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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