It may not be obvious at first glance, but when buildings are constructed, they function better when viewed as extensions of our lives. Because we feel and perform better when fresh air is ventilating about us, if we think of a building needing to breathe, just as we do, its design will better reflect that need. Whether we are talking about where we live, work, or play (shopping, movies, indoor sporting venues, etc.), buildings play a significant role in determining whether we thrive in the environment or struggle to remain alert and active.
There are multiple systems which buildings access to generate and direct airflow throughout a structure, including:
- Building Management System (BMS) – think of this system as the central nervous system which detects issues and concerns throughout a building and transmits information or services to adjust or modify any negative or detrimental environmental changes
- Ductworks – if the BMS functions like a central nervous system, then ductworks may be viewed as the veins running throughout a structure; its purpose is to circulate necessary heating, coolness, and ventilation to designated areas
- HVAC Installations – this system covers heating, ventilation, and air conditioning in one fell swoop and can be likened to organs positioned to perform specific tasks based upon current needs
- Ventilation – perhaps the most versatile and natural of all building systems and similar to lungs inhaling and exhaling, the ventilation system brings in fresh outside air (while filtering out pollution) as it expels stale and toxic air
While building management systems, ductworks, and HVAC installations function in the background, ventilation is visible from the outside, which offers the opportunity for artistic expression while also keeping occupants healthy, alert, and productive through the smart and effective recirculation of fresh air inside a structure which would otherwise end up with stale, unhealthy air.
Architectural Metal Louver Panels – The Ultimate in Building Ventilation
For decades, architectural metal louver panels have been used in various areas of buildings, especially at loading docks, service entrances, and other discrete and lesser-trafficked locations which still generate much activity both inside and outside such locations but also demand improved or controlled air circulation.
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, “louver” is defined as one of the following:
- An opening provided with one or more slanted fixed or movable fins to allow the flow of air but to exclude rain or sun or to provide privacy
- A finned or vaned device for controlling a flow of air or the radiation of light
- A fin or shutter of a louver
(In olden times, it also referred to roof lanterns or turrets outfitted with slatted apertures to allow smoke to escape or to admit light in a medieval structure.)
Nowadays, louvers are appearing in homes, offices, and other buildings to serve purposes beyond ventilating air, such as:
- Aesthetics – louvers work well with a variety of architectural styles ranging from classic to contemporary designs
- Control Lighting – louvers are excellent for shielding areas from glaring lights during particularly intense periods, like sunrises and sunsets
- Eliminate Noise – many areas benefit by substituting noisy fans with louvers, which also capture and direct fresh air more effectively
- Energy Efficient – in concert with the reduction of noise, the absence of motorized fans also adds up to lowered energy expenses
- Provide Privacy – when desired, a simple turn of the handle can block out any prying or curious eyes, or create a sanctuary for thought
- Reduce Moisture -in areas where moisture can build up, such as bathrooms and saunas, louvers are a natural way to let moisture evaporate
- Supports Ventilation Accessories – metal louver panels expels hot air and toxic fumes to the outside, keeping ventilation systems hardier
Most importantly, many people are discovering that appropriately installed metal louver panels clean the environment so noticeably that many occupants claim and enjoy improved health and working conditions (fewer illnesses, increased productivity, and higher work satisfaction levels).
Metal Louver Panels – Types and Uses
The attraction of the aesthetic aspect of metal louver panels should not take away from its primary functions and value. This is why, as you examine your choices of metal louver panels, you will find an excellent variety of types intended to serve widely different needs.
Some areas have needs that can change during the time of day or season of the year. In such instances, the use of adjustable (also called operable) metal louver panels may be the right choice, as they give the owner the option of fully opened, fully closed, or any state in between, for more accurate regulation of air intake and exhaust.
There are other sections within a structure that simply require louvers allowing stale air, fumes, and other pollutants an efficient point of exit. In such situations, the metal louver panels should remain permanently open; an additional benefit of fixed metal louver panels are the reduced maintenance and repair needs since there are no moving parts.
HVAC Motorized Louvers
Nowadays, many structures are taking advantage of HVAC motorized metal louver panels because they be programmed to maneuver them in such a way as to direct the movement of air and unwanted fumes, while also offering the most effective method of preventing moisture buildup in hidden areas which can later turn into expensive water damaged walls, floors, and ceilings without good ventilation.
For areas where fierce storms and high winds are common, stormproof metal louver panels are the perfect choice to protect the structure from water damage and infiltration, while withstanding high, strong winds. Both Florida Hurricane-rated and vertical stormproof designs are popular and effective, giving the property owner a clear say in the look they desire while remaining secure in the knowledge their building is optimally protected from the roughest weather conditions. For the ultimate in storm protection, property owners should secure the main openings to their structure; this includes windows facing outside and all doors offering entry to the building. These same stormproof louvers will also function elegantly during mild weather, working as natural and effective shading for sunny and hot spots.
Popular Finishes for Metal Louver Panels
While the main reason for installing metal louver panels is to protect the structure from wind, storm, and water damage, as already mentioned they also can express specific looks an owner may wish to present. Some metal louver panels employ a finish that lets it artistically merge with the surrounding environment, but other times choosing a finish different from its background provides the ideal contrast.
Common finishes you can opt for when choosing your own metal louver panels include:
- Baked Enamel – this is a high-performance finish offering a long color life while providing resistance to chalking and chemicals
- Clear Anodized – provides an oxide coating for aluminum materials, to provide a metallic luster similar in look and feel to a mill finish
- Color Anodized – you can choose the color you want, which is then electrolytically deposited on the surface
- Pearlescent – this type is for those wanting a look that simulates anodized or metallic paint finishes
- Prime Coat – this preparatory finish for field painting can be top-coated with epoxy, urethane, vinyl, or other heavy-duty coatings
Metal louver panels work well in most buildings, be they commercial, high-rise, multi-residential, or single residences. Best of all, you can order the precise look you want with our custom-build service using either aluminum or steel construction.
Metalco invites you to collaborate with one of our professional and experienced designers who will demonstrate how metal louver panels can fit perfectly within your existing structure, or be included in a new construction project. In either case, this high-end option delivers greater energy efficiencies, a heightened aesthetic presentation, and protection against inclement weather, all while boosting the overall value of your improved property and yielding an impressive ROI on your investment.