House of the Rising Sun:
Hitachi’s European Research & Development Office
Hitachi means ‘Sun Rise’. It is formed of two kanji characters joined to create what is now the name of a huge global technology brand. However, as you’ll find out in this case study, for workers in Hitachi’s European R&D office in London, a sun rise was the last thing they’d want to see…
Hitachi are global leaders in technology (and quite a few other things too). Their products are everywhere, the brand name is synonymous with advancement and forward thinking.
So, knowing some 50 YewdaleDefiant® R20 Sidewinder roller blinds currently reside in Hitachi’s office on the 12th floor of 125 London Wall, London, is quite an acknowledgement. The systems are situated within Hitachi’s European Research and Development office where some of the greatest minds think up the future.
The problem Hitachi had came from the sun’s glare. Being a tall building with lots of large glazed areas, south-facing and with other glazed buildings around it, office workers would be subjected to long periods of sunshine that would light the office up brighter than any cordless LED lamp Hitachi were working on at the time.
Staff inside were subjected to glare and full beams of sunlight that made working environments difficult and uncomfortable. Fortunately, Daryl Want, Works Director for Metric Office Furniture & Interiors, knew exactly how to solve the problem. Having outfitted Hitachi’s offices up and down the country for the past six years, and a Yewdale customer for eight years, Daryl knew who to count on.
Working faster than Hitachi’s ultra-high-speed elevator (yes, that’s a real thing - 47mph in case you were wondering), Daryl spoke with his Yewdale Business Development Manager, Greg, and set about planning the solution. Compounding the problem, the office had a set of existing blinds from another manufacturer. The integration of the new Yewdale blinds would have to be seamless.
‘They had some existing systems in place so we knew we had to make sure they matched – they were only separated by a glass partition. Greg came to the site for a visit, unrolled the old blinds, identified them and made a recommendation – as simple as that,’ Daryl says. ‘Greg’s an expert when it comes to blinds!’
They decided that the R20’s simple mechanism and strength would be ideal in an office location, giving the staff absolute control over the amount of light entering the room. But to make sure that there was still natural light, Daryl chose Mid Grey 3% Roe fabric. This fabric is a screen fabric that limits the glare of the sun but still lets in plenty of ambient light.
Daryl says: ‘I think the guys in office would have been happy working in total darkness but this fabric really helped. They want more Yewdale blinds.’
Talking about installing the systems, Daryl noted the simplicity: ‘It took two people one day to install 50 blinds.’
Hitachi were delighted; so much so that Daryl is returning soon to take care of the building’s other, larger windows. For now, however, the R&D department for one of the world’s biggest technology companies is free to work unabated by glaring sunlight.