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Levolux - Frequently Asked Questions

Click on the drop down links below to view a list of frequently asked questions that are often asked relating to Levolux products, services, terminology and definitions:

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Why Are Glass Louvres Becoming So Popular?

Glass is undisputedly one of the most important building products there is. Imagine a world without it. In the architectural sector, it can be used for a variety of purposes from creating large striking glass facades to elegant internal screen solutions.

One of its many architectural uses has gone through something of a transformation over the past few years, with new added value functionality being incorporated into its make up.

Traditionally glass louvres, used to control solar heat gain within buildings, have been tinted or etched to create the desired effect. More elaborate finishes such as ceramic frits – a type of paint that is baked onto the glass – are also available to create more adventurous appearances whilst reflecting the sun’s heat and helping to maintain a comfortable interior temperature.

How Can I Reduce Building Related Energy Consumption?

It is a staggering fact that over 40% of the United Kingdom’s energy consumption is building related. This in turn produces about half the nation’s CO2 emissions and many other environmentally damaging pollutants which contribute to global warming.

Annual delivered energy consumption in offices can range from under 100 to over 1000 kWh/m² of treated floor area. Although energy is used in buildings for the running of appliances and equipment, lighting but especially heating and cooling are significant both in terms of cost and environmental effect. For the building designer or specifier, there is therefore not only a social obligation to make a building as energy efficient and environmentally friendly as possible, but a strong economic one.

As a result there has been a move towards ‘green’ buildings with natural ventilation and lighting, or at least ones where the amount of air-conditioning and artificial lighting has been significantly reduced. To achieve this, techniques such as solar shading, ventilated facades and daylighting are being employed.

A wide variety of external shading systems are available. In broad terms, however, they can be broken down into two principal categories: motorised venetian or fabric blinds and fixed or adjustable brise-soleil; a highly effective method of taking the 'sting' out of hot summer sun.

Which Solar Shading System Has Unique Concealed Fixings?

Levolux, the UK’s leading solar shading specialist, has challenged the laws of physics with its new Infiniti Fin® solar shading system. This ground-breaking innovation in solar shading provides a unique aesthetic of continuous, fixed aerofoil fins with concealed, stainless steel fixings.

The Infiniti Fin® system is the latest addition to the range of solar shading systems available from Levolux and features a unique, patented integral stainless steel locking plate, concealed within an extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fin or section. The innovative design allows the maximum possible span capability with the minimum visual footprint and allows Aerofoil Fins to be cantilevered to overhang past the carrier arm without the need for end plates.

The development of the new Infiniti Fin® system was a natural evolution. Levolux strives to push the boundaries of design, to engineer new solutions that can deliver real benefits to architects and developers. The Infiniti Fin® system is the only such system with concealed, integrated fixings and makes it possible to create continuous clean lines, without compromising on structural integrity.

What Are The Benefits Of Solar Shading As A Way Of Reducing Energy Consumption?

Solar shading systems control solar heat gain, which can significantly reduce a building’s energy costs by limiting or even eliminating the need for air conditioning. This is becoming increasingly important with the increasing use of glass within architecture. In addition, the use of optimum daylight cuts the costs associated with artificial lighting and creates a better working environment.

What Benefits Does Solar Shading Bring To The Working Environment?

Solar shading prevents solar heat gain. Studies have shown that as temperatures rise in offices and workplaces productivity drops. Solar shading reduces, or even eliminates the need for airconditioning. Control of glare has become increasingly important with the increased use of VDU’s in the workplace. Natural ventilation and the optimum use of daylight combine to create a more comfortable working environment.

How Does Solar Shading Help Meet L2 Compliance?

Part L requires a limit on Solar heat gain within non-domestic buildings and a reduction in Carbon Dioxide emissions, and recommends the use of Solar Shading.

What Is Brise Soleil?

Brise Soleil is generally an arrangement of horizontal or, sometimes, vertical louvres or fins that are used to shade window openings and can be fixed or adjustable.

What Is The Difference Between A Louvre And A Fin?

A “louvre” is generally the description of the shape of a “Z” or “J” shaped extrusion. Whereas “fin”, or “aerofoil”, generally refers to a symmetrical or non-symmetrical wing-type extruded hollow section.

Internal Or External Solar Shading?

External solar shading, in the main, performs a different function to internal solar shading. External solar shading systems – or brise soleil – are the most efficient way of controlling solar heat gain, because they prevent the sun’s rays from reaching the glass. External Solar shading can reduce solar heat gain by up to 90%. While internal solar shading systems do eliminate a proportion of solar heat gain by reflecting it back through the glass, their main function is to reduce or eliminate glare.

What Is A Hard Treatment?

A hard treatment refers to mini blinds, verticals, horizontal blinds, cellular shades, woven wood shades, roller shades and shutters.

What Is A Soft Treatment?

A soft treatment is a window treatment that is fabricated from fabric; a drapery, a valance, a roman shade and any other treatment involving fabric.

How Does Automated Solar Shading Work?

Automated, or motorised, solar shading works by following the path of the sun as it moves throughout the day, and throughout the year, and so maximising the effect of the system. By automating external solar shading it’s benefits can be optimised.

When Should Solar Shading Be Controlled By The User And When Should It Be Automated?

In general, external solar shading systems that control solar heat gain should be automated to ensure they are providing the optimum benefits to the building, whilst internal solar shading devices which, in the main, control glare should be controlled by the user

What Are The Benefits Of Using Aluminium For Solar Shading?

Aluminium is lightweight, non-corroding and easily fabricated, making it possible to create systems that would be unachievable in other materials. Intricately shaped profiles can be manufactured and extruded in one piece. The strength of aluminium means that it’s versatility can be extended beyond fins and louvres and can be used for elements such as walkways. Compared to steel it is easy to work with and cut and enables a smoother and cleaner finish. Environmentally speaking aluminium is a recyclable material.

How Is Glass Being Used In Solar Shading?

Technological advances enable architects to use glass to intelligently transmit light to where it is needed most.

What Is The Best Colour For Solar Shading Systems?

For internal solar shading products, white or light colours are best as they reflect the sun’s rays. Dark colours will absorb the solar heat and release it inside the building. In contrast, for external solar shading devices, dark colours are best as they minimise the amount of energy reflected into the building, whilst the heat they absorb is released outside the building.

What Are The Safety Issues To Consider?

Safety is a major concern within the window covering industry. Always keep cords up and out of the way of chidren and pets, and never position a crib near a window with a cord. Cordless blinds are an option.

How Does Solar Shading Affect Window Cleaning?

The design of solar shading needs to address the issue of window cleaning. There are a number of solutions depending on the design. A walkway can be incorporated into the design to allow access behind the louvres, or cleaning can be carried out through the louvres from suitable access equipment, or from the ground underneath the shading system.

What Is A ‘Walk On Brise Soleil’ System?

Efficient, Stylish, Enhanced Practicality. New Walk-on Brise Soleil system combines attractive and efficient solar shading with easy access for maintenance and window cleaning.

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