Solar shading, brise soleil & privacy screens

Dales Fabrications offer an extensive range of brise soleil.  Aluminium solar shading significantly reduces solar gain whilst also enhancing the appearance of your facade.

Facetted Aluminium Solar Shading


Raked Aluminium Solar Shading

Raking or
part raking

Design & Specification Service

Project Management Design & Specification Service

On receipt of project drawings, we assign a Project Manager to each project. They provide a single point of contact throughout the life of the project, from initial design to completion. Relevant criteria, including support methods, material requirements and budget are established with the specifier. The Project Manager can prepare CAD drawings, calculations, NBS Specifications and quotations, providing a complete specification service. To discuss your project requirements, please contact our Project Management Team on Tel: 0115 930 1521.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

Dales Fabrications hold full Design/Professional Indemnity Insurance with a first-class security in the London market. This allows architects and specifiers to use our products with confidence.

BS EN ISO 9001: Design & Manufacture

Dales Fabrications have been working within the constraints of BS EN ISO 9001 accreditation since 1993. Our ISO 9001: Design & Manufacture certificate is available to view here.

Solar Shades, Building Regs & Fire Safety

Solar Gain & Building Regulations Part L

Building Regulations L1A and L2A (2013 Editions) both require that solar gain in any new residential or commercial building is minimised, so that the mechanical cooling necessary in summer is either reduced, or eliminated and carbon dioxide emissions are minimised.

Dales can assist specifiers at an early stage with solar gain calculations to establish whether solar shades are likely to be necessary for the building to comply with the requirements specified in Part L. They can advise on the size of the necessary projection and different methods of support available for the different shading types. Dales offer CPD webinars (RIBA CPD Approved Material), which include the subjects of solar gain and compliance with the present regulations, book your seminar here.

New Part L regulations are due, but the process of consultation was only concluded in February 2020. It will be some time before the new regulations are in place. Dales contributed to the consultation arguing that the new regulations need to make consideration of whether solar-shading systems should be used compulsory. This is especially important on homes, both new and refurbished, to combat over-heating that results from increased insulation.

NICE have issued guidance on the incidence of health issues that arise because of the poor air quality in housing that can arise due to poor ventilation and overheating. The NICE guidance instructs Architects, Designers & Developers to “Adopt a whole-building approach to heating and ventilation, balancing indoor air quality with standards for energy use”.

Solar Shades & Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety

Following amendments to the Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety in buildings introduced in December 2018, brise soleil or solar shades, like balconies, are now defined under Regulation 2 (Interpretations) as Specified Attachments to walls. This means that on residential buildings over 18m high they must be either non-combustible A1 or A2 s1, d0 (Reaction to Fire Classification EN BS 13501-1: 2018).

For your peace of mind, Dales aluminium solar shades are manufactured in aluminium and are either:
• Anodised and A1: (Reaction to Fire Classification EN BS 13501-1: 2018)
• PPC and A2 s1, d0: (Reaction to Fire Classification EN BS 13501-1: 2018)

Further to this the government signalled its intention to further reduce the height of 18m on relevant building to 11m with consultation which finished on 12 April 2020.

The Return on Investment in External Solar Shades

The Building Research Establishment suggests that installing external solar shading systems is one of the most cost effective and least adverse methods of reducing solar gain, and therefore, emissions of carbon dioxide during building use**.

Using aluminium solar shades is an excellent way of reducing solar gain whilst keeping maintenance to a minimum and research has shown that a well-designed solar shading system should pay for itself through the energy costs saved within 5 years***.

With the new timber effect finishes now available from Dales, it is possible to obtain the appearance of timber but without the fire-risk and eliminate the algae, warp, deviation and regular turning traditionally associated with timber blades.


*NICE Guidance NG 149: Indoor air quality at home: 8 Jan 2020 Full report available here

** BRE Trust Report FB9: ‘Summertime solar performance of windows with shading devices’ – P J Littlefair

*** Comfort without air conditioning in Refurbished Offices’– BRE Case study (BRECSU-2000)



Fire: Aluminium & Finishes

Dales Aluminium Products are non-combustible

Dales manufacture products in either plain aluminium, Anodised Aluminium or Architectural Polyester Powder Coating finishes, all of which are non-combustible (A1 or A2, s1 d0).

Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety (June 2022 Amendments apply from 1st December 2022) require that only non-combustible materials that are either A2 s1, do or A1 must be used:

  1. for walls and ‘specified attachments’ of relevant buildings over 18m, and;
  2. on the external surfaces of external walls for all ‘residential’ purpose group buildings over 11m (Groups 1 & 2)

Suitable materials are only those that successfully achieve classification as either A2, s1 d0 or A1* non-combustible under Fire Classification: Reaction to Fire EN BS 13501-1:2018

A European Commission Directive* forms part of the structure of legislation**, that the English Building Regulations including Part B rests upon and that lists construction materials that belong to Class A and make no contribution to fire. This includes steel and aluminium and non-organic treatments of the same (such as zinc-galvanising for steel and anodising of aluminium).

Aluminium and steel and non-organic treatments of the same (including zinc-galvanising for steel and anodising of aluminium) are A1 non-combustible and make no contribution to fire. This is confirmed in a European Commission Directive that forms part of the UK legislation that the English Building Regulations including Part B rests upon and these materials do not require testing under BS 13501-1:2018.

Dales Fabrications Ltd utilise Architectural Polyester Powder Coatings from all the major manufacturers including Syntha Pulvin (Sherwin Williams), Interpon D (Akzo Nobel) , Drylac (Tiger), Axalta, Powdertech whose powder coatings are independently tested under Fire Classification: Reaction to Fire EN BS 13501-1:2018 and achieve A2 s1, d0. Independent test classification certificates are available, if required.

Dales Fabrications Ltd has also undertaken independent tests (Warrington Fire) – WF 432374 – EN 13501-12018 that confirmed A2 s1 d0 classification for an architectural powder coated Dales Fabrications Ltd system. A video taken during the test can be viewed above.

* 96/603/EC: Commission Decision

** SI 2019/ 465


Fire & Aluminium Solar Shade Systems

See also ‘Solar Shade Systems’ above.

Dales can provide a RIBA Approved Material seminar on this subject: More information on the full title, content and how to book is available here.

With regard to all aspects of detailing for fire-prevention and prevention of spread of fire, as with all projects, specifiers, developers and their main contractors should employ and consult a suitably qualified and experienced fire safety engineer to ensure that all details submitted, specifically including those details which may involve Dales ppc or anodised aluminium products are considered appropriate, suitable and compliant with current building regulations & the overall fire strategy for the project.

Specifiers, Developers and Main contractors are further invited to consider the RIBA Fire resources web page at

The design liability of Dales will be limited to the reasonable skill and care of a specialist sheet-metal fabricator.

Quotations provided by Dales include for the items expressly listed and do not include for the supply (or design) of any supplementary items such as, but not limited to; insulation, plywood, vapour barrier, fire protection, insect mesh or mastic/sealant (other than gutter sealant). Any reference to bill pages, specifications or drawings is listed for information only.

Colour, Finish & Fire


Details of the colours and finishes available can be found here.


Anodising vs Architectural Polyester Powder Coating

Anodised Aluminium: 

Anodising is a low maintenance, high performance product with practically no UV fade that is ideal for aggressive environments. These include locations with high levels of UV light such as marine and coastal areas. With a wide range of colours and an attractive metallic sheen that changes with the angle of view, anodising is a fantastic premium product that many aspire to. Whilst it may stretch, or even break the budget, the low maintenance characteristics and lifetime guarantee offered means many clients will choose anodised finish in preference to architectural polyester powder coating.

Anodising is a naturalistic finish, which means every anodised item will vary in appearance and a consistently uniform finish is almost impossible to achieve. This echos the way pieces of natural stone, wood or slate will vary. This is a fundamental characteristic of anodising and is a primary difference between it and paint finishes such as architectural polyester powder coating.

In fact, the variance and shading differences that occur across anodised products are a primary reason to choose anodising to protect your building. The key point is that if a uniform colour finish is wanted then anodising is probably not the right finish for you.

Architectural Polyester Powder Coatings:

If you want a low maintenance, robust finish in a staggering colour pallette offering different gloss levels even for relatively small production runs of bespoke products, then architectural polyester powder coating is what you need. The colours and finishes for polyester powder coating are developing all the time and now there are even special effect powders providing the appearance of timber, stone, corten, verdi gris and even more.

Dales use only Syntha Pulvin powders in their second factory, which houses their Syntha Pulvin Approved Applicator facility, but are happy to provide our products in Interpon D1036 & D2525, Tiger Drylac, Axalta and Powdertech Special Effect powders using each manufacturer’s Approved Applicator, as necessary.



