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    Overheating of Glass Lift Using MicroLouvre

    Project Summary

    Overheating of Glass Lift Using MicroLouvre: An existing glass lined lift shaft was found to have temperatures exceed 50 degrees celcius in the summer, making it a health and safety issue for the residents at this aged care facility. MicroLouvre solar shading was the ultimate solution for this problem.
    Owner: Wesley Mission Australia
    Architect: Maitland & Butler
    Sector: Aged Care
    Application: Solar Shading
    Technical Issue
    The original design of the building had not accounted for the internal heating of the glass which created an external feature around the lift lobby to this aged care building. Residents and staff found that during summer, this part of the building became uncomfortable to use as temperatures rose to inexcess of 50 degrees celcius. Overheating of the lift shaft caused the management to abandon the use of the lift in summer due to both personal welfare of the tenants & mechanical operational issues due to the material heat mass. As a result, low mobility tenants were confined to the ground floor levels. Maitland & Butler were engaged to find a solution to the problem. The solutions commonly adopted are tinting of the glass, shading the glass using louvres or airconditioning the internal space. In this instance the architect opted for fixed horizontal shading louvres. The architect completed a sun study to show that the louvre design of large 200mm long louvres spaced 130mm apart would provide adequate shading after 11am on the hottest months of the year. This solution was expected to provide enough shading through the hottest part of the summer day to keep the internal temperature in the lift shaft to a tennable level.
    Our Solution
    Greene Fire were asked whether MicroLouvre could provide the same or better performance than the horizontal louvres that had been designed. As MicroLouvre provides complete shading once the sun angle is higher than 40 degrees, we checked to see whether this fit within the same design tolerances as the fixed louvre. It was found that the fixed louvre would provide full shading once the sun angle was above 33 degress, however would provide no change to the current full sun exposure below this point. This means that the glass lift shaft would still heat up with the early morning sun. With MicroLouvre there is 35% shading from as soon as the sun comes over the horizon. The material is specifically design to absorb solar radiation at up to 92%, making it an ideal heat sink when installed external to the building. This results in up to an 86% reduction in solar heat gain through the glass window. This performance significantly exceeded the design paramaters that had been put for by the fixed horizontal louvre design. Below are before and after photos. The end result was that MicroLouvre reduced the midday summer temperatures by as much as 50% to a comfortable & safe level within the lift shaft, much more than what was originally expected.
    Key Benefits For This Project:
    • Improved comfort levels inside the building by more than 10 degrees celcius
    • Did not need to perform major works like repalcing glass windows or installing heavy louvres needing structural supports
    • Improved the aesthetics of the building by creating a uniform look from the outside
    • Still have near perfect vision through the glass from the inside
    • Provides screening the internal lift mechanism, adding to the aesthetic quality of the surrounding garden
    • MicroLouvre is easily removed for ongoing cleaning & maintenance as well as allowing access to the lift shaft structure
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