Login| Sign Up| Help| Contact|

Patent Searching and Data


Title:
IMPROVEMENTS IN OR RELATING TO SOLAR SHADING
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/138493
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
An exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) comprises a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) forming a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (14) extending through the mounting body (12) by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) is engageable with a curtain-walling mullion (32), and a plurality of bracket-plate apertures (16) extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (23) transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures (14) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break. A pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) are attached or attachable to the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) via the bracket-plate apertures (16), and at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket (36) or a mounting member therefor. A method of installing an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure is also provided.

Inventors:
BRAYBROOK, Peter (26 Riversley Road, Gloucester Gloucestershire GL2 0QT, GL2 0QT, GB)
Application Number:
GB2018/050199
Publication Date:
August 02, 2018
Filing Date:
January 24, 2018
Export Citation:
Click for automatic bibliography generation   Help
Assignee:
BRAYBROOK, Peter (26 Riversley Road, Gloucester Gloucestershire GL2 0QT, GL2 0QT, GB)
International Classes:
E04B2/96; E04F10/08; E06B9/26; E06B9/38
Domestic Patent References:
WO2008065356A12008-06-05
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HOCKING, Adrian et al. (Albright IP Limited, County HouseBayshill Road, Cheltenham Gloucestershire GL50 3BA, GL50 3BA, GB)
Download PDF:
Claims:
Claims

1. A method of installing an exterior-solar shading bracket (36) at a curtain walling mullion (32) of a structure, comprising the steps of: a) providing a plurality of mounting devices fixable to the bracket (36) and the mullion (32), the plurality of mounting devices comprising at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) formed at least in part from a first material and at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) formed at least in part from a second material; b) obtaining structure-specific data for the installation; c) selecting at least two mounting devices from the plurality of mounting devices based on the structure-specific data; d) fixing the selected mounting devices to the bracket (36) to provide a modular exterior solar shading mounting device (15); and e) fixing the modular exterior solar shading mounting device to the curtain walling mullion (32) via the mounting devices.

2. A method of installing an exterior-solar-shading bracket (36) as claimed in claim 1, wherein the first material is steel, and the second material is a fibre-reinforced plastics material.

3. A method of installing an exterior-solar-shading bracket (36) as claimed in claim 1 or claim 2, wherein at least one of the plurality of mounting devices is an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) comprising:

a steel mounting body (12) to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction;

a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (14) extending through the mounting body (12) by which the steel mounting body (12) is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion (32); a plurality of bracket-plate apertures (16) extending through the steel mounting body (12) transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures (14) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break;

a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) attached or attachable to the steel mounting body (12) via the bracket-plate apertures (16); and

at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

4. A method of installing an exterior-solar-shading bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 3, wherein at least one of the plurality of mounting devices is an exterior solar-shading thermal-break mounting device (10) comprising:

a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction;

a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (14) extending through the mounting body (12) by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) is engagable with a curtain- walling mullion (32);

a plurality of bracket-plate apertures (16) extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures (14) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break; a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) attached or attachable to the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body (12) via the bracket-plate apertures (16); and

at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

A method of installing an exterior-solar-shading bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 4, wherein at least one of the plurality of mounting devices is an exterior solar-shading thermal-break mounting device (310) comprising:

a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (312) to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction;

a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (314) extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (312) by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (312) is engagable with a curtain- walling mullion (32);

a bracket receiver (362) integrally formed as one-piece with the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (312), the bracket receiver (362) formed of fibre-reinforced plastics;

at least one bracket-engagement aperture (316) in the bracket receiver (362) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the said at least one bracket- engagement aperture (316) extending transversely to the mullion-engagement apertures (314) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break.

A method of installing an exterior-solar-shading bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 5, wherein at least one of the plurality of mounting devices is an exterior solar-shading thermal-break mounting device (310) comprising:

a steel mounting body (312) to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction;

a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (314) extending through the steel mounting body (312) by which the steel mounting body (312) is engagable with a curtain- walling mullion (32);

a bracket receiver (362) integrally formed as one-piece with the steel mounting body (312), the bracket receiver (362) formed of steel;

at least one bracket-engagement aperture (316) in the bracket receiver (362) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the said at least one bracket- engagement aperture (316) extending transversely to the mullion-engagement apertures (314) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break.

An exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar-shading bracket as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) comprising:

a steel mounting body (12) to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction;

a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (14) extending through the mounting body (12) by which the steel mounting body (12) is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion (32); a plurality of bracket-plate apertures (16) extending through the steel mounting body (12) transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures (14) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break;

a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) attached or attachable to the steel mounting body (12) via the bracket-plate apertures (16); and

at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

8. An exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 7, wherein the steel mounting body (12) comprises a stainless steel.

9. An exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 7 or claim 8, further comprising mullion-fasteners (26) receivable through the mullion-engagement apertures (314), and/or bracket-plate-fasteners receivable through the bracket-plate apertures (16) and at least one bracket engagement apertures (20).

10. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 9, wherein at least two mullion-engagement apertures (14) extend through said steel mounting body (12), and/or two bracket-plate apertures (16) extend through said steel mounting body (12).

11. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 10, wherein the steel mounting body (12) has a mullion-engagement portion (22) and a plate-attachment portion (24).

12. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 11, wherein a shoulder (34) is defined at an interface between the mullion engagement portion (22) and the plate-attachment portion (24), and/or the pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) is attached to the steel mounting body (12) on opposing sides of the plate-attachment portion (24).

13. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 12, wherein the pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) are seated on the face of the shoulder (34). 14. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in any one of claims 11 to 13, further comprising a thermal and/or acoustic insulative sheath (38), having a closed end and an open end separated by a sheath wall section, the closed end abutting the plate-attachment portion and the sheath wall section interposed between the bracket-engagement plates (18).

15. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 14, wherein the insulative sheath (38) forms a further thermal break.

16. An exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 14 or 15, wherein at least one sheath aperture (40) extends through the sheath wall section and is collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18). 17. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 16, further comprising a pair of thermal and/or acoustic insulative strips interposed between the bracket-engagement plates (18).

18. An exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) as claimed in claim 17, wherein at least one insulative strip aperture extends through each insulative strip and is collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18), and/or at least one insulative plug occludes each mullion-engagement aperture (14).

19. A modular exterior solar shading mounting device (15) for the installation of an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion (32) of a structure, produced by and for use in a method as claimed in any one of claims 1 to 6, the modular exterior solar shading mounting device (15) comprising a plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices (10) as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 18 for attachment to a mullion (32), the plurality of exterior- solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices (10) attached in a longitudinal alignment to receive brackets (36) of varying length in a dimension perpendicular to a mullion (32).

20. A modular exterior solar shading mounting device (15) as claimed in claim 19, further comprising a plurality of exterior-solar shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices (10), each such further exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device (10) having: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) to form athermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction; a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures (14) extending through the mounting body (12) by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) is engagable with a curtain- walling mullion (32);

a plurality of bracket-plate apertures (16) extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body (12) transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures (14) and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break;

a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates (18) attached or attachable to the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body (12) via the bracket-plate apertures (16); and

at least one bracket-engagement aperture (20) in each bracket-engagement plate (18) for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, wherein

at least some of the plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting devices (10) as claimed in any one of claims 7 to 18 are terminal exterior-solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting devices (10), and at least some of the said further exterior-solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting devices (10) are provided therebetween in longitudinal alignment.

Description:
Improvements In Or Relating To Solar Shading

The present invention relates to an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device, and to an architectural louvre system using said bracket mounting device to mount a louvre bracket on a building upright, such as a mullion, to provide a thermal break when attaching exterior solar shading for a building. Solar shading for a building can be achieved by affixing louvres to the exterior of the building. The louvres are typically point or linearly supported, and may be adjustable around a single axis in order to allow control of the extent of shading as the sun's apparent position in the sky changes across the day.

In a common setup, brackets are attached to mullions, located on the exterior side of a pane of glass forming part of a building facade, via an attachment block or element. Typically, the mullion is a curtain wall mullion of a glass curtain wall. The louvres can then be mounted on the exteriorly projecting brackets.

In modern installations, significant force is applied to the mounting device, especially under high wind or other adverse weather conditions. Failure of the mounting device may lead to movement or dislocation of the bracket and the louvres. While it is important to maximize the strength of the bracket, attachment elements are currently typically produced from aluminium alloy, to allow light-weight construction. It would therefore be desirable to produce an attachment element out of a light-weight material with superior strength properties.

However, it is known that heat exchange from the interior to the exterior of the building, and vice-versa in more temperate climates, may occur via the attachment element. If the attachment element is manufactured from a heat-conducting metal, this will likely be a significant or noticeable contribution to energy loss, either via increased heating or air conditioning requirements. It is known to include one or more removable thermal-break elements between the bracket and the mullion, to prevent heat exchange, but this may be inconvenient due to imperfect insulation, a higher cost of installation, and a greater need for maintenance.

The present invention seeks to provide a solution to the problems outlined above with the prior art.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a method of installing an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure, comprising the steps of: a) providing a plurality of mounting devices fixable to the bracket and the mullion, the plurality of mounting devices comprising at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device formed at least in part from a first material and at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device formed at least in part from a second material; b) obtaining structure-specific data for the installation; c) selecting at least two mounting devices from the plurality of mounting devices based on the structure-specific data; d) fixing the selected mounting devices to the bracket to provide a modular exterior solar shading mounting device; and e) fixing the modular exterior solar shading mounting device to the curtain walling mullion via the mounting devices.

Such a method advantageously allows the customised installation of exterior-solar shading brackets at curtain walling mullions, such that the mounting devices, and a specific arrangement thereof, may be chosen for a specific curtain walling mullion bracket installation so that properties of the modular exterior solar shading mounting device used can be tailored to the specific curtain walling mullion bracket installation.

Preferably, the first material may be steel, and the second material may be a fibre-reinforced plastics material. Steel beneficially has superior tensile strength at high temperatures, improving the fire safety of the installation. The fibre-reinforced plastic is advantageous as it limits heat transfer across the exterior- solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting device in use.

At least one of the plurality of mounting devices may be an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device comprising a steel mounting body to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the mounting body by which the steel mounting body is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion, a plurality of bracket-plate apertures extending through the steel mounting body transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break, a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates attached or attachable to the steel mounting body via the bracket-plate apertures, and at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

Additionally or alternatively, at least one of the plurality of mounting devices may be an exterior solar- shading thermal-break mounting device comprising: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engagable with a curtain- walling mullion, a plurality of bracket-plate apertures extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break, a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates attached or attachable to the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body via the bracket-plate apertures, and at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

Optionally, at least one of the plurality of mounting devices may be an exterior solar-shading thermal-break mounting device comprising a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion, a bracket receiver integrally formed as one-piece with the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body, the bracket receiver formed of fibre-reinforced plastics, at least one bracket- engagement aperture in the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the said at least one bracket-engagement aperture extending transversely to the mullion- engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break.