Dales products, whether supplied in anodised or architectural polyester powder coated finish can usually be provided with guarantees, dependant on their geographical location and specific environment and subject to terms and conditions.

Marine specification


Marine Specification


It is the specifier’s responsibility to ensure that Marine Specification is specified in the contract particulars, and our Project Managers can assist by advising on and providing appropriate NBS Specification clauses.

As noted in the comparison between Anodising and Polyester Powder Coating in the “Colour” section above, in locations with high levels of UV light, such as the coast, anodised finish is recommended purely from a performance criteria. Once budget, contract size and production issues are brought into play however, marine specification polyester powder coating may be the more modest answer.

If architectural polyester powder coating is to be used in a coastal or marine situation then a marine environment paint specification should be considered where the development is in an aggressive environment, especially industrial and marine environments, ie. within 2km of the sea or tidal estuary.

In a non-marine environment, polyester powder coating is applied to give an average 60 microns paint film to visible faces only and that can be guaranteed for up to 40 years, terms and conditions apply. For a Marine Specification guarantee to be considered, a minimum of 60 microns of paint must be applied to both internal and external surfaces and A2 stainless steel fixings used.

Any guarantee which the polyester paint manufacturer or anodiser will offer is determined by them on an individual project basis upon completion of a questionnaire submitted by the customer and possible site visit, both of which must be completed prior to any order being placed. It should be borne in mind that if the goods are on the seafront, or within 1km of the sea, then a paint manufacture may not offer a guarantee, but anodisers might.


Acutely Exposed or Industrial Environments

For acutely exposed marine or industrial environments Marine Specification can be further upgraded in several ways, which includes one or more of the following:
• changing the base aluminium alloy to a ship-building alloy,
• changing the powder coating to Qualicoat 2 specification,
• amending secondary supports to all aluminium,
• changing fixings to A4 stainless steel (provided such suitable fixings are available) or
• moving to an anodised finish.

If you consider that your project may be located in an acutely exposed marine or industrial environment, please contact one of our Directors or Project Managers to discuss this further. Please bear in mind it is not always possible to guarantee products installed in harsh environments.

Elliptical Blades inc Span, Weight & Corner Units

Shadex Elliptical Blades

The Shadex blades are designed to give large maximum spans keeping supports to a minimum. When we first began designing Solar Shade Systems over 30 years ago, Dales took the decision to minimise site fitting times. We achieve that by supplying our systems as finished cassettes, which are then lifted into position, before adjustment and final fix. Designing our extrusions for maximum span, supplied in complete cassettes reduces errors, particularly at corners and minimises site-time allowing rapid installation.

Cassettes can be created with blades as a horizontal projection, with horizontal bladed that are then stacked vertically or installed vertically. The three largest section blades tend to be installed horizontally in a vertical stacks or running vertically up the building.

  Blade Pitch mm   
Max. Shade:VE
Blade/m projectionMax. Span/mBlade Kg/m
Cut-off 62⁰
Cut-off 45⁰

Corner Units

For most projects Dales supply solar shades in prefabricated cassettes which fix directly to the first fix brackets or to the structure. Corners are usually supplied in cassettes as well; however, due to the geometry, they may well be supplied in two half-corners.

For larger spans, corner units may require additional support in the form of brackets along the mitre of the corner. In such situations, due regard needs to be given to ensuring adequate support across the mitre of the corner is achieved. Early engagement with our project managers during preliminary design is the best way of avoiding problems with available support occurring at a late stage.


Methods of support

Fitted to curtain wall mullions

Dales frequently design solar shades that are supported from the curtain-walling. Dales first fix brackets are fitted to isol8™ chocks that incorporate a thermal break and fix to the mullion. The isol8™ chocks can be supplied in either stainless steel or carbon-fibre. Consultation between the various parties at an early stage is necessary as the isol8™ chocks and Dales first-fix brackets may be fitted to the mullions during manufacture and the mullions may need to be strengthened to accept the loading from the solar shade system.

Curtain walling and Brise Soleil support




This two-stage process separates the shading unit from the cladding, allowing the shading unit to be fitted independently. Care and attention should be given to the issue of cold bridging and there are a variety of solutions to that issue, for more information please call our Project managers on Tel: 0115 930 1521.

