Can brise soleil be retrofitted?

Before answering this seemingly straightforward question, it’s worth thinking about why.

In a nutshell: 

  • Brise soleil systems can be retrofitted to buildings
  • It’s important that fixing grounds and the building sub-structures are strong enough to support a retrofitted brise soleil system
  • The sub-structure may require physical testing and assessment on older buildings
  • Before considering retrofitting a brise soleil system, talk to a specialist

Retrofitting a brise soleil system may be part of an aesthetic make-over. Or perhaps the building has undergone a change-of-use, which requires additional solar shading. It’s also possible that the building was constructed before brise soleil was as common (or as effective) as it is today.

In these examples, yes, brise soleil systems can be retrofitted to buildings. But only when it is safe to do so.

By ‘safe’, we’re talking about the fixing grounds or sub-structure. Are they strong enough to support the weight of the new brise soleil system – or withstand imposed loads from wind, snow and ice build-up?

    In modern buildings, that’s likely to be relatively easy to determine. Plans, drawings and sub-structure details will be available.

    However, when brise soleil is to be retrofitted to older buildings, that information may not be as easy to come by. Here, it will be necessary to carry out investigation and testing of the structure – which may also require the external façade, cladding or skin to be removed.

    In all cases, it’s best to consult a solar shading specialist first.

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