Louver Specifications - The Blueprint for HVAC

Specifications for Louvers

Specifications list everything that goes into a building project, including the individual materials and components used in the building. Learn how louvers fit into your specifications with the MCDLG Newsstand.

Specifications - The Outline of a Building

Building projects require careful planning. Hundreds of individual components must be accounted for, and each piece must meet a specific set of standards. Specifications, or specs, provide an outline to track the various components and processes required to complete the project. A full specification will contain details on everything, from safety requirements to the material used to make a louver.

Anatomy of a Specification

Three part specifications are divided into sections and subsections. Each section of the specification will deal with a separate part of the project, such as the various parts to be installed. Subsections will list each item involved in the section and provide essential information about the items in the section. For instance, the section for Louvers will contain subsections for the types of louvers used, what they're made of, and what standards these louvers should adhere to. For this article, we will focus on louvers.

Louver specifications and the Performance section

Louver specifications will include standards like AMCA 500-L and AMCA 501, as well as any standards that apply to the material used to make the louver. These documents will also provide detailed information about each louver in the project, such as the louver’s size, its components, any attached accessories, and the unit’s capabilities. To put it simply, specifications list everything.

Specification documents contain definitions of important terms used throughout the document, references to standards and other required documentation for the project, the necessary paperwork to be included with the specifications, and a comprehensive list of each product involved in the project. This is a lot of information. That is why specification documents are divided into sections and subsections, to help organize this information.

Interested in specifications? Read this article for a general overview of these important documents.

For louvers, each louver type will be listed in a separate subsection:

  • Blade movement: fixed or adjustable, 
  • Material: extruded aluminum and formed steel

From there, louvers are further subdivided into lists based on the following details:

  • Blade orientation: horizontal and vertical
  • Blade type: drainable, non-drainable
  • Function: standard ventilation, wind driven rain resistant, acoustical, FEMA-approved, hurricane rated
Louvers in the Spec

Consider a project with three louvers. The first louver will be made from extruded aluminum and have fixed drainable blades. The second louver will also have fixed blades, but it is rated for wind driven rain. The third louver will be made from galvanized steel. Each louver in this example would be separately listed.

The second louver will go under the "Fixed, Extruded Aluminum Louvers" subsection with the first louver. However, as a wind-driven-rain louver, the second louver will be listed under "Horizontal, Wind-Driven-Rain-Resistant Louver". The third louver would go under the "Fixed, Formed Steel Louvers" subsection. These divisions help organize louvers so that they're easier to find.

Louver specifications and the Products section

The product sections will list every louver used for the project and outline the key details of each louver:

  • The model number and manufacturer of the louver,
  • The dimensions of the louver, including frame depth and blade spacing,
  • The type of blade,
  • The material used to make the blades and frame,
  • The thickness of each material used,
  • The louver’s free area,
  • If available, data for pressure drop, wind driven rain resistance, and the beginning point of water penetration,
  • Additional test data, such as acoustical dampening data,
  • Any AMCA Seals that apply to the louver.

Product subsections provide a clear picture of the finished products before they arrive on site, ensuring the finished products are built for their intended application. Specification data will be vital to completing the project.

Other subsections will provide details for any accessories and options that come with the louvers, such as actuators and custom finishes.

The finish subsection will describe the finishes applied to the listed products, the nominal thickness of the applied finish, the color of each louver, and the relevant standards for each finish type. Your project may have louvers with several types of finishes. For instance, the project may require louvers with a standard paint finish on one side of the building and louvers with an advanced powder paint finish on another side, with anodized louvers installed in another area. The finish subsection will provide information on all the finishes used for louvers in the given subsection. 

Louver specifications and the accessories section

The execution section lists which documents to consult during the installation process and which parties are responsible for installing the louvers. Manufacturers will provide installation instructions for their louvers, and different louver types will require a separate set of instructions.

The Purpose of Louver Specifications

Specifications are not instruction manuals. Mostly, they will dictate who is responsible for completing which tasks. If you are responsible for installing or maintaining the louvers, then you should consult the relevant instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Louver specifications act as a table of contents for a construction project. They provide a list of every louver and outline how those louvers will come together. Details are vital in realizing the completed project. Every piece must be accounted for.

For more on louvers, check out these Newsstand articles:

Louvers and their specifications


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