Structural Frame: Through Cladding



The alternative approach with cladding and solar shades is to fix the solar shade brackets or side frame arms of the shade unit to the structural steel through the claddings, using ‘bobbins’ to prevent the solar shading unit crushing or otherwise affecting the cladding.


Structural Frame: Surface fixing and Cladding




Where design loadings allow, it is possible to face fix directly to the masonry using either expanding bolts or resin anchors. It is Dales standard practice to liaise with the Structural engineers to ensure that all parties are content with the potential loadings and fixings to be used.

The issue of fixings is particularly important when required into the edge of concrete slabs. Dales use resin/ chemical anchors or expanding bolts, depending on the characteristics of the slab/ masonry type and loading values.

Direct to Concrete or Masonry




Whether for aesthetics or merely for a particular design appearance, struts or ties can be introduced.

Additional Supports

Vertical Fins, Visual Screens & Perforated Solar Shades

Vertical Fins and Visual Screens

A vertical-stack cassette placed in front of windows can reduce the effects of reflected solar glare that is sometimes created by large expanses of south facing glazing, but sometimes this type of arrangement is used purely as a privacy or visual screen.

Larger solar shade blades can be installed vertically to create a visual screen by limiting sight lines from one side of the window, and again, the same arrangement may be used to create shade and limit glare. Each design is unique and early discussion with our Project managers on Tel: 0115 930 1521 is recommended.

Vertical fin


Perforated Panel Solar Shades & Light shelves

Dales are able to manufacture perforated panels for solar shades, when required. These offer a lightweight solution when the support available is reduced. Light shelves work by producing shade to reduce solar gain yet reflect light back up into the ceiling to help provide greater natural light in larger rooms. This can reduce carbon use by reducing the length of time that electric light is required through the year.

Window Reveal Pods & Oriel Windows

Window Reveal Pods

Window reveal pods are frequently designed to project a short distance proud of the main wall, whilst the window is recessed due to the increased levels of insulation now required. These designs sometimes reduce solar glare. To discuss your requirements please call us on Tel: 0115 930

Associated products


Dales offer a wide range of decorative and functional gutter profiles.

With complete eaves systems, hidden gutter configurations provide a more contemporary appearance and allow more imaginative fascia profiles to be used.

Rainwater pipes

A range of rainwater pipes including contemporary, traditional (Cast collars) and secret fix systems are available here.

Fascia Profiles

Dales are able to design and manufacture fascia profiles to almost any shape, size or proportion including curved and elliptical designs. As part of our specification service preliminary drawings can be prepared which can be inserted directly into your own drawings. All systems are designed on an individual project basis and a 25 year guarantee may be available, subject to terms and conditions. Example drawings can be downloaded here.

Soffit Systems

Dales offer a wide variety of different soffit types, from secret fix panels to secret-fix planks, more details are available here.

Rainscreen panels

Dales design and manufacture aluminium rainscreen panels on a bespoke basis to suit each individual project, more detail available here.

Support Systems

More information of the various support systems that Dales can provide is available here.

Wall Copings

Dales design and manufacture aluminium wall copings on a bespoke basis to suit each individual project, more detail available here.

Durability, Loadings & 3D Modelling


Dales systems are designed to give a low maintenance life of 60 years in rural and suburban conditions & up to 25 years in industrial conditions, dependant on the exact environment. For marine environments see above.

Operation & Maintenance Information

As part of the Dales Project Management: Design & Specification Service a full technical guide is issued to site that includes A3 copies of all Dales detail proposal drawings in full colour and generic system fixing instructions as a comprehensive Technical Guide. This also includes a comprehensive ‘Fixings Identification List’ that identifies where each fixing is supposed to use, the same information is noted on the detail proposal drawings too.

It is the customer’s responsibility to request a full O&M pack from Dales, which will include a complete detail drawings pack and the relevant generic fixing instructions complete with the maintenance schedule and any guarantee originally requested in the original customer order.

Loadings: General

For wind and other specific loadings please contact our Project management team on Tel: 0115 930 1521.

Loadings: Finite Element Analysis FEA/FEM Modelling

As part of its overall design process Dales may be required to provide a computer-generated Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or similar report that may indicate whether a system designed by Dales is likely to withstand specific wind or other loadings. In the case of wind-loadings, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that they correctly inform Dales of the “local wind pressure design cladding load for the specific element of the works” as well as the height and location of the detail that Dales are to supply.