Beneficially, at least one of the plurality of mounting devices may be an exterior solar-shading thermal- break mounting device comprising a steel mounting body to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the steel mounting body by which the steel mounting body is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion, a bracket receiver integrally formed as one-piece with the steel mounting body, the bracket receiver formed of steel, at least one bracket-engagement aperture in the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the said at least one bracket-engagement aperture extending transversely to the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar-shading bracket in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device comprising: a steel mounting body to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction; a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the mounting body by which the steel mounting body is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion; a plurality of bracket-plate apertures extending through the steel mounting body transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break; a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates attached or attachable to the steel mounting body via the bracket-plate apertures; and at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

Preferably the steel mounting body comprises a stainless steel, for desired strength and thermal conductivity properties. An austenitic stainless steel may be most preferable. Beneficially, there may be mullion-fasteners receivable through the mullion-engagement apertures. The bracket-plate-fasteners may additionally or alternatively be receivable through the bracket-plate apertures and at least one bracket engagement apertures.

At least two mullion-engagement apertures and/or two bracket-plate apertures may extend through said steel mounting body. The steel mounting body may beneficially have a mullion-engagement portion and a plate-attachment portion.

In this case, preferably a shoulder is defined at an interface between the mullion engagement portion and the plate-attachment portion. The pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates may be attached to the steel mounting body on opposing sides of the plate-attachment portion. The pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates may be seated on the face of the shoulder.

Additionally or alternatively, there may further be provided a thermal and/or acoustic insulative sheath, having a closed end and an open end separated by a sheath wall section, the closed end abutting the plate- attachment portion and the sheath wall section interposed between the bracket-engagement plates. In this case, the insulative sheath may form a further thermal break. At least one sheath aperture may beneficially extend through the sheath wall section and be collinear with the at least one bracket- engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate.

A pair of thermal and/or acoustic insulative strips may be interposed between the bracket-engagement plates. In this case, at least one insulative strip aperture preferably extends through each insulative strip and is collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate.

At least one insulative plug most preferably occludes each mullion-engagement aperture.

According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided a modular exterior solar shading mounting device for the installation of an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure, produced by and for use in a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention and comprising: a plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices in accordance with the second aspect of the invention for attachment to a mullion, the plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices attached in a longitudinal alignment to receive brackets of varying length in a dimension perpendicular to a mullion. Such a modular exterior solar shading mounting device may preferably further comprise a plurality of exterior-solar shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices, each such further exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device having: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engagable with a curtain-walling mullion, a plurality of bracket-plate apertures extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break, a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates attached or attachable to the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body via the bracket-plate apertures, and at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

Most preferably at least some of the plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting devices in accordance with the second aspect of the invention are terminal exterior-solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting devices, and at least some of the said further exterior-solar-shading thermal break bracket mounting devices are provided therebetween in longitudinal alignment. According to a fourth aspect of the invention, there is provided a modular exterior solar shading mounting device for the installation of an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure, produced by and for use in a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, and comprising a substantially V-shaped interface bracket, a pair of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices in accordance with the second aspect of the invention for the attachment to a mullion, the pair of exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting devices attached to the substantially V-shaped interface bracket. According to a fifth aspect of the invention, there is provided a modular, multi -planar, exterior solar shading mounting device for the mounting to a mullion and a transom, produced by and for use in a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the modular exterior solar shading mounting device comprising: a longitudinal-arm element and a transverse-arm element; the longitudinal arm element having at least one longitudinal-arm-slot; the transverse arm element having at least one transverse-arm-slot; the transverse-arm-slot and the longitudinal-arm-slot being mutually receivable with one another when the longitudinal-arm element and the transverse arm-element are attached transversally to each other; at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in accordance with the second aspect of the invention fixed at or adjacent to each end of the longitudinal-arm element for attachment to a mullion; and at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in accordance with the second aspect of the invention fixed at or adjacent to each end of the transverse-arm element for attachment to a transom.

According to a sixth aspect of the invention, there is provided a curtain walling mullion bracket installation produced by a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the curtain walling mullion bracket installation comprising: a curtain walling mullion; a steel mounting body for forming a thermal break which in use prevents or reduces thermal conduction; at least one mullion-engagement element at the steel mounting body which at least in part enables the steel mounting body to be engagable with a building exterior mullion; a bracket receiver on the steel mounting body; a bracket-engagement element at the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the bracket- engagement element being spaced from the mullion-engagement element to maintain the said thermal break; an exterior-solar-shading bracket; and an exterior solar shading device fixed to the exterior solar shading bracket.

According to a seventh aspect of the invention, there is provided an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar-shading bracket in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device comprising: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body forming a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction; a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engageable with a curtain-walling mullion; a plurality of bracket-plate apertures extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body transversely of the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break; a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates attached or attachable to the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body via the bracket-plate apertures; and at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor.

