It’s a fact that the Australian sunlight is one of the harshest in the world with dangerously high UV levels. When it comes to building architecture, this harsh sun represents both an opportunity as well as a problem. While architects have to consider the comfort factor of building occupants by protecting them against the glare and heat from continuous sun exposure, they cannot ignore the potential sustainability benefits that would accrue to the build from tapping the generous solar energy.
The powerful benefits of Australia’s sunlight
The proposed Sol Invictus Tower in Melbourne, announced last year by Peddle Thorp Architects, is a 60-storey apartment building that will wear a skin of more than 35,000 solar panels and has been shaped to maximise solar exposure throughout the day. The panels will work with roof-mounted wind turbines to provide more than half of the tower’s energy needs.
While the Sol Invictus is taking advantage of the sun as a power source, it also has to deal with problems pertaining to resident comfort.
Balancing sustainability with comfort
The strong sunlight that hits the building’s solar panels and powers it also heats the interior and casts glare, increasing discomfort for occupants. For a building to be comfortably liveable it needs to moderate the effect of the sun’s heat and glare while still making the most of it as an energy and light source.
Locker Group has a range of products that can be used to minimise the unpleasant effects of the sun on a building’s occupants. Woven wire, perforated and expanded metal facades can all be used to provide shade without limiting the view or blocking airflow.
Locker Group’s products provide ways to design buildings that make the most of what the sun has to offer without subjecting the interior to its harsh effects.