Solar Shading Systems: Delivering distinctive architectural impact and cutting energy use

When we sit inside a building, we all recognise the benefits of natural daylight entering through the window. We respond better when we can have a view to the outside and work better under controlled natural daylight conditions. Furthermore Architects naturally like to create buildings that evoke interest and admiration. Accordingly there are examples of buildings with large areas of glazing that can be seen nearly everywhere.

Colt Sun Tracking louvers and LS4 natural ventilation and Smoke Vent system. These louvres are installed from ground level up to the eaves and are made from spruce and fir, giving the building a unique character. Many of the glass louvres are coloured crating a subtle effect inside the building. Textile Shadotex louvres provide effective shading of this award winning building. This complete test building moves in accordance with the position of the sun and the seasons of the year. The building has been nearly entirely wrapped in louvres made of PTFE glass fibre Shadotex textile louvres. Louvres are individually adjustable and have greatly reduced the energy use of the building. The louvres give an appearance of a fish moving. The louvres themselves consist of a total of 380 fixed and 300 moveable louvres installed vertically on a building which has an exceptionally high thermal performance.

Features and benefits of Solar Shading Systems

  • Optimum performance by reducing solar heat gains whilst maintaining acceptable levels of natural daylight
  • Reduction of cooling loads in summer
  • Reduction of heating requirements in winter
  • Potential for striking aesthetic impact
  • Potential to integrate photovoltaic cells

However with the drive towards reducing energy consumption, a key objective for most building designers is to maximise the use of natural light without the problems of glare or excessive solar heat gain.

Careful selection of the most appropriate solar shading system is necessary in order to achieve the necessary functional performance and to meet the aesthetic requirements of the building.

Colt offers systems which consist of fixed brise soleil or controllable louvres, in vertical or horizontal configurations, made of aluminium, textile or glass fins, as well as many other types of systems.

Solar shading design considerations

What are the considerations when designing a solar shading system?

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