The provision of a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is advantageous as the body of the thermal- break bracket mounting device can itself act as a thermal break. This is due to the better thermal insulation properties of fibre-reinforced plastics as opposed to metal; conventional exterior-solar-shading bracket mounting devices may typically be formed from aluminium alloy or steel. The choice of fibre-reinforced plastics as compared to other thermal insulators is due to its extremely high rigidity, strength and work of fracture. By spacing the plurality of bracket-plate apertures from the mullion engagement apertures a thermal break is maintained as it prevents any fasteners, which may be in use used for attachment purposes, to provide an energy transfer path through the device. These factors combine to prevent the transfer of thermal or acoustic energy from the in use mullion to the external environment of the mullion' s associated building or vice versa. Beneficially, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be injection moulded. Injection moulding is the most economical method of manufacturing bulk fibre-reinforced plastics components. Injection moulding is additionally advantageous in the case of a fibre-reinforced plastic, as it increases the likelihood that the tensile strength of the device is isotropic.

Preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be formed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer of a carbon fill volume fraction of 5% to 80%. Increasing the carbon fill volume fraction of a fibre- reinforced plastic increases the strength whilst decreasing the carbon fill volume fraction increases the work of fracture. Carbon fill volume fraction by volume between 5% to 80% provides a suitable compromise between these two factors.

Most preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be formed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer of a carbon fill volume fraction of 10% to 40%. Increasing the carbon fill volume fraction of a fibre-reinforced plastic increases the strength whilst decreasing the carbon fill volume fraction increases the work of fracture. Carbon fill volume fraction by volume between 10% to 40% is a suitable compromise between these two factors. Carbon fill volume fraction between this range optimizes the heat insulation properties of the fibre-reinforced plastic while retaining adequate strength performance. Preferably, at least two mullion-engagement apertures extend through said fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body. Providing at least two mullion-engagement apertures in use prevents or limits rotation of the mounting body with respect to the mullion. Preventing or limiting rotation of the mounting body reduces the amount of stress acting on any in use fasteners of the mullion and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture of the fasteners. Advantageously, two bracket-plate apertures may extend through said fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body. At least two bracket-plate apertures in use prevents or limits rotation of the mounting body with the bracket-engagement plates. As above, preventing or limiting rotation of the mounting body reduces the amount of stress acting on any in use fasteners of the bracket-engagement plates and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture Beneficially, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise mullion-fasteners receivable through the mullion-engagement apertures. Such mullion-fasteners allow for the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device to be securely attached to the mullion, as compared to alternative methods of attachment such as hooking elements or adhesives.

In a preferable embodiment, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise bracket-plate-fasteners receivable through the bracket-plate apertures and at least one bracket engagement apertures. In this case, the bracket-plate-fasteners enables the exterior-solar-shading thermal- break bracket mounting device to be securely attached to the bracket-engagement plates, as compared to alternative methods of attachment such as hooking elements or adhesives.

Preferably, at least two mullion-engagement apertures extend through said fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body. Providing at least two mullion-engagement apertures in use prevents or limits rotation of the mounting body with respect to the mullion. Preventing or limiting rotation of the mounting body prevents or limits the amount of stress acting on any in use fasteners of the mullion and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture of the fasteners from occurring.

Advantageously, at least two bracket-engagement apertures may extend through said fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body. At least two bracket-engagement apertures in use prevents or limits rotation of the mounting body with the bracket-engagement plates. Preventing or limiting rotation of the mounting body prevents or limits the amount of stress acting at any in use fasteners of the bracket-engagement plates and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture from occurring.

Preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may have a mullion-engagement portion and a plate-attachment portion. The two separate portions of the mounting body allow there to be a shoulder defined at an interface between them. Additionally, the provision of two separate portions of diverse profile may facilitate the removal of the mounting body from an injection moulding die during production.

Beneficially, a shoulder may be defined at an interface between the mullion engagement portion and the plate-attachment portion. A shoulder portion provides the advantage that the bracket-plates are allowed to be seated on the mullion-engagement portion, preventing or limiting the bracket-plates from tilting from their desired position in use.

In a preferable embodiment, the pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates may be attached to the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body on opposing sides of the plate-attachment portion. The opposing bracket- engagement plates being situated on opposite sides of the plate-attachment portion allows for an external bracket to be receivable between the bracket-engagement plates. This results in an improved attachment of the bracket to the bracket-engagement plates compared to when the bracket-engagement plates are not on opposite sides of the plate-attachment portion.

Optionally, the pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates may be seated on the face of the shoulder. Seating the bracket-engagement plates on the shoulder provides the advantage that the bracket-plates are prevented or limited from tilting from their desired position in use. Advantageously, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise a thermal and/or acoustic insulative sheath, having a closed end and an open end separated by a sheath wall section, the closed end abutting the plate-attachment portion and the sheath wall section interposed between the bracket-engagement plates.

The closed end of the sheath element abutting the plate-attachment portion allows for the mullion fasteners to be covered with respect to the exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, preventing or limiting conduction of heat therethrough. The sheath wall section being interposed between the bracket- engagement plates prevents or limits conduction of heat between the bracket-engagement plates and an adjoining in use bracket.

Alternatively, the insulative sheath may form a further thermal break. A further thermal break further reduces the heat transfer from the in use mullion to the external environment of the mullion's associated building or vice versa.

Additionally, at least one sheath aperture may extend through the sheath wall section and is collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate. The presence of a sheath aperture allows the insulative sheath to be attached in place by an in use fastener and thereby prevents or limits loss of heat insulation by the displacement of the sheath.

