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What is the point of solar shading?
The National Energy Foundation cites the key benefits of solar shading as:
- Thermal comfort – providing an insulating protection for the building envelope, reducing solar heat gain in the building
- Visual comfort – greater use of transparent façade materials enables higher levels of natural daylighting, without the high levels of glare that can occur without shading.
- Internal air quality – lower internal temperatures without detriment to the supply of fresh air
- Overheating – reduces extent to which incoming solar radiation is absorbed by internal objects and re-radiated as thermal radiation (i.e. greenhouse effect)
Should I choose aluminium or timber as the material for the solar shading fins?
The answer depends on the drivers for the material selection. Timber can often be specified due to the specific aesthetic being sought. Western Red Cedar, for example, ages to an attractive silver grey colour. However, another key driver is the sustainability of timber, particularly where the timber is sourced from FSC certified forests. Aluminium is increasingly popular due to its high strength to weight ratio, non-combustible composition and lower maintenance requirements. Modern finishes to aluminium can also mimic the effect of timber with much greater realism.
Should I have a solar shading system outside or will internal shades achieve the same objective?
Do I only need solar shading on the southern elevation?
What are the benefits of a dynamic solar shading solution?
How are the balconies fixed to the building?
Do I need rainwater drainage on my balcony?
Are laminated and toughened glass the same?
Which type of glass is best for use as a balustrade?
The question of whether toughened glass or laminated glass is best depends on the application. If the development is greater than 18 m in height, laminated glass is not permitted due to the combustibility of the plastic layer that is sandwiched between the two sheets of glass. Toughened glass is therefore the typical choice here.
Toughened glass tends to be significantly stronger than laminated glass. Toughened glass is therefore more difficult to break. However, if the glass does break, unlike laminated glass, toughened glass shatters. Some people prefer laminated glass on overhead glass structures. Others will argue that toughened glass is still the safer option as the likelihood of it shattering is far less likely, while the tiny fragments of glass that do rain down are not sharp or jagged and therefore unlikely to cause serious injury.
When do I need to specify aluminium decking rather than a composite deck?
Is the choice of ventilation louvre system based solely on aesthetics?
No. The choice of ventilation louvre should be made on the basis of two primary characteristics: (1) discharge loss coefficient, i.e. pressure drop. This impacts on the performance of the mechanical and electrical plant; and (2) penetration of rain through the louvre system.
Do the perforated panels need to be uniform or can bespoke patterns be created?
Levolux can supply panels that have been perforated to bespoke patterns, whether that is a logo, brand message or any other image type.
Should I specify an anodised or polyester powder coated finish to aluminium?
Polyester powder coating (PPC) offers the advantages of having the largest possible choice of colour and textured / effect coatings. PPC finishes tend to have greater uniformity of colour, even when produced across different batches. Whilst PPC coats the profile, anodised finishes become ‘ingrained’ and offers even greater peel resistance. Anodising may therefore be preferable in applications involving large amounts of trafficking / use. Anodising can also achieve a deeper metallic colour.
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