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Facade: Shading Study

  • 28th Nov 2022
  • |  Insights
  • |  Sophie Phillips
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As part of our ongoing Futurelabs Research Initiative, the 3DReid Sustainability Group has undertaken research in façade design and sun protection; the Shading Study.

Buildings provide shelter—and shade. Letting in the right amount of sun—and keeping out too much sun—has long been part of the basic function of buildings in all latitudes, including that of the UK. But as the climate changes by getting warmer, the shade function of buildings becomes increasingly important. We need a renewed focus on shading solutions.

UK temperatures are rising but UK sun angles remain the same. This gives us two special challenges. One is that summer evenings—with a setting sun striking west-facing facades—are long; longer than in more southern latitudes. The other is that British winters will remain a time of reduced sun, and interiors that are well-shaded in summer are at risk of becoming too dark when the days are short.

To help address these challenges and others, 3DReid has developed an approach to shading buildings that is organised around building height. Low-rise buildings—through their ground relationship—have opportunities for attractive shade that taller buildings don’t, but also often come with challenges such as street frontages that can become gloomy in winter. Taller buildings can benefit from views and space, but maintenance access is often restricted. Medium-rise buildings have different possibilities again. The study provides a simple matrix that gives solutions for each building scale.

To download the Shading Study, please click here.


Study model for shading low-rise terraced houses.

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