November 2017

A new 300,000 square foot BMW dealership has been completed in Grapevine, Texas, with an eye-catching external solar shading solution, courtesy of Levolux.

Opening in June 2017, BMW Grapevine becomes one of the world’s largest dealerships for the German luxury vehicle manufacturer. The development, designed by Gensler and Associates, comprises a south-facing, two-storey showroom with the capacity to accommodate 35 vehicles.

To shield staff, visitors and vehicles from direct sunlight, a solar shading or Brise Soleil element was required for the showroom. As a world-renowned solar shading and screening specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a cost-effective solar shading solution applied externally.

The solar shading solution comprises an imposing high-level canopy that extends across the two-storey showroom. The impressive horizontal structure stands 12.5 metres in height, supported by 600mm diameter steel columns, and measures almost 100 metres long by 21 metres deep.

By maximising passive cooling techniques, the glazed showroom remains comfortably cool, with virtually no need for air conditioning, even in the middle of summer when outside temperatures can often exceed 40°C.

Secured within a steel grid structure, Levolux engineered 382 extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, which are divided into 42 individual bays. The Fins, each measuring 400mm wide by 100mm thick, run from east to west, with free spans of up to 7.2 metres.

All Fins are inclined at an angle of 29 degrees, to counter the position of the sun in the south. The spacing between Fins ranges from just 470mm in the south of the canopy, increasing to 1290mm in the north.

By concentrating Fins along the southern edge of the canopy, solar control is optimised for the glazed, south-facing elevation of the showroom. At the same time, the openness of the Fins also allows natural daylight to filter through into the showroom.

All aluminium components supplied by Levolux, including the single-piece extruded Aerofoil Fins, in addition to structural end caps and side plates, are finished in a bright white powder coating.