The acoustic and daylighting effects of external façade sun shading systems
The acoustic and daylighting effects of external façade sun shading systems





Façade, Indoor comfort, Light shelves, Insertion Loss, Acoustic absorption, Daylighting


External sun shading devices are increasingly used in sustainable buildings to reduce the greenhouse effect in the summer and the glare effect due to direct solar irradiation through transparent surfaces. The acoustic effects of these devices have been investigated in recent studies that suggest the possibility of optimising these elements to improve acoustic comfort in indoor environments, even with open windows. Nevertheless, there are few studies that analyse the combined effect of these devices on acoustic attenuation and improved daylighting. 

In this paper, the results of acoustics and daylighting simulations are reported, considering different dimensions, distances of the louvres and orientations of the façade. The main results of previous works concerning the effect of lining the bottom side of each louvre with sound-absorbing material are also briefly summarised. The acoustic effects of different configurations of the louvres are evaluated in terms of Insertion Loss in the façade plane. For the lighting simulations (daylight factor, daylighting uniformity and daylight glare probability), the variation of the shielding effect is studied considering the spacing between the louvres and the orientation of the façade for different times and seasons for latitude in the South of Europe.

How to Cite

Secchi, S., Fausti, P., Cellai, G., Parente, M., Santoni, A., & Zuccherini Martello, N. (2022). The acoustic and daylighting effects of external façade sun shading systems. Journal of Facade Design and Engineering, 10(1), 155–172.





EN 13363-1: 2003. Solar protection devices combined with glazing - Calculation of solar and light transmittance - Simplified method.

EN 14501: 2006. Blinds and shutters - Thermal and visual comfort -Performance characteristics and classification.

Directive 2010/31/eu of the European parliament and of the council of May 19, 2010, on the Energy Performance of Buildings (recast).

Cellai, G., Carletti, C., Sciurpi, F., Secchi, S., Nannipieri, E., Pierangioli, L. (2014). Transparent Building Envelope: Windows and Shading Devices Typologies for Energy Efficiency Refurbishments, Cap.2 “Building Refurbishment for Energy Performance, Green Energy and Technology”, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland.

ECBCS Annex 29/SHC Task 21, 2010. Project Summary Report Daylight in Buildings.

EN 12464-1:2021. Light and lighting - Lighting of workplaces - Part 1: Indoor workplaces.

EN 14501:2005. Blinds and shutters - Thermal and visual comfort - Performance characteristics and classification.

EN 17037:2018, Daylight in buildings.

Directive 2002/49/ec of the European parliament and of the council of June 25, 2002, relating to the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise.

Busa, L., Secchi, S., & Baldini, S. (2010). Effect of façade shape for the acoustic protection of buildings. Building Acoustics, 17(4), 317-338.

Li, K. M., Lui, W. K., Lau, K. K., & Chan, K. S. (2003). A simple formula for evaluating the acoustic effect of balconies in protecting dwellings against road traffic noise. Applied Acoustics, 64(7), 633-653.

Van Renterghem, T., Hornikx, M., Forssen, J., & Botteldooren, D. (2013). The potential of building envelope greening to achieve quietness. Building and Environment, 61, 34-44.

Granzotto, N., Bettarello, F., Ferluga, A., Marsich, L., Schmid, C., Fausti, P., & Caniato, M. (2017). Energy and acoustic performances of windows and their correlation. Energy and Buildings, 136, 189-198.

Secchi, S., Cellai, G., Fausti, P., Santoni, A., & Martello, N. Z. (2015). Sound transmission between rooms with curtain wall façades: a case study. Building Acoustics, 22(3-4), 193-207.

Hu, Z., Zayed, T., & Cheng, L. (2022). A critical review of acoustic modelling and research on building façade. Building Acoustics, 29(1)

Sakamoto, S., & Aoki, A. (2015). Numerical and experimental study on noise shielding effect of eaves/louvers attached on building façade. Building and Environment, 94, 773-784.

Zuccherini Martello, N., Fausti, P., Secchi, S. (2016). Acoustic measurements on a 1:1 scale model of a shading system for building façade in a semi-anechoic chamber, Proceedings of InterNoise 2016, August 21-24, Hamburg, Germany.

Fausti, P., Secchi, S., Zuccherini Martello, N. (2019). The use of façade sun shading systems for the reduction of indoor and outdoor sound pressure levels, Building Acoustics, 26, 3, 181-206.

Sakamoto, S., Lee, H., Ishii, H., Katayama, T., Iwase, S., & Takahashi, K. (2017). In-situ experiment and numerical analysis on an effect of noise shielding louvers attached on a building façade. In INTER-NOISE and NOISE-CON Congress and Conference Proceedings, Vol. 255, No. 6, pp. 1484-1491. Institute of Noise Control Engineering.

Zuccherini Martello, N., Fausti, P., Santoni, A., Secchi, S. (2015). The use of sound absorbing shading systems for the attenuation of noise on building façades. An experimental investigation, Buildings 5(4), 1346-1360,

Zuccherini Martello, N., Aletta, F., Fausti, P., Kang, J., Secchi, S. (2019). A psychoacoustic investigation on the effect of external shading devices on building façades, Applied Sciences, 6(12), 429.

