Harol VZ

ONE SYSTEM
ONE FAMILY

The construction business becomes more complex every day and architectural designs often create challenging window applications. For sun protection systems, being able to respond to every building situation is the key. The VZ gamma is like a Swiss army knife: for every need it offers a solution.
The VZ 080 and VZ800 can be used to cover every horizontal or slanted window surface: It can be mounted on the winow surface directly or with support feet, it can be attached to a wall and combined with the support structure to create a patio roof (which is called "Versuz"), it can be used vertically in front of a window as a screen or between 2 walls, etc. The cloth can run top-down, bottom-up or sideways. In short, one system for every possible sun protection application!

Thinking of the big picture,
while designing the details.


The most difficult part of develloping a system is that every descision that you make in the design of one element, can have an influence on the entire system. That's why it's crucial to focus on the global picture, even when you are working on the details.
Good visualisations and rapid prototypes can help to illustrate how all the different elements interact with each other.

Easy to install due to user centered design.



Observations and interviews with trained installers helped us to define the most difficult; error sensitive or time consuming operations during the installation process. With those in mind, we develloped a new product with a very straight forward installation procedure, where the installer can acces everything from the top.

Our in house made prototypes helped us to visualise and verify this new workflow. This allowed us to get the crucial feedback from technicians, marketeers, etc. to make the design a succes. 

A dream for architects.
Rewarded by a jury of experts.



Apart from its versatility, the product stands out with a very clean and timeless design. Its clean lines and completely hidden screws, make the product blend easily in every building style from classic to modern.

These functional and aesthetical qualities were quickly noticed by the experts in the field. In 2016 Z&R magazine rewarded the VZ as product of the year.

Virtual reality in the design process.


Although prototypes were very important in the design process, e.g. for mechanical verifications, for other applications they would have been useless. A real life prototype would not only be very expensive, but also very large to carry around, take a lot of time and space to set up in a meeting room, etc.

That is where virtual reality offerd a very usefull solution. Through VR it was easy to experience the product in true size, in representative environment. Users can switch between configurations, materials and colors in seconds in a way that would be impossible in real life, or with illustrations on paper.

At the same time, VR offered unique oportunities to visualise the mechanics and interactions between the parts. This can be a very usefull training tool for installers to quickly gather insights in the construction and possibilities of the system.

When the design is finished,
the real work begins.



As you can not verify everything in a 3D CAD model, a lot of effort went to real life verification. Multiple iterations of rapid prototypes, milled parts and first production batches were assembled to optimise the product.

This results in a product that looks good, is easy to produce and assemble, but most of all works great! It opens and closes smoothly, even after 10.000 times of opening and closing; the cloth is stable even in heavy weather conditions
; etc. It has all been tested and verified.

"Together with Achilles we created the VZ system, a flexible system that responds easily to every different building situation. That's what our clients really want."

"Designing a system is much more complicated than  a single product. It requires a specific approach."