Advantageously, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise a pair of thermal and/or acoustic insulative strips interposed between the bracket-engagement plates. Insulative strips provide a similar advantage to the insulative sheath but are furtherly advantageous in that they typically have a lower cost and so reduce the per-unit cost of the mounting device. Beneficially, at least one insulative strip aperture may extend through each insulative strip and is collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket-engagement plate. The presence of an insulative strip aperture allows the insulative strip to be attached in place by an in use fastener and prevents or limits loss of heat insulation by the displacement of the sheath.

In a preferable embodiment, at least one insulative plug occludes each mullion-engagement aperture. In this case, when the insulative strips are used as opposed to the insulative sheath, the plugs prevent or reduce the conduction of heat energy from the mullion-fasteners to the in use exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor is prevented or limited.

According to an eighth aspect of the present invention there is provided a modular exterior solar shading mounting device for the installation of an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure, the modular exterior solar shading mounting device produced by and for use in a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention and comprising a plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices in accordance with the seventh aspect of the present invention for attachment to a mullion, the plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices positioned in longitudinal alignment to receive brackets of varying length in a dimension perpendicular to a mullion.

A modular exterior solar shading mounting device allows for customization of installation for different sizes of bracket and mullion, particularly in the case where the mullion is a curtain walling mullion and the glazing is an exterior curtain wall of a building. Furthermore, the ability to freely choose the number of mounting bodies is beneficial as it allows for greater control over the degree of structural support provided by the mounting bodies while using only one design of mounting body. This is particularly preferable due to the high cost of custom-manufacturing the mounting bodies and testing each design for relevant strength parameters, especially if the mounting body is manufactured from fibre-reinforced plastics.

According to a ninth aspect of the present invention there is provided a modular exterior solar shading mounting device for the installation of an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure, the modular exterior solar shading device produced by and for use in a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention and comprising a substantially V-shaped interface bracket, a pair of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices in accordance with the seventh aspect of the present invention for attachment to a mullion, the pair of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices attached to the substantially V-shaped interface bracket. This configuration provides two points of support for the in use interface bracket to be mounted onto which prevents or limits rotation of the interface bracket with respect to the mullion and/or exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices as compared to one point of support. This thereby reduces the chance of fracture of the device due to high loading stress caused by the rotation.

According to a tenth aspect of the present invention there is provided a modular, multi -planar, exterior solar shading mounting device for the mounting of an exterior solar shading device at a mullion and a transom, the modular exterior solar shading device produced by and for use in a method in accordance with the first aspect of invention and comprising a longitudinal-arm element and a transverse-arm element; the longitudinal arm element having at least one longitudinal-arm slot; the transverse arm element having at least one transverse-arm slot; the transverse-arm slot and the longitudinal-arms lot being mutually receivable with one another when the longitudinal-arm element and the transverse arm element are attached transversally to each other; at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in accordance with the seventh aspect of the present invention fixed at or adjacent to each end of the longitudinal-arm element for attachment to a mullion; and at least one exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in accordance with the seventh aspect of the present invention fixed at or adjacent to each end of the transverse-arm element for attachment to a transom.

Such a configuration provides four points of support for the in use interface bracket to be mounted, which prevents or limits rotation of the interface bracket with respect to the mullion and/or exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices as compared to fewer points of support. This thereby reduces the chance of fracture of the device due to high loading stress caused by the rotation. According to an eleventh aspect of the present invention there is provided an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar-shading bracket in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device comprising: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body for forming a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction; of at least one mullion-engagement aperture extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engageable with a building exterior mullion; at least one bracket-receiver aperture extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body transversely of the mullion-engagement aperture and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break; a bracket receiver attached or attachable to the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body via the at least one bracket-receiver aperture; and at least one bracket-engagement element at the bracket-engagement plate receiver for engaging an exterior-solar- shading bracket or a mounting member therefor. Providing an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in accordance with the eleventh aspect of the present invention is advantageous as per the seventh aspect of the invention described hereinbefore.

According to a twelfth aspect of the present invention there is provided an exterior-solar-shading thermal- break bracket mounting device specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar- shading bracket in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the exterior-solar-shading thermal- break bracket mounting device comprising: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body forming to form a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction; a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engageable with a curtain-walling mullion; a bracket receiver integrally formed as one- piece with the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body, the bracket receiver formed of fibre-reinforced plastics; at least one bracket-engagement aperture in the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar- shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the said at least one bracket-engagement aperture extending transversely to the mullion-engagement apertures and spaced therefrom to maintain the said thermal break. The provision of a fibre reinforced plastics mounting provides the advantage that the body of the thermal- break bracket mounting device can itself act as a thermal break. This is as fibre-reinforced plastics are typically more thermally insulating than metal; conventional exterior-solar-shading bracket mounting devices may typically be formed from aluminium alloy. The choice of fibre-reinforced plastics as compared to other thermal insulators is due to its extremely high rigidity, strength and work of fracture. By spacing the at least one bracket-engagement apertures from the mullion engagement apertures a thermal break is maintained as it prevents any fasteners, which may in use used for attachment purposes, to provide an energy transfer path through the device. These factors combine to prevent the transfer of thermal or acoustic energy from the in use mullion to the external environment of the mullion's associated building or vice versa. Furthermore, the use of a bracket receiver integrally formed as one-piece with the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body provides the additional advantage that it reduces the number of attachment means required to be used during installation. This results in the thermal-break bracket mounting device being simpler to install than if it were not formed as a one-piece.

