This week, our 'Explainer' looks at Brise Soleils, an architectural design element that has increasingly gained momentum thanks to its functionality. A method of making the interior of buildings more comfortable for their inhabitants while reducing their carbon footprint, architects have found many ways to incorporate this tool into the aesthetic design. So what exactly are Brise Soleils, and how do they work?

Our sister site Skyrisecities.com, provides an in-depth overview:

Ministry of Education and Health Building's brise soleil, Brazil, image via WikiMinistry of Education and Health Building's brise soleil, Brazil, image via Wikimedia Commons

Brise soleil is a French term that translates to ‘sun breaker’ in English, and refers to an architectural screen that is applied to a building’s exterior to reduce heat gain and the amount of sunlight that can penetrate a building's windows. Often located on exterior balconies, brise soleils may take a number of different forms. While their design varies from simple shades to more complex geometric patterns, they provide an engaging — and increasingly essential — solution to reducing the amount of heat released into buildings.

You can find the rest of the story on our sister site, Skyrisecities.com.