Last edited 06 Sep 2021

Louvre (or louver)

Chair and louvre shutters 248293 640.jpg

A louvre (pronounced ‘loover’) comprises narrow, sloping slats held in a frame and typically used to cover a vertical opening such as a window or an air vent. They provide screening and can also prevent access, shade from the sun and provide protection against wind and rain.

Louvres can be made of wood, glass and metal – particularly aluminium. In a window, the louvres may form part of a shutter (usually timber) applied either inside or outside of the window opening. The latter are very common in hot countries as they can allow air to circulate yet provide a degree of solar shading. They can also afford privacy to those on the inside.

Where the slats of a louvre are adjustable, it is termed a ‘jalousie’. A jalousie may form an entire window in which case it may comprise a series of adjustable, horizontal glass slats. In the UK however, it is more common to have a narrow jalousie of three or four louvres adjustable for ventilation above a much larger fixed pane of glass.

Internal louvred wooden shutters have become popular in the UK as they can form attractive architectural elements in their own right; they may incorporate adjustable slats, give excellent screening and provide an attractive alternative to the ubiquitous net curtain. they can also act as a light shelf, reflecting sunlight deep into a building's interior.

Aluminium louvred panels are sometimes fixed externally to building facades to reduce glare to the building occupants. Freestanding louvred screens may also be used to mask unsightly areas, such refuse storage areas, mechanical plant and so on.

See also: The Louvre.

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