If you work in the architectural industry or have just started studying the subject, you may have come across the term Louver. Although some designers will use louvers in modern design day in, day out, you may not actually know what they are.
The first thing to know is that this is an architectural device and not a fancy building in France!
What is a louver?
The Building Services Research and Information Association (BSRIA) describe a louver as a passive device that allows air to pass in and out of a building or ventilation system without allowing rain or other weather to enter.
A louver tends to be a set of fixed blade-like panels installed onto the outside of buildings. They work as both an air inlet and exhaust while also protecting a building from weather damage.
These devices are used by engineers and architects for both aesthetics and functionality. They’re particularly helpful for manufacturing plants with large, hot machinery. The louvers work to create an essential airflow into and out of the space. In cities and other built-up areas, louvers are often used with different colors to hide eyesores or create a modern style.
Louvers can also help to reduce energy costs for larger businesses. As they provide natural ventilation, manufacturers don’t have to use as much power trying to exhaust air from the space. This means their processes can essentially be more energy-efficient and less detrimental to the environment.
Different types of louvers
There are a number of louver types, which are used in different settings for different things. Below are a few of the main types, which you’ll likely have seen around your local area. If you’re designing property, it may be worth considering adding louvers to the exterior.
As the name suggests, these louvers are there to protect a building from the rain. They promote natural airflow to prevent wind-driven rain from entering the building or damaging the exterior.
If you own a business, you’ll know that not everything is aesthetically pleasing. Screening louvers are used to hide unsightly equipment, eyesores, and old buildings to provide the airflow the space needs while also hiding things away. Screening louvers are commonly used on the top of buildings to hide ventilation systems or other machinery.
These are useful for built-up areas or nearby factories. They work to reduce noise pollution to the surrounding areas – either within the same building or outside.
Finally, there are ventilation louvers that work as both a rain defense and airflow regulator. These louvers put ventilation as a top priority, so should be used in areas where occasional water ingress is acceptable.
The functionality you need will determine how creative you can get with the louver you choose. There are plenty of options for different colored screens or styles, depending on the materials you use. Although mainly practical, louvers can offer a contemporary design style to older buildings and working plants. Take a look around in the industrial areas near your home, or head to the city to see if you can identify louvers in your local area.