As brise soleil and climate façades become increasingly important architectural features, people are asking, ‘How long can they be?’.
In a nutshell:
- Longer blades can span greater distances and require fewer fixings
- But longer blades need to be thicker and heavier
- Heavier blades may, therefore, require additional support
- Less than 5m for single blades and 7m for two-section blades is a good rule-of-thumb
- Specialist companies can help you find the optimum length
The question is often driven by aesthetics and cost. Longer blades that span greater distances require less of a sub-structure and fewer fixings.
Before considering length, it’s important look at the other dimensions too.
- For example, a single blade that needs to span 5 metres might need to be at least 500mm wide and 100mm thick.
- And while a two-section blade could span up to 7 metres, it might need to be 750mm wide and 150mm thick.
Suddenly, the sleek, clean lines the architect is looking for may not be quite so slimline after all.
What’s more, adding depth and thickness also adds weight. Long, unsupported blades may dip in the middle under their own weight – requiring additional supports.
Then, you have to consider location. Blades in exposed locations will be subject to wind load, while snow and ice can add to the overall weight.
What would we recommend?
Less than 5m for single blades. No more than 7m for a two-piece. But speak to a brise soleil specialist first.
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