Glass Louvres – shade structures and power them too…

Brise soleil designs are an iconic feature of 20th century architecture. Popularised back at the beginning of the century by important modernist architects including Le Courbusier (‘the raven’), a French design visionary, nowadays these structures are providing permanent shade for buildings ranging from stylish homes to university constructions and airports. And that’s not all: thanks to the ability of glass louvres to harness sunlight while they shade buildings from it, valuable solar energy is being generated through these designs, with a vast range of cutting-edge external louvres controlling air intake and discharge for the utmost efficiency.

A brise soleil system is a series of blades angled to the optimum position for providing shade, preventing overheating and energy expending. When creating an efficient architectural design, glass louvres are integrated into shading systems to maximize sunlight during dark times, and to utilize the sunlight’s photovoltaic energy on hot days. They help to protect buildings from sun damage and from overheating, and are invaluable for cutting down on air conditioning expenses (and the associated release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere). They also produce a striking modern effect, and can be etched into or tinted to enhance the building’s appearance.

Meanwhile, the external louvres utilized by architects provide further screening from unsightly elements of a building, while also serving the double function of maximizing ventilation while keeping out rain and wind. Usually, they cover grills over exhaust pipes and air supply points to release a steady circulation of air from the outside. Cutting-edge design allows them to serve this function while also shielding the building’s interior from the elements, even including the snow and hail felt in chillier climates. Glazed louvres can also be used within windows and doors.

The architectural style which uses sun screening solutions hinges on an aesthetic of efficiency, creating buildings whose modern clean lines aren’t merely decorative, but an integral part of the building’s workings. They are popular largely because of their streamlined style, but also because of this capacity to offer multiple functions at the same time as being decorative. People who plan using this method are looking for long-term reductions to air conditioning, heating, light and ventilation costs. Nowadays many glass louvres come with photovoltaic technology to actually harness the energy of the sunlight into a building’s generators. Looking to a future where buildings are expected to exist in harmony with their surroundings, and climate change is more and more pressing, brise soleil systems will become more and more ubiquitous as architects plan for the long term.Â

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Glass louvres let the sunshine in

Many of us will never have heard of brise soleil, glass louvres or external louvres but those who have jobs in buildings where they are fitted will certainly be aware of their benefits. When natural light is low they encourage its penetration of the building. In harsh hot summer sun they provide shade and keep us cool inside. These specialist terms, so commonplace in architectural circles, should be learnt by any employers in any field who wish to keep their staff content.

In the winter, it is not unusual for staff members to excuse themselves from work because they feel down in the dumps with sniffles, exhaustion or mild depression. Increased exposure to outdoor light, which working in glass louvres or external louvres permits, will have a beneficial impact of the health of these workers. Anyone who has attempted to work in low light will know how sleepy it makes one feel. Working late when it’s dark or gloomy meanwhile, makes one feel an intense kind of self-pity.

Installing innovative light and heat efficiency additions might also allow us to look out of the window a little less in summer and focus on our work. We might also be less likely to spend our entire lunch breaks outdoors when the sun is at its most intense and capable of frizzling us to a crisp.  Inhabitants of the UK have a notorious reputation for worshipping the sun. Though we receive a much more ample dose of UV rays than people living in Finland, Sweden or Norway, our response to the first signs of fine weather would make anyone unfamiliar with the British stereotype think that we spent most of the year shut in the dark. The thing is, many of us who work 9-5 jobs do genuinely feel this way. Especially in the winter, when we are obliged to get up before the sun has risen and leave the office at dusk.

The damaging culture of taking lunch at one’s work station means that it is easy in winter not to get very much light at all. Thus we suffer, from seasonal affective disorder or just a sallow complexion, and appear excessively overjoyed when spring and summer finally give us some sun. Lobbying your employer to install brise soleil, glass louvres or external louvres will be a move you won’t regret. With much more exposure to light when you need it and shade when the sun gets too bright, you’ll start enjoying your job and a newly energised you.

Please visit http://www.maplesunscreening.co.uk/ for further information about this topic.

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