How brise soleil systems work

Brise soleil is one of the solar screening systems and architectural facades that capture people’s imagination. Yet, many people do not truly understand where and why these systems can be used and what their origins are. This article aims to give you the lowdown on what they are and how they work.

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Brise Soleil Systems Explained

Brise soleil is designed to protect the interior of buildings from excessive heat gain caused by the sun. Angled blades or other structural features are used to cut out rays, which can be particularly beneficial in sunnier climates and during warmer periods of the year.

The blades used by installers such as can be horizontal or vertical and a series of these are positioned to help control how much solar heat and sunlight can enter a building.

What Does Brise Soleil Mean?

The name has French origins and means ‘sun breaker’. It was developed by Charles Édouard Jeanneret, a Swiss city planner and architect. He was a pioneer in the field of passive energy control and was known as Le Corbusier, a name derived from a surname in his family, Lecorbésier.

Le Corbusier first made use of solar shading to protect multi-storey buildings from sunlight and heat gain in the 1930s. You can read more about him on the Museum of Modern Art website here.

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Working in practice

Brise soleil systems are positioned above glazed areas. The fins or blades allow low-level sun to enter but prevent direct summer sun.

As well as blades, brise soleil systems can also be made to form shelves or walkways and can be made from a variety of materials, including wood and aluminium. They can be used on a wide variety of different buildings, ranging from smaller private properties to large municipal buildings.

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