When a climate is irregular, oppressively hot or cold, or when a building is located in a polluted area such as a large city, external louvres are often used to provide ventilation and a regular circulation of fresh air. These consist of several slats placed at precise angles to ensure the best possible circulation for fresh, temperature-controlled air. Large structures, such as brise soleil, its name taken from the French (‘sunbreaker’) can also shade people around the building from either overwhelming sun or light precipitation. Smaller louvres control sand or dust from entering the building, as well as ambient sound. They are an extremely useful method of reducing emissions from heating and from air conditioning, and for this reason have gained prominence as an essential feature of a ‘green building’. Air conditioning in particular is one of the most infamous culprits in carbon dioxide production.

Some louvres have even more advanced and specific environmentally friendly uses. For instance, glass louvres actively take in and retain heat, leaving buildings cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Some are even built in conjunction with solar panels: the slats are ideally placed to support fragile photovoltaic cells, and the glass maximizes the amount of sunlight they attract. Many well-known buildings, such as Paris’ Institute du Monde Arabe, the Milwaukee Art Museum, Yorkshire Sculpture Park and Chandigargh city at the foot of the Himalayas, designed by the creator of brise soleil, architect Le Courbusier (‘the blackbird’), use louvres to create modern and efficient buildings.

However, architects are artists, and when planning external louvres on a building, they’re not thinking only of the functionality of efficient temperature and pollution control systems. It’s the indisputable beauty of external louvres that has made them a mainstay of all kinds of architecture projects, from airports or entire cities like Chandigargh, to private homes and small offices. Louvres are found everywhere in inconscpicious forms made out of steel or aluminium, and many are designed specifically not to be seen. But on the other extreme, an arresting structure made of wooden or glass louvres combines functionality with a design centerpiece.

When sitting out in the garden, approaching the pool, or simply approaching a building, a louvre structure is fantastic way of providing a cool, quiet and tranquil space while also enjoying the serenity for inhabitants, workers and guests that comes from gorgeous architecture. It’s increasingly unusual to find a shaded outdoor space attached to a well-designed building that doesn’t incorporate an attractive brise soleil feature – and with louvre installation becoming cheaper and more accessible to the average homeowner, the trend is only set to become more well-loved.

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

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