Catalina, T., Ene, A., & Biro, A. (2019). Visual and acoustic performance of shading devices–real scale laboratory measurements. In E3S Web of Conferences. Vol. 111, p. 06072. EDP Sciences.

Buratti, C., Belloni, E., Merli, F. & Ricciardi, P. (2018). A new index combining thermal, acoustic, and visual comfort of moderate environments in temperate climates, Building and Environment, 139, July 2018, 27-37,

Huang, L., Zhu, Y., Ouyang, Q. & Cao, B. (2012). A study on the effects of thermal, luminous, and acoustic environments on indoor environmental comfort in offices, Building and Environment, 49 (2012) 304-309,

Hangzi, W., Xiaoying, S. & Yue, W. (2020). Investigation of the relationships between thermal, acoustic, illuminous environments and human perceptions, Journal of Building Engineering, 32, November 2020, 101839,

Technical Report of IEA SHC Task 50.C2/ Methods and tools for lighting retrofits-State of the art review. April 2016.

Technical Report of IEA SHC Task 61.C1 /Workflows and software for the design of integrated lighting solutions. November 2019.

Ahmad, A., Kumar, A., Prakash, O., Amana, A.; Daylight availability assessment and the application of energy simulation software – A literature review. Materials Science for Energy Technologies 3 (2020) 679–689.

Carletti, C., Cellai, G., Pierangioli, L., Sciurpi, F. & Secchi, S. (2017). The influence of daylighting in buildings with parameters nZEB: application to the case study for an office in Tuscany Mediterranean area, Energy Procedia, 140, December 2017, 339-350,

Carlucci, S., Causone, F., De Rosa F., and Pagliano L. (2015) A review of indices for assessing visual comfort with a view to their use in optimisation processes to support building integrated design. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews. 2015, 47:1016-1033,

EN 12665: 2013. Light and lighting - Basic terms and criteria for specifying lighting requirements.

Galatioto, A. and Beccali, M. (2016). Aspects and issues of daylighting assessment: A review study. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews. 66, 852–860.2016.

Nabil, A. & Mardaljevic, J. (2005). Useful daylight illuminance: A new paradigm for assessing daylight in buildings, Lighting Research and Technology 37(1), March 2005, 41-59,

Mardaljevic, J., Andersen, M., Roy, N., & Christoffersen, J. (2012). Daylighting Metrics: Is There a Relation Between Useful Daylight Illuminance and Daylight Glare Probability? Proceedings of BSO Conference 2012: 1st Conference of IBPSA-England, Loughborough, UK, 10-11 September 2012, 189-196.

EN ISO 10534-2:2001. Acoustics – Determination of sound absorption coefficient and impedance in impedances tubes – Part 2: Transfer-function method.

Delany, M. E., & Bazley, E. N. (1970). Acoustical properties of fibrous absorbent materials. Applied acoustics, 3(2), 105-116.

Miki, Y. (1990). Acoustical properties of porous materials-Modifications of Delany-Bazley models. Journal of the Acoustical Society of Japan (E), 11(1), 19-24.

Maamari, F., Fontoynont, M., Adra, N. (2006). Application of the CIE test cases to assess the accuracy of lighting computer programs. Energy and Buildings, 38(7), July 2006, 869-877.

Bhavani, R.G., and Khan, M.A. (2011). Advanced Lighting simulation tools for daylighting purpose: powerful features and related issues. Trends in Applied Sciences Research 6(4), 345-363.

Kaempf, J., Paule, B., Basurto, C., Bodart, M., Boer, J., Bueno, B., Dubois, M.C., Geisler-Moroder, D., Fusco, M., Hegi, M., Jorgensen, M., Roy, N., Wienold, J. (2016). Methods and tools for lighting Retrofits: State of the art review, A Technical Report of IEA SHC Task 50, online:

Bouroussis C.A., Nikolaou D.T., Topalis F.V. (2019). Test report on the validation of Relux Desktop 2019 against CIE 171:2006 – May 2019,

CIE 171:2010. Test cases to assess the accuracy of lighting computer programs. CIE, Vienna, 2006.

Iversen, A., Roy, N., Hvass, M., Jørgensen, M., Christoffersen, J., Osterhaus, W., Johnsen, K. (2013) Daylight calculations in practice: An investigation of the ability of nine daylight simulation programs to calculate the daylight factor in five typical rooms. SBi 2013:26 Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University. 2013.

Mardaljevic, J. (2013). Rethinking daylighting and compliance, Journal of Sustainable Design & Applied Research. 1, 3, Article 1. Available at:,

Danny, H.W.Li, Shuyang, Li, Wenqiang, C. and Siwei L. (2018). Analysis of Point Daylight Factor (PDF) Average Daylight Factor (ADF) and Vertical Daylight Factor (VDF) under various unobstructed CIE Standard Skies. IOP Conf. Ser.: Mater. Sci. Eng. 556 012044.

Xu, Y., Yuehong, S., Xin, C. (2014). Application of RELUX simulation to investigate energy saving potential from daylighting in a new educational building in UK, Energy and Buildings, Volume 74, 2014.

Kose, B., & Kazanasmaz, T., (2020). Applicability of a Prismatic Panel to Optimise Window Size and Depth of a South-facing Room for a Better Daylight Performance. Light & Engineering. 63-67.

CIE S 011/E:2003 - Spatial distribution of daylight - CIE standard general sky.