As an integral part of the facade, sunscreens provide thermal comfort, let natural light in, and help reduce blinding effects without blocking visual contact with the outside. They help bring facades to life. They create depth and allow designers to play with shadows, while combining thermal comfort, control of sunlight input and optimization of natural daylight.
Terreal North America offers a range of terracotta baguettes in a variety of lengths and cross-sections that can be used to build sunscreens, wall claddings and visual screens.
Strong absorbers of incident solar energy, terracotta sunscreens play an equal role as horizontal reflectors: incident light “bounces” off the horizontal surfaces of the sunscreens and supplements direct lighting through solar radiation, with indirect light which penetrates more deeply into the room.
BARRIER AGAINST EXTREME HEAT
Sunscreens cut out a part of solar radiation. Sunshine is useful in winter for heating the building but sometimes becomes a problem in summer, especially in buildings that have large glazed areas. The rise in the indoor temperature then leads to the use of air conditioning, a costly and controversial solution, given its damaging effect on the environment (greenhouse gas emissions). In summer, the sun is high in the sky and solar radiation is largely blocked by the sunscreen, which either reflects or absorbs it. A material with a high thermal inertia, terra cotta delays and reduces the re-emission of energy absorbed within it. Non-transmitted energy does not even reach the windows, which therefore does not heat up from a “local greenhouse effect” (a disadvantage with interior sun protection, such as blinds).
OPEN DOOR TO FREE SOLAR ENERGY & LIGHT
In winter, incident solar radiation, produced by a sun which is low on the horizon, does not suffer from the presence of a sunscreen. The shade it provides is weak on this occasion due to the space between the blades, if it has been installed in its traditional orientation with the blade horizontal. Then there is full benefit from the reduced need for electric heat and light; without disturbing the effectiveness of the openings normally provided in a building. A sunscreen also allows for the inclusion of larger, more “productive” bays in the design, carefully sized in relation to the orientation of the façade without the downside of overheating in summer.