Louvres, together with HVAC systems, increase efficiency in natural ventilation to create quality indoor environments. They are not complex systems. They are fixed, can be opened, sliding, or operable wing profiles that can be made from several different materials, and they can be opened and closed with a pulley or lever system; that is, they can be adjusted. With the louvre, the airflow and shadow entering through the wings are controlled. In addition, in areas where rain is plentiful, it can seal against the rain and let the breeze in. Or in areas where the sun is abundant, it can keep direct sunlight out, not deprive the indoor environment of light and not allow foreign materials such as sand and dust inside. It is a traditional method, as these properties have been discovered since medieval times. They are systems that have been used in buildings for a long time due to their versatility. It was a small-scale solution of HVAC systems back then. Likewise, today, louvres are the starting element for HVAC.
First of all, let’s clear up the confusion in the name. British English spelling uses ‘louvre’, while American English spelling uses ‘louver’. They both mean the same thing. They are aesthetic, economical, easy to install, lightweight, allowing privacy, and easy to clean systems. Although louvres used to be made using wood material, they can now be made of aluminium, metal, glass, copper, stainless steel, or titanium as modern materials.
Where to use it?
The reason why louvre systems are used on facades is that it contributes to both aesthetics and performance. However, it is not only used on facades; it is also used on ceilings, walls, roofs, or in areas such as door and cabinet construction with decoration. It can be used in vehicles other than buildings. Thus, it is desired to add style to the car and to provide protection from the sun. Installing louvres over radiators to keep the spacecraft equipment at appropriate operating temperatures is a different use case. (The European Space Agency)
What are the Louvers Types?
The first type is Rain Defense Louvres, which is also successful in preventing rain from entering. The ventilation louvre is used in cases where other types of rain protection are less important than airflow. Type 3 screening louvre used to conceal irritating equipment such as HVAC systems on top of buildings. Finally, it is an acoustic louvre that allows air to pass while reducing sound pollution in noisy environments.
Contemporary Louver System examples
Although it is a method that has been used since the past, advanced and different contemporary solutions have been found with the modern process. Now they are more stylish, innovative and efficient.
Made of metal fabric, the MicroLouvre is an example of a high-tech, green louvre that is as thin as paper and as light as you might guess from the name. MicroLouvre® is woven from corrosion-resistant, non-combustible, recycled copper alloys (bronze), making it a highly durable and long-lasting, environmentally friendly product( Smartlouvre ). It is also recyclable. It contributes to the aesthetics of lighting with its high performance by providing control in glare and dispersing the light. It is also solar shading; that is, it provides solar energy gain and prevents the entry of harmful rays from the sun. Thus, it helps to reduce the cost spent on interior heating and cooling. And solar energy recovery helps extend the life of buildings. Since it is translucent, it does not even restrict your view.
Instead of just applying the louvres to the windows, they continue on the front all the time. It works as a kind of coating. Both visual integrity and aesthetics are achieved, and it is completely protected from wind, rain, and pests along the entire facade. The heat load on the facade is reduced. Installation for the door can also be carried out.
Vacuum Glazed Louvers
This type of louvre, which increases the efficiency of thermal performance, saves energy in buildings. The air between the two glass plates can be vacuumed to prevent heat loss. It also provides an acoustic solution by preventing sound pollution. However, even if there are two glasses, vacuum glazed louvres are only one glass thickness. A glazed vacuum unit consists of an outer pane of low emissive glass and an inner pane of clear float glass, separated by a micro spacer grid of small pillars, each measuring just 0.5mm diameter and set 20mm apart. This grid ensures that the two glass panes are kept a fixed distance apart. The edges of the unit are welded to achieve an airtight seal (Safetyline Jalousie). Thus, it becomes a more economical and high-performance product compared to its counterparts in creating comfortable indoor environments, which is a modern requirement.
- The European Space Agency, Rosetta’s frequently asked questions, [online].Available at: https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/Rosetta/Frequently_asked_questions [Accessed 06 March 2022].
- Smartlouvre, MicroLouvre®, Metal fabrics and architectural mesh, [online].Available at: https://www.smartlouvre.com/products/microlouvre-metal-fabric [Accessed 06 March 2022].
- Safetyline Jalousie, High thermal performance vacuum glazed louvers with single glazing thickness, [online].Available at: https://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/suppliers/safetyline-jalousie/high-thermal-performance-vacuum-glazed-louvres-wit [Accessed 06 March 2022].