Smartlouvre weaves the unique MicroLouvre™ sun and light control metal fabric at its headquarters in the UK, delivering architectural and building performance solutions all over the world.
The fabric was invented in America in the late 1930s by two senior research members of Dow Chemical, and first manufactured in conjunction with the Borg-Warner Corporation, primarily as a sun shading system, then known as KoolShade®.
The product was endorsed by the iconic American Architect Frank Lloyd Wright who said “this is more important than you can realise. Not just windows, but entire walls and sections of buildings could be screened and protected from the sun’s hot rays.’
A legacy in solar shading and window screening systems, the paper-thin louvred metal fabric is unique, multi-functional, and now more than ever, a product of our time.
With our ISO: 9001 2015 certification for quality management, you can be certain that we are committed to delivering the highest product quality and outstanding service.
When tested at Fraunhofer, results confirmed MicroLouvre™ as the most comprehensive solution for Thermal and Visual Comfort in one system.
The Berkeley Lab included MicroLouvre™ in a major research project for PG&E. With MicroLouvre™, daily cooling loads were reduced by 68% on sunny days when compared with dual pane, high performance solar control glass with an internal blind.
The IFC Group have confirmed MicroLouvre™ to be A1/A2-s1,d0 : BS EN 13501 Fire Rating, making it one of very few passive and dynamic external sun and solar heat gain blocking systems compliant for use on high rise buildings.
Building Research Establishment (BRE) wind tunnel tested MicroLouvre™ screens from different angles and proved it to be indestructible at winds exceeding 100mph/160 kph/46 metres per second.
Smartlouvre Technology Limited is an ISO: 9001 2015 Accredited Quality Management company.
MicroLouvre™ has been extensively modelled using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) in SimScale.
Download and read all our credentials and certifications from our resource centre.
Lighting designers realised their ambition for this historic piece of architecture, using MicroLouvre™ fabric to neutralise the glare from the in-ground luminaires.
Dynamic solar shading by its nature presents the most risk of faults occurring. Moving parts, motors and reactive functions can be costly to repair or replace and warranties are typically short and limited.
Manual solar shading brings the increased risk of human intervention and misuse, especially those that are internal.
MicroLouvre screens are fixed to the building facade, window frame, mullions or direct to glass. They are light and quick and easy to install. They do not need to be removed for maintenance or window cleaning. Glass can be cleaned through screens (by simple pressure wash). For those buildings that better suit the option of moveable/removable screens, we offer a number of simple engineered solutions including simple lift in/out options or screens fitted in channels to slide in/out of position.
Dynamic solar shading uses technology to automate and control external and/or internal solar shading by means of an intelligent building control system.
When blinds are deployed due to need (excessive light or glare), the occupants then have no view to the outside.
Manual solar shading requires human intervention which can increase risk of damage to the system. Both dynamic and manual solar shading are subject to faults due to their moving parts and in some cases, motors.
Fixed solutions require no intervention and usually little to no maintenance. MicroLouvre was designed as a solar shading fixed window screen, consisting of a fine bronze alloy mesh, comprising 700 tiny ‘bris soleil’ fins per metre of fabric, measuring only 1.5mm in depth. It is installed on a frame external to any windows, allowing heat to accumulate on the surface of the metal and then dissipate to the outside before it reaches the window.
MicroLouvre’s durable metal fabric, with micro fine metal louvres, woven with precision, angled and spaced to ensure optimum light in and visibility out, whilst protecting from the sun’s heat and glare.
Even the most recent advances in glazing technology won’t block all the sun’s heat and they reduce the levels of daylight and the view out.
So, what is the answer? How do you block the sun’s heat, get optimum daylight distribution, visibility to the outside world, protection from glare AND the opportunity for ventilation?
You stop the sun’s energy before it hits the glass, with a metal fabric, with micro fine louvres woven in to dissipate the sun’s heat and neutralise glare, but not block natural daylight, natural ventilation or vision out.
Solar energy from the sun streams through glass, heating everything inside the building. Unable to escape back through the glass, the heat can build up to unbearable temperatures. This is what’s known as the greenhouse effect.
Internal blind systems protect the room from a minimal amount of heat gain. They trap the heat and re-radiate it into the room, also known as the radiator effect.
Solar control glass and window films will reduce a good amount of heat gain but they block the sun’s light, leaving the building occupants in the dark and increasing the need for artificial lighting and therefore, energy consumption.
External solar shading is the most effective protection against heat gain, blocking the sun’s energy from reaching the glass. However, external blind systems reflect the sun’s energy whilst still allowing heat to pass through to the glass and therefore the room. Large louvre systems (Bris Soleil) work by deflecting the sun’s light but only during peak sun hours.
MicroLouvre works totally differently. It neutralises solar heat gain and glare before it reaches the window, working non-stop like a heat exchanger dissipating the sun’s heat and energy into the atmosphere. It doesn’t diffuse daylight, it provides all the benefits but not the negative impact of excessive heat gain and glare. The louvres are micro fine, and angled at a level to ensure optimum light in and visibility out, whilst protecting the building occupants from the heat, glare and even external viewing in. It’s known as angular selective technology.