Beneficially, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be injection moulded. Injection moulding is the most economical method of manufacturing bulk fibre-reinforced plastics components. Injection moulding is additionally advantageous in the case of a fibre-reinforced plastic, as it increases the likelihood that the tensile strength of the device is isotropic. Preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be formed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer of a carbon fill volume fraction of 5% to 80%. Increasing the carbon fill volume fraction of a fibre- reinforced plastic increases the strength whilst decreasing the carbon fill volume fraction increases the work of fracture. Carbon fill volume fraction by volume between 5% to 80% provides a suitable compromise between these two factors.

Most preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be formed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer of a carbon fill volume fraction of 10% to 40%. Increasing the carbon fill volume fraction of a fibre-reinforced plastic increases the strength whilst decreasing the carbon fill volume fraction increases the work of fracture. Carbon fill volume fraction by volume between 10% to 40% is a suitable compromise between these two factors. Carbon fill volume fraction between this range optimizes the heat insulation properties of the fibre-reinforced plastic while retaining adequate strength performance.

Preferably, at least two mullion-engagement apertures extend through said fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body. Providing at least two mullion-engagement apertures in use prevents or limits rotation of the mounting body with respect to the mullion. Preventing or limiting rotation of the mounting body prevents or limits the amount of stress acting on any in use fasteners of the mullion and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture of the fasteners from occurring.

Advantageously, at least two bracket-engagement apertures may extend through said bracket receiver. At least two bracket-engagement apertures in use prevents or limits rotation of the mounting body with the bracket-engagement plates. Preventing or limiting rotation of the mounting body prevents or limits the amount of stress acting at any in use fasteners of the bracket-engagement plates and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture from occurring.

Beneficially, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise mullion-fasteners receivable through the mullion-engagement apertures. The mullion-fasteners allow for the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device to be securely attached to the mullion, as compared to alternative methods of attachment such as hooking elements or adhesives.

In a preferable embodiment, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise bracket-receiver fasteners receivable through at least one bracket engagement apertures. Such fasteners allow for the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device to be securely attached to the exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member, as compared to alternative methods of attachment such as hooking elements or adhesives.

Preferably, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise a thermal and/or acoustic insulative sheath, having a closed end and an open end separated by a sheath wall section, the closed end abutting a base of a bracket receiver and the sheath wall section interposed between the bracket receiver. The closed end of the sheath element abutting the base of a bracket receiver allows for the mullion-fasteners to be covered with respect to the exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, preventing or limiting conduction of heat therethrough. The sheath wall section being interposed between the bracket receiver prevents or limits conduction of heat between the bracket receiver and an adjoining in use bracket.

Advantageously, the insulative sheath may form a further thermal break. An additional thermal break further reduces the heat transfer from the in use mullion to the external environment of the mullion's associated building or vice versa.

Beneficially, at least one sheath aperture may extend through the sheath wall section and may be collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket receiver. The presence of a sheath aperture allows the insulative sheath to be attached in place by an in use fastener and thereby not be unintentionally removed from its position where it forms a further thermal break. In a preferable embodiment, a pair of thermal and/or acoustic insulative strips are interposed between the bracket receiver. Insulative strips provide a similar advantage to the insulative sheath however are furtherly advantageous in that they typically have a lower cost and so reduce the per-unit cost of the mounting device.

Optionally, at least one insulative strip aperture extends through each insulative strip and is collinear with the at least one bracket-engagement aperture in each bracket receiver. The presence of an insulative strip aperture allows the insulative strip to be attached in place by an in use fastener and thereby not be unintentionally removed from its position where it forms a further thermal break.

According to a thirteenth aspect of the present invention there is provided an exterior-solar-shading thermal- break bracket mounting device specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar- shading bracket in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the exterior-solar-shading thermal- break bracket mounting device comprising: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body for forming a thermal break which prevents or reduces thermal conduction; at least one mullion-engagement aperture extending through the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body by which the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is engageable with a building exterior mullion; a bracket receiver integrally formed as one-piece with the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body; at least one bracket-engagement element at the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the said at least one bracket- engagement element being spaced from the mullion-engagement apertures to maintain the said thermal break.

Providing an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in accordance with the thirteenth aspect of the present invention is advantageous as per the twelfth aspect of the invention described hereinbefore.

According to an fourteenth aspect of the present invention there is provided an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device specifically adapted for use in a method of installing an exterior solar-shading bracket in accordance with the first aspect of the invention, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device comprising: a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body for forming a thermal break which in use prevents or reduces thermal conduction; at least one mullion-engagement element at the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body which at least in part enables the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body to be engageable with a building exterior mullion; a bracket receiver on the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body; a bracket-engagement element at the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the bracket-engagement element being spaced from the mullion-engagement element to maintain the said thermal break. The provision of a fibre reinforced plastics mounting body provides the advantage that the body of the thermal-break bracket mounting device can itself act as a thermal break. This is as fibre-reinforced plastics are typically more thermally insulating than metal; conventional exterior-solar-shading bracket mounting devices may typically be formed from aluminium alloy or steel. The choice of fibre-reinforced plastics as compared to other thermal insulators is due to its extremely high rigidity, strength and work of fracture. By spacing the at least one bracket-engagement apertures from the mullion engagement apertures a thermal break is maintained as it prevents any fasteners, which may in use used for attachment purposes, to provide an energy transfer path through the device. These factors combine to prevent the transfer of thermal or acoustic energy from the in use mullion to the external environment of the mullion's associated building or vice versa. Beneficially, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body is injection moulded. Injection moulding is the most economical method of manufacturing bulk fibre-reinforced plastics components. Injection moulding is additionally advantageous in the case of a fibre-reinforced plastic, as it increases the likelihood that the tensile strength of the device is isotropic.

Preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be formed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer of a carbon fill volume fraction of 5% to 80%. Increasing the carbon fill volume fraction of a fibre- reinforced plastic increases the strength whilst decreasing the carbon fill volume fraction increases the work of fracture. Carbon fill volume fraction by volume between 5% to 80% provides a suitable compromise between these two factors.

Most preferably, the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body may be formed from carbon fibre-reinforced polymer of a carbon fill volume fraction of 10% to 40%. Increasing the carbon fill volume fraction of a fibre-reinforced plastic increases the strength whilst decreasing the carbon fill volume fraction increases the work of fracture. Carbon fill volume fraction by volume between 10% to 40% is a suitable compromise between these two factors. Carbon fill volume fraction between this range optimizes the heat insulation properties of the fibre-reinforced plastic while retaining adequate strength performance. Preferably, at least two mullion-engagement elements are at the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body. Providing at least two mullion-engagement elements in use prevents rotation of the mounting body with respect to the mullion. Preventing rotation of the mounting body prevents or limits the amount of stress acting on any in use fasteners of the mullion and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture of the fasteners from occurring. Advantageously, at least two bracket-engagement elements may be at the bracket receiver. Providing at least two bracket-engagement elements in use prevents rotation of the mounting body with respect to an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor. Preventing rotation of the mounting body prevents or limits the amount of stress acting on any in use fasteners of the an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor and mounting body and thereby prevents or limits fracture of the fasteners from occurring. Beneficially, the mullion-engagement elements are mullion fasteners. The provision of mullion-fasteners allows for the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device to be securely attached to the mullion, as compared to alternative methods of attachment such as hooking elements or adhesives.

In a preferable embodiment, the bracket-engagement elements are bracket fasteners. These fasteners allow for the exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device to be securely attached to the exterior- solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, as compared to alternative methods of attachment such as hooking elements or adhesives.

Advantageously, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise a thermal and/or acoustic insulative sheath, having a closed end and an open end separated by a sheath wall section, the closed end abutting a base of the bracket receiver and the sheath wall section interposed between the bracket receiver. The closed end of the sheath element abutting the base of a bracket receiver allows for the mullion-fasteners to be covered with respect to the exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, preventing or limiting conduction of heat therethrough. The sheath wall section being interposed between the bracket receiver prevents or limits conduction of heat between the bracket receiver and an adjoining exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor. Beneficially, the insulative sheath may form a further thermal break. As above, the additional break further reduces the heat transfer from the in use mullion to the external environment of the mullion's associated building or vice versa.

In a preferable embodiment, the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device may further comprise a pair of thermal and/or acoustic insulative strips interposed between the bracket receiver. Insulative strips provide a similar advantage to the insulative sheath, but are furtherly advantageous in that they typically have a lower cost and so reduce the per-unit cost of the mounting device.

According to a fifteenth aspect of the present invention there is provided a curtain walling mullion bracket installation produced by a method in accordance with the first aspect of the invention and comprising: a curtain walling mullion; a fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body for forming a thermal break which in use prevents or reduces thermal conduction; at least one mullion-engagement element at the fibre- reinforced plastics mounting body which at least in part enables the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body to be engageable with a building exterior mullion; a bracket receiver on the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body; a bracket-engagement element at the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar- shading bracket or a mounting member therefor, the bracket-engagement element being spaced from the mullion-engagement element to maintain the said thermal break; an exterior-solar-shading bracket; and an exterior solar shading device fixed to the exterior solar shading. Providing a curtain walling mullion bracket assembly in accordance with the fifteenth aspect of the invention is advantageous due to the superior insulation properties of the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body, as described hereinbefore with respect to the previous aspects of the invention.

The invention will now be more particularly described by way of example only, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which:

Figure 1 shows a perspective view of a first embodiment of an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device, in accordance with the seventh and eleventh aspects of the invention;

Figure 2 shows a lateral cross-section of the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device, as shown in Figure 1 ; Figure 3 shows an exploded view of the engagement of a bracket with the first embodiment of a single exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device, in accordance with the seventh aspect of the invention;

Figure 4 shows an exploded view of the engagement of a bracket with a second embodiment of a single exterior-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device, in accordance with the seventh aspect of the invention;

Figure 5 shows a perspective view of a modular exterior solar shading interface bracket with a plurality of the exterior solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices, in accordance with the eighth aspect of the invention;

Figure 6 shows a cut-away plan view of a modular exterior solar shading interface bracket with a plurality of the exterior solar shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices, in accordance with the third aspect of the invention;

Figure 7 shows a perspective view of a modular exterior solar shading interface bracket with dual said solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices, in accordance with the ninth aspect of the invention; Figure 8 shows a perspective view of a multi-planar modular exterior solar shading interface bracket with multiple said solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices, in accordance with the tenth aspect of the invention;

Figure 9 shows a perspective view of an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device, in accordance with the twelfth and thirteenth aspect of the invention; Figure 10 shows a perspective view of an exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device in accordance with the second aspect of the invention;

Figure 11 shows a pair of bracket-engagement plates for the exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device shown in Figure 10; and

Figure 12 shows a perspective view of a curtain walling mullion exterior solar shading device assembly, in accordance with the fifteenth aspect of the invention.

