BMW Group HO

Sun tracking glass louvers as sun protection

Sun tracking glass louvers as sun protection
BMW Group HO

Service / Elconeq

Conception of louver control, manufacturing, delivery and commissioning of the louver control, type Elconeq Compact.

  • The louver area of the round courtyard is divided into 14 groups and thus into 14 distributors including motor control units (3 motor control units each). This ensures a visually seamless and continuously changing louver position, optical breaks are avoided and the sun protection effect is always guaranteed.
  • This decentralised concept also reduces cabling to a minimum.
  • Overlapping of the louvers restricts the turning range. Special algorithms allow rear side shading of the louvers and extend the louver rotation range to 180°, necessary for optimal tracking of the north oriented louver bays.

42 venetian blind motors, 20Nm, arranged in 6 louver banks, provide the louver adjustment. The parameterisation of the individual groups creates homogeneous louver patterns and ensures precise tracking. The louver groups can be moved manually via blind push-buttons and thus adapted to the needs of the room users

  • Location: Midrand, South Africa
  • Use: Administration building, Head Office
  • Architect: Boogertman + Partner, Johannesburg
  • Client: RVI, Johannesburg
  • Picture credits:
    Pierre van der Merwe, RVI, Johannesburg


The circular post and beam facade with a high proportion of glass must be protected throughout from the extremely high external heat loads of the South African sun. At the same time, however, it should be possible to see outside at all times and the system activation should not lead to darkening of the rooms. The system should also make a statement on the softly curved Courtyard facade and reflect the innovative image character of the car manufacturer. The circular contour of the facade poses a particular challenge to the mechanics. Louvers can be rotated up to 180° in order to ensure optimum shading. Overlapping louvers should at no time allow unrestricted direct passage of radiation.


The glass louver solution impresses with its semi-transparency on the one hand and its high effectiveness on the other. The local building regulations allowed the use of monolithic glass, 12mm and 10mm thick. The grey screen printing on face 2 with the dotted pattern acts as a heat shield and still allows a good view outside. The vertical louvers cover almost the entire arch of the inner courtyard. Due to the celestial mechanics and the geometry of the system, the louvers move over an angular range of 170°. The overlapping system required a technical program intervention in the software of the sun protection control. The 600mm wide louvers are not only an optical highlight on the BMW building. They also play a major role in the overall concept, which was awarded a 5-star rating by the Green Building Council of South Africa.

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