so far?
Our product is well received by our customers. The combination of our smart control system with a highly reflective fabric makes our indoor blinds a good alternative to outdoor awnings. This offers plenty of advantages as well. Moreover, the automated system means that users no longer have to deal with it.
What has been the biggest obstacle so far?
We had to dismantle all the systems in our first project ( the Kindow Verticals application) so that we could replace one component that wasn’t working properly.
When it came to the Verticals, we initially had to deal with the problem that they looked old-fashioned. They were being associated with offices from the 1980s. Now we are seeing that there is renewed interest when used in combination with all-glass facades. That combination with Verticals ensures a sleek look.
What are the prospects for the coming year?
Next year we will be installing our first Kindow Rollers project in the Dura Vermeer Innovations Centre. We’re working with Physee (glass facade manufacturers, ed.) on a facade concept for this project. We see this as the kick-off for a lot of other projects where we will be applying our new system.
We’re also working towards establishing partnerships for smart buildings and platforms in order to be able to jointly offer total solutions. Both in terms of energy savings and comfort.
At the moment we’re working on a cloud-based solution. By connecting Kindow systems to the cloud, we will be able to offer a sophisticated control system that is based on weather data and forecasts. This also means that we will be able to remotely monitor a system’s status so as to determine its condition, functionality and usage. The result is a refined, adaptive and up-to-date system.
Where will you be in five years’ time?
Kindow will continue to innovate solutions for optimal daylight in the work environment and other sectors such as healthcare and education. We are involved in various iconic building projects at home and abroad. Kindow ensures that sun and daylight management is an integral part of climate regulation in buildings. And that it adds to people’s well-being inside buildings.
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