Architectural Louvre Systems with Operable Louvres
Building envelopes are the bridge between the natural environment and thermal comfort. Therefore, climate-responsive design is critical to the success of a high-performance façade and a more carbon-neutral building. Operable louvres are often integral to these types of facades as they can actively respond to the various seasons to control heat gains and heat losses throughout the year. By harnessing the natural elements like sun and wind, buildings can rely more on these types of passive heating and cooling systems. This reduces energy costs, provides greater comfort for occupants, and contributes to a carbon-neutral future.
Louvreclad have an extensive range of aluminium louvres and screens, many of which can be designed and engineered as operable louvres.
Operable louvres generally fall into two categories:
1. Operable louvres for natural ventilation / smoke & heat control
2. Operable louvres for sun control
Operable Louvres for Natural Ventilation / Smoke & Heat Control
Fresh, natural air is essential to the wellbeing and health of building occupants. Historically, buildings were naturally ventilated. Over time, they have been modified with the addition of airflow-inhibiting partition walls and energy-hungry mechanical ventilation systems.
Passive ventilation systems utilize the Venturi effect with low-level inlets and high-level exhaust louvres to take advantage of the natural buoyancy of hot air to encourage fresh air supply into the building to reduce temperatures and increases thermal comfort. This exchange of air between the inside and outside of a building also eliminates the internal build-up of stale air, replacing it with clean air.
Louvreclad’s range of aluminium, colour-coated steel and glazed operable louvre systems deliver controlled ventilation and vision when fully open, while being weatherproof when closed. With added seals, some of these operable louvres can also be made airtight.
Commercial grade operable louvres are suitable for, and protect from, all weather conditions, including storms and heavy rain.
Selecting glass blades in operable aluminium frames provides natural light and vision when closed, while allowing you the choice of opening for a free flow of fresh air to enter the building allowing a building to be fully naturally ventilated and contributing to a more energy efficient building solution.
Alternatively, operable louvres can become part of a mixed-mode ventilation system and seal to allow for air-conditioning when required. These types of natural and mixed mode ventilation systems will reduce the amount of energy it takes to run a building contributing to a high-performance building envelope and a more sustainable building solution.
Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilation
Some operable louvre systems used for natural ventilation are also suitable as Smoke and Heat Exhaust Ventilators, which are sometimes known as SHEVS.
Smoke and heat exhaust ventilators like the Louvreclad Galaxy Series® and Louvreclad Vision Series® have been designed, engineered and CSIRO tested, to provide effective fail-safe smoke and heat ventilation in the event of fire for a low-level escape route.
Natural / smoke and heat operable louvred vent designs are typically operated via spring-return fail-safe actuators with thermal links to enable full fail-safe operation as part of your passive smoke and heat ventilation solution.
Louvreclad’s range of operable natural ventilation / smoke and heat control louvres includes:
Operable Louvres for Sun Control
When occupant comfort and energy efficiency is of upmost importance, operable sun shading is the ultimate solution. Louvreclad has a vast range of sun shading profiles, and many can be designed and engineered as an operable sun shading solution. This includes the complete range of modular and elliptical sun blades as well as custom fabricated perforated and non-perforated aluminium options. These sun blades will be fitted with actuators and can connect to sun sensors to track the sun and weather, and Lux sensors to control solar gains and ensure optimal internal temperatures at all times of the day.
Manual or Electric Operation
Hand-operated operable louvres include a manual lever to open or close the louvres depending on the weather and your personal preference.
Conversely, when energy efficiency is a key requirement, electric actuators allow for integration with Building Management Systems (BMS), with 24V electric motors grouped together with sun, weather and Lux sensors for automatic operation and sun tracking to ensure optimal internal temperatures throughout the day.
Features of Operable Louvres:
- Operable louvres contribute to the comfort and wellbeing of building occupants.
- Sustainable building materials: aluminium is a long lasting, low maintenance, 100% recyclable and sustainable building material.
- Other available substrates include colour-coated steel, Zincalume, aluminium, fiberglass, glass, and polycarbonate.
- Finishes include powder coat, anodising, or timber-look aluminium.
- Flexible control options including manual or electrically actuated.
Advantages of Operable Louvres:
- Maximum airflow: operable louvres allow up to 85% of optimal airflow.
- Safety: fail-safe actuators are utilised in case of a fire or gas incident, to provide automatic and immediate smoke and heat exhaust.
- Energy efficiency: operable louvres can be connected to solar, weather, and lux sensors to provide a more energy efficient and sustainable building solution.
- BMS integration: operable louvres can be connected to a building’s BMS, or individual control panels, and integrated into the holistic ventilation/smoke control solution.