Did you know that specifying building louvres on free area alone can cause problems?
The principle reason for using louvres is to move air. But how do you know if the louvre you specify will actually deliver the air volume the engineer has asked for?
In our experience we have found that sizing and specifying louvres on free area alone can cause problems for both architects and owners.
When you specify a 50% free area louvre, what are you actually getting?
Free area is affected by the size of the louvre. In this example the louvre design is identical, only the size has been varied. The industry typically quotes free area using a 1.2m x 1.2m square louvre. In reality louvres are never precisely this size.
The reality is that other factors also impact airflow. For example, louvre frames add resistance to airflow and mullions, structural supports, bird screens and insect screens will also reduce airflow.
A more efficient specification solution is based on the needs of the building.
We recommend that you consider the following when specifying louvres:
- site location and exposure
- severity of local (site) weather conditions
- location and exposure of louvres on building
- airflow rate and direction through louvre
- maximum acceptable pressure drop
- degree and depth of water penetration acceptable
- aesthetic of the building