Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Concepts In Construction - Sun Shading

Sun shading refers to the various ways in which direct sunlight is kept out of spaces in the building. This is especially necessary in high rise buildings where direct sunlight gets into the building through windows. The following are ways in which this problem is tackled:



· Built Solutions: These are sun shading solutions that are built as part of the building. Examples here include:
o Cantilever balconies: Although balconies are meant to be used as external spaces, they are at times designed to offer a supplementary duty of offering shade from the sun on windows on lower floors. This can be enhanced by designing the balconies with a downstand beam for better shading.
o Glazing films & Solar glazing: Since most windows are infilled in glazing, it works best to target these when sun shading is being considered. This is either done by the use of glass with sun diverting or absorbing capabilities or by covering such glazing with solar film, whether reflective or absorptive.
o Curtain walls: A curtain wall can simply be defined as a supplementary wall, usually decorative and covering the main functional walls. They are usually made of glass and the above mentioned glazing solutions apply.
o Hanging sun shades: these are various solutions whereby elements like wood, steel or concrete pieces are hang above windows, whether in louvers or full pieces.
o False roofs / eaves: These are small roof-like structures butting into walls and aimed at covering windows below them in a bid to shade them from direct sunlight.
· Furnitures: These are items input in the building after it is complete in a bid to enhance their sun shading capabilities. They include the following:
o Blinds: these are usually in the form of light clothing. They are in most cases done in two layers of different weights.
o Louvres: these are many small pieces, either going horizontally or vertically that can be tilted in a bid to divert or avert sun rays. Louvers are either made of clothe, timber, PVC, aluminium and so forth.
The best and cost effective solution is however by designing the building in such a way that it will require little or no sun shading. This is usually done by orientating the building in such a way that windows are directed against the sun's path, thus ensuring that no sunlight gets in the building through windows. Sun shading will ensure comfortable spaces by reducing sun distraction as well as heat.