Please note that Dales reserve the right to pass on any costs incurred in producing any such report or calculations, as well as any additional product costs that the conclusions from the report deem necessary. Since it is not possible to fully predict all the dynamic factors that may arise, any report generated through a computer-model will always be limited to some extent in its ability to predict real-life outcomes with absolute accuracy.

It is therefore the customer’s design and financial responsibility to ensure that any such FEA/ FEM report that Dales may provide is deemed adequate, sufficient and compliant with the project design specification by the Project Structural Engineer in terms of the; model, loadings and physical properties of the materials used.

3D Modelling

Where Dales are required to design their systems, for whatever reason, using 3D modelling software, typically AutoDesk Revitt, lead times for the preparation of detail design drawings (Dales proposal drawings) or 3D models are likely to be increased. This may on occasion affect overall lead times for the provision of manufactured products and Dales are not liable for any costs however they may arise due to the increased design time that results from the need for 3D computer modelling. Dales reserve the right to charge for any such increased design time incurred in their design office that results from the need for 3D modelling.

Thermal movement

Dales design all systems to accommodate the extremes of temperature typical in the UK. For overseas projects, please contact Dales to discuss the requirements of your project.

Curves, Modulation, Access Panels & Fixings

Curved Systems

The visual effect of a finished curved system whilst technically demanding and costly always gives a finished project a ‘landmark’ quality. Dales have a long heritage of designing and manufacturing curved products since the business was first established in 1977. When specifying curved systems, it is recommended that one of our Directors or experienced Project Managers meet with the project design team to discuss the possibilities, use the chat facility or call us on t.0115 930 1521

Curved solar shading systems may be manufactured to a pure radius. In many instances, a curved front blade or tube with the rest of the blades facetted to suit, can be a (relatively) cost-effective and intelligent solution to the curved system requirement.

Examples of both fully curved blade systems and those where only the extrusion at the front, has been curved can be see on our project pages.

Modulation to Grid or Curtain-walling

Solar shade systems can be designed to modulate with grid or curtain-walling mullions. If modulation is required, it should be identified in the NBS Specification clause which, our Project Managers can assist you with.

Access Panels & Off-site Assembly

Solar shade panels can be adapted at relatively low cost during manufacture to provide large or small hinged access panels to allow cleaning or other access.

It is important to ensure that such requirements are integrated into the contract specification, since incorporating such a requirement after installation can be expensive.

Solar shades cassette panels can be designed to allow rainwater pipes to pass through unhindered. Off-site assembly can be utilised to integrate LED or other lighting and other components. To discuss specific requirements please contact our Project Management Team on Tel: 0115 930 1521.


Fixings present a potential weak link in any system, as such Dales take the process of fixing selection as seriously as the design of the system itself. All fixings have been selected after careful consultation with manufacturers and rigorous testing for both ultimate strengths and potential incompatibility issues. All necessary fixings are supplied as part of the complete package from Dales.


Aluminium: The sustainable choice

Aluminium is recognised as one of the most sustainable materials for use in the building industry. This is due to the vast natural deposits of bauxite (aluminium ore) and product longevity, combined with low recycling costs. Around 98% of the aluminium used in UK construction projects is recycled.

Environmental Policy

Our environmental policy is available to view here.

Responsible Sourcing

Our Responsible Sourcing policy is available to view here.

Preferred Installer Network

Our network of carefully selected preferred installers are on hand to provide a full supply and fix package. These companies specialise in the installation of our materials and fit them on a regular basis and vary in size from large facades installers to smaller eaves and rainwater goods specialists.


Solar shading brochure

Request a sample

Request a sample

Profile, colour and surface finish samples available to order.

Visit our factory


Dales welcomes all specifiers, engineers and clients to see our solutions being manufactured first hand.

Send your drawings

Send your drawings

Involve our design team early for optimum solutions by uploading your 2D drawings or provide a link to your 3D model here.

Request a site visit

Request site visit

We can bring our experience and expertise directly to you at your site.

Request a sample

Request a sample

Profile, Colour and surface finish samples available to order.

Request factory tour


Dales welcomes all specifiers, engineers and clients to see our solutions being manufactured first hand.

Send your drawings

Send your drawings

Involve our design team early for optimum solutions by uploading your 2D drawings or provide a link to your 3D model here.

Request a site visit

Request site visit

We can bring our experience and expertise directly to you at your site.

Compare Products