What Is a Louver and What Is Their Architectural Purpose?

Have you ever noticed angled slats on the outside of a building? Have you seen louver shutters that can open and close depending on the weather?

These flat strips that hang at regular intervals do more than just look pretty. These louvers are also important architectural constructs that allow air or light to pass and are also often used to protect against harsh weather elements.

Want to learn more? Continue reading to learn how you can creatively use louvers to protect and beautify our home!

What Is a Louver?

A louver is a series of parallel, horizontal boards that regulate airflow or light penetration of a window or door. These boards are panels of glass, wood, or other material. They can be fixed in place or moveable to allow for a change in the amount of air or light you let in.

How to Use a Louver

You’ll find louvers on buildings that might have problems with rain, wind, or excessive noise. Using louvers allows for protection against these concerns while still allowing for proper airflow through and around the building.

In addition to windows and doors, louvers can also be on ceilings and building facades. In addition to protecting against the weather or noise, they also provide aesthetic screening for ugly equipment outside a building.

Types of Louvers

There are different types of louvers, depending on the performance you most need to focus on. There are drainable and non-drainable, wind-driven, rain resistant, or extreme-weather resistant. Some are even acoustically rated.

The type of ventilation and protection you need will determine the number, size, and design of the louver panels. The blades can be fixed or moveable.

Style of Louvers

Most louvers are on the outside of the building and therefore, need to blend with the aesthetics of the building as much as they need to be functional.

Louver vents can be horizontal or vertical, depending on the look you desire. The blades can be of different sizes and depths, in standard widths or custom shapes.

You can intermix blade depth and frequencies for a staggered placement. They come in a variety of finishes and you can create almost any look imaginable with them.

Louver Rating

Louvers are rated by the AMCA (Air Movement and Control Association). They test and certify louvers’ performance. You can find the results on the technical data sheets provided by the manufacturer.

Architectural Considerations

There are a number of elements to think about when deciding on an architectural louver system for a building. Your construction specialties, whether you need more airflow, water or wind protection, or noise reduction will determine your selection.

Using Louvers for Function and Aesthetics

Although they are usually put in place for functional reasons, louvers can also offer a lot of design options as well. When used to your advantage, you can blend artistic and practical solutions with a well-crafted louver wall.

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