Smartlouvre Technology

HRL Laboratories

High energy consumption was significantly reduced through installation of Microlouvre Koolshade® whilst maintaining occupant comfort and building compliance

Key details

State of the art research facility which uses excessive air condition loads. In order to meet stringent fire safety standards they required a retrofit shading solution

  • Long durability 60+ years
  • Maintenance free
  • Excessive air conditioning loads
  • Stringent fire safety standards are required
  • Need perfect outward vision
  • Natural ventilation was needed


HRL Laboratories


Malibu, USA


Microlouvre Koolshade® screens

Install date:


Case Study E-Book

HRL Laboratories (formerly Hughes Research Laboratories) is a scientific research centre in Malibu, California, currently owned by General Motors Corporation and Boeing. Their technologies include Cyber-Physical Resilience and Brain-Machine Intelligence which operate in space, on aircraft and in automobiles.

The research facility is housed in two large, multi-story buildings on a Malibu hilltop overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The modernist white and glass buildings were designed by Los Angeles architect Ernest Lee.

The problem

The key reason for the high-energy consumption in laboratory facilities, is their high ventilation rates and the associated air conditioning loads. To ensure a comfortable and practical environment within the labs, a consistent building temperature of 24 degrees Celsius was defined.

Post-occupancy, the buildings required 240 ton of refrigeration to be applied to maintain this temperature of 24 degrees. Alternative solutions to reduce the cooling load through minimising solar heat gain had to be found, and without infringing on Malibu’s rigid legislation on reflective glass and window films.

The solution

What was then known as KoolShade® was installed throughout, ensuring 87% of the sun’s rays and its effects were blocked. The reduction in refrigeration tonnage was recorded at over 17% due to the screens alone.

That was installed in 1960 and 60+ years later, the screens are still in place, performing as they did on day 1, and remain aesthetically pleasing, without any maintenance. The building management have confirmed that they are simply pressure washed (in-situ) just twice a year and are still ‘in great shape’.


  • 17% reduction in cooling load
  • Balanced daylighting and full CRI
  • Maintained ability to view out
  • Compliant with all standards and regulations
  • Easy to clean and durable

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Why Microlouvre Koolshade®?

A huge range of exceptional performance properties in just one system

Microlouvre Koolshade® metal fabric has exceptional performance properties. Its solar shading and glare control capabilities, combined with its fire and heat resistance, make it uniquely versatile. Its flexibility also means we can produce this in limitless shapes, sizes, and colours for all types of window coverings, lighting design, exhibition displays and for managing natural ventilation.

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