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How to design sun shading structures and brise soleil with a BIM software

How to design sun shading structures and brise soleil with a BIM software

Sun shading structures and brise soleil definition and benefits. Here is how to design them with few simple steps, thanks to a BIM software for the architecture

Allowing  natural light into a space while controlling heat and glare in addition to maintaining the user’s connection to the outside world can be challenging.  Shading systems are usually integrated to windows and doors and control direct and diffused daylight and the heat entering a building according to their type of movement and position. In addition, the architect study regarding proper shading is essential to optimize the light for the sake of internal comfort and to reduce the cost of cooling.

What are brise soleil?

Brise soleil (sun shades) are architectural elements, usually applied to buildings facades, and used as solution to manage solar radiation. At the same time,  this device guarantees natural lighting to internal environments.
Brise soleil, are usually installed on buildings with large or strip windows, in order to reduce the “greenhouse effect” and consequently to improve the living comfort.

ACCA software headquarter brise soleil

ACCA software headquarter brise soleil

Brise soleil can be installed both internally and externally. Generally the latter solution is the most efficient since the external sun shading blocks sun rays and avoids  windows to absorb excessive solar heat/offering an ideal protection against overheating.

Types of brise soleil

There are various types of brise soleil that differ in structure and materials.
At a first glance we can distinguish between:

  • fixed sun shades devices
  • adjustable sun shades devices

Fixed sun shades devices have fixed louvers that guarantee protection against sun rays  just in certain moments of the day since the blades are assembled with a preset angle.
Adjustable sun shades devices  have tilting louvers to differentiate the type of response according to the external solar radiation, thus offering greater thermal efficiency throughout the entire day and ensuring constant environmental comfort inside the building


ACCA software headquarter adjustable brise soleil detail

The factors to be considered when installing a sun shading structure are:

  • positioning
  • dimension
  • types of windows

Theoretically, an horizontal shading system type will be more efficient for facades facing south, south / east and south / west, where the sun maintains a certain height even during wintertime (in this case the position of the blades allows better shielding from sunlight).

A vertical shading system type, on the contrary, is ideal for facades facing est and west since the sun is lower respect to the horizon.

Benefits of brise soleil

The benefit of using sun shading devices, such as the brise soleil, is to be able to design buildings which are efficient in terms of heat (with regard to the reduction in cooling demand in summer and a reduction in heating demand in winter), thus ensuring significant energy savings and better lighting to the buildings.



How to design a brise soleil with an architectural BIM software



Using Edificius, the architectural design BIM software, we can design the brise soleil (sun shade) object both in 3D and in plan view in a few simple steps.
From the Drawing menu, we can select the Brise Soleil (sun shades) while choosing the typology (vertical, horizontal blades, etc.) from the catalogue.

In order to insert the brise soleil object  we use the steel columns as a guide.  With the mouse we can attach the object to the cursor and pressing F7 and F8 keys of the keyboard we can rotate it. Once the brise soleil is fixed and positioned at the desired point, we can finally determine its length with the appropriate grips.


Brise soleil object properties

Taking advantage of magnetic snaps, we can edit the height even in 3D and define the brise soleil characteristics (blades inclination, height, width, etc) from the property toolbox.

Click here to download the architectural design BIM software Edificius for free