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10 Key Questions about Exterior Shading by Richard Wilson, B.Sc. Photo © Richard Wilson. Photo courtesy Draper Inc. OVER THE LAST DECADE, EXTERIOR SHADING HAS BECOME MORE POPULAR IN THE U.S. CONSTRUCTION MARKET. HOWEVER, A NUMBER OF ARCHITECTS AND BUILDING OWNERS STILL HAVE LIMITED KNOWLEDGE ABOUT THESE SYSTEMS AND WHY THEY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED PART OF THE BUILDING DESIGN. This article explores 10 frequently asked questions about exterior shading, while providing insight into available systems and how they can be an important part of the building’s environmental control. 1. What types of exterior shading systems are available? A wide range of exterior shading systems are available, but they can be broken down into three broad categories of systems: • fixed louver; • adjustable louver; and • retractable. Fixed louver systems include projecting sunshades generally installed at the head of the glazing (i.e. brise-soleil systems), as well as fixed vertical or horizontal louvers installed in front of the glazing. These systems are designed to remain in place at all times and need to be able to withstand 38 the construction specifier | october 2014 CS_October2014.indd 38 2014-09-16 10:29 AM