What is the difference between brise soleil and a climate façade?

Brise soleil is a type of solar shading system that protects buildings from glare and heat caused by direct summer sun.

In a nutshell:

  • Brise soleil systems protect buildings from heat and glare from high-level summer sun
  • Bladed climate façade systems may be more effective for low-level sun
  • Brise soleil systems typically project at right angles from the building, with individual blades at 45 degrees
  • Climate façade systems are positioned vertically in front of windows, with blades at around 30 degrees
  • Location and orientation will determine the best system for a building

But how big a problem is summer sun in the UK? After all, we’re only talking about the period around lunchtime for about three months a year.

Anyone who’s been dazzled while driving at either end of the day will know that low-level sun is sometimes more of a problem.

For east and west elevations, therefore, a bladed climate façade system might be more effective. Here’s why.

  • Brise soleil systems project out horizontally from a building, usually above windows. A series of blades are positioned at 45 degree angles to block the direct sunlight.
  • Climate façade systems are positioned vertically in front of windows. Blades are angled at around 30 degrees to block morning and evening sun, and some overhead sun.

Which system to use will often come down to the location and orientation of the building. And there’s not always an easy answer. For example, internal blinds are often used alongside brise soleil and climate façade systems.

Just to complicate matters, brise soleil systems are sometimes used on north elevations, where they’re for aesthetic purposes only. Elsewhere, you might see vertical blades being used to provide shade on east and west elevations.


Talk to a solar shading specialist. 

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