Look up at the buildings around you. Can you see narrow slats on the façades? These are external architectural louvres, and as well as adding to the overall appearance of the building, they play a vital role in making it safe and comfortable for everyone inside.
The primary function of external architectural louvres is to allow air into and out of a building or HVAC system. This stops mechanical and electrical equipment from overheating, contributes to improved energy efficiency, and generally helps to maintain a healthy environment for people using the premises.
However, as we all know, the weather can be very unpredictable here in the Northern Hemisphere, and sometimes it’s not just air that the louvre blades let in…
Rain ingress through external louvres can be a huge, and increasingly year-round, problem in some buildings. Things may be fine in a light shower, but in longer, heavier downfalls, which are often accompanied by strong winds, it’s a different story.
When rain is driven against a building, some droplets may get into the airstream and be carried into the building, potentially damaging sensitive equipment located close to louvred areas and necessitating expensive and time-consuming repairs.
Fortunately, there are ways of mitigating the risk of rain breaching the louvres.
A traditional design approach would allow for a special chamber where rainwater is collected and drained away.
However, there is also a more modern option – specialist louvres. Engineered with enhanced rain defence in mind, specialist louvres are an advanced and space-saving solution to the problem of rain ingress.
At Construction Specialties (CS), we are always looking for ways to make our customers’ lives easier. We don’t give ‘one size fits all’ answers, instead offering different, and very effective, solutions for different challenges.
We know our standard horizontal louvres offer good defence against rain ingress and good airflow, but we also understand that some buildings may require even better performance. When it came to this particular challenge, it was necessary to see things from a new perspective – a vertical one!
Bringing new products to our customers is always really exciting. We innovate because we want to make sure that everyone who comes to CS gets a solution that does exactly what we promise – to make buildings better.
With our specialist vertical louvre range, we started from a simple hypothesis – that a vertical louvre design would deliver better resistance to wind-driven rain ingress than a horizontal one.
From there, we engineered a range of vertical louvres with different blade shapes that would not only maintain the high rain defence classification but also improve the airflow of the louvre, creating RS-5605, our best performing louvre in the range.
All CS vertical louvre models include everything our customers require from our architectural louvres, such as quality, style, range and cost-efficiency. We even designed the louvre units to be modular and delivered pre-fabricated, so installation is fast and smooth.
In addition, the performance of our louvres has been verified through independent testing to EN 13030, which allows customers to identify the best solution to suit their needs and specify it with confidence.*
For more detailed information, please read on or visit Architectural Louvres
Vertical design means these louvres are particularly good at collecting and draining rainwater before it can enter the building and cause any damage to expensive equipment. However, exceptional rain defence capability is just part of the performance story of our vertical louvre range.
The most important function of louvres is to let air in and out of a building as efficiently as possible. The three models in our vertical range have been rated as having Good to Excellent airflow – RSV-5700 has Class 3, RS-5900 Class 2, and RS-5605 Class 1 (Class 1 being the best possible).
Louvres need to deliver the required aesthetic while at the same time performing a specific function. As part of the building façade, it is important they don’t detract from the overall design. In fact, they often enhance it.
Vertical blade appearance may suit the building better than the more traditional horizontal one. In addition, depending on the design intent, vertical louvres can be supplied with visible mullions to line up with the other façade elements or, for a more uniform appearance over a larger area, an invisible joint detail linking multiple units.
Regardless of model, all the units in our vertical rain defence range are available with a standard frame, allowing them to be fitted into prepared openings or fixed to secondary supporting steel structures. If preferred, they can be supplied with an optional glazing frame to fit directly into the curtain walling.
Modular construction means they are quick to fit and even more efficient in operation.
We work closely with customers to develop the best solution for their particular needs, but as a rule of thumb, the better the airflow class, the less of a louvre is required to allow the same amount of air through.
When it comes to our vertical rain defence louvres, this means that although, for example, the RS-5605 is a more expensive model than the RSV-5700, it has better airflow efficiency, so fewer units may be needed to achieve the same volumetric flow rate. See below example:
Calculationg Louvre Area
For a given Volumetric Flow of 30m3/s, max. pressure drop of 25Pa and Aerodynamic Free Area of 4.7m2, the following core area* is required:
Ce = 0.287
Core Area* Required = 16.36m2
Ce = 0.342
Core Area* Required = 13.73m2
Ce = 0.466
Core Area* Required = 10.08m2
*Core area excludes louvre frame
From drizzle to downpours, showers to storms, our range of vertical rain defence louvres will keep your internal air flowing and your building operating safely.
For more information on each model, please visit Architectural Louvres or click on the individual models below:
*In testing to EN 13030 (the European standard for verifying rain defence and airflow performance), vertical models have been proven to be particularly effective in minimising ingress of wind-driven rain.