Referring firstly to Figures 1, 2 and 3, there is shown a first embodiment of an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device 10 comprising a mounting body 12 (also referred to hereafter as a mounting block 12), a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures 14 extending through said mounting body 12, a plurality of bracket-plate apertures 16 extending through said mounting body 12, a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates 18 attachable to the mounting body 12 via the bracket-plate apertures 16, and at least one bracket-engagement aperture 20 in each bracket-engagement plate 18. The mounting body 12 is preferably provided as a unitarily formed block manufactured from fibre- reinforced plastics. The choice of polymer should optimize the heat insulation and strength properties of the fibre-reinforced plastics. Secondary considerations include fire retardance, acoustic and electrical insulation, density and minimized water absorption. Polyamides (PA) or polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) are hence preferable, and polyamide 6,6 is most preferable. Other examples of suitable plastics include epoxies, polybenzimidazole (PBI), polyoxymethylene (POM) and polypropylene (PP). If polybenzimidazole were to be used, it may be preferable to compound it with polyetheretherketone (PEEK) to improve processability.

The fibre-reinforced plastics may preferably be carbon fibre reinforced plastics, and most preferably carbon fibre reinforced polyamide 6,6, due to its extremely high strength and rigidity, and appropriate insulation properties. However, other fibre-reinforced materials, such as fibreglass, nickel or aramid reinforced plastics may be contemplated. It may be advantageous to incorporate additive fibres to give a hybridised fibre composite. For instance, it is well known that carbon/glass fibre composites typically have significantly higher failure strains than corresponding carbon fibre composites.

Alternatively, the mounting block 12 may be preferably manufactured from a ceramic material or a fibre- reinforced ceramic composite, in order to provide better fire retardance. In particular, silicon nitride (S13N4) or silicon carbide (SiC) ceramics would be appropriate, due to their extreme strength, durability, and thermal shock resistance. Silicon nitride ceramics may be reinforced with carbon fibre or silicon carbide fibre to improve these properties. Silicon carbide may also preferably be reinforced with carbon fibre. Any other refractory material may also be considered, including, but not limited to reinforced carbon-carbon composite materials, tungsten carbide, titanium carbide, and yttria-stabilized zirconia.

Another option would be to manufacture the mounting block 12 from stainless steel. Structural stainless steels with high maximum operating temperatures may be particularly preferred, to allow the mounting block 12 to continue to provide structural support in case of fire. There are many commercially available austenitic stainless steels which can provide structural support at a maximum operating temperature above 750 degrees Celsius for sustained periods of time. In particular, UNS type S30908 austenitic chromium- nickel stainless steel, and austenitic chromium-nickel-silicon-nitrogen-cerium stainless steels, such as UNS types S30415 or S30815, may be contemplated. A chromium nickel titanium austenitic stainless steel, such as UNS S32109 could also be considered. Conventional austenitic stainless steels, such as UNS S30300, or UNS S30409 may also be appropriate for some applications. Furthermore, some commercially available ferritic and martensitic stainless steels may have desirable properties in this context, although they typically have reduced strength in high temperature operation. Non-stainless steels could also be considered; such non-stainless steels could be galvanized.

Various other metals and alloys may be considered. Titanium or titanium alloys may be preferred for their low thermal conductivity at ambient temperature. In particular, a titanium-aluminium-vanadium alloy, commercially available in 90/6/4 or 94.5/3/2.5 ratios may be most preferable, due to its very low thermal conductivity of approximately 7.6 Wm^K "1 at ambient temperature. Additionally, a titanium or titanium alloy mounting block 12 would have low density while having superior strength to an analogous aluminium component. Manganese or manganese alloys may also be considered, for low thermal conductivity. Aluminium components are of very low cost and good formability and may also be contemplated, despite unfavourable strength and thermal conductivity properties. A mounting block 12 having a high-strength metal core and an insulating plastics overcoat may also be considered by the person skilled in the art.

The volume fraction of carbon fibre fill in the fibre-reinforced plastics of the mounting body may appropriately be between 5% and 80%, preferably between 10% and 40%, and most beneficially at or around 30%. Higher volume fraction of carbon fibre maximizes strength but reduces heat insulation performance. In some applications, it may be preferable to provide a mounting body 12 with higher or lower volume fraction. If a hybrid-fibre-reinforced plastic is used, a relatively low carbon fibre fill volume fraction range of 10% to 30% may be preferable.

The mounting body 12 could also be manufactured out of a non-fibre reinforced plastic, to reduce cost. Suitable materials include high-strength polyamide (PA), polybenzimidazole (PBI), polyether imide (PEI), polycarbonate (PC) and polyurethane (PUR). Preferably, the mounting body 12 may be manufactured by injection moulding. This is economical, and also especially advantageous in the case of a fibre-reinforced plastic, as it ensures that the mounting body 12 has similar stress resistance in all directions. Alternatively, it may be preferable to use compression moulding, which allows high-cycle production. Other methods, such as pultrusion, may also be considered, and the exact method of manufacture chosen will depend on the composition of the material as well as required strength performance and the shape of the mounting body 12. In any case, the mounting body 12 is preferably unitarily formed, although multiple piece manufacture may be contemplated.

The mounting body 12 may preferably comprise a mullion-engagement portion 22 and a plate-attachment portion 24. At least one of the mullion engagement apertures 14 extends through the mullion engagement portion 22, and at least one of the bracket-plate apertures 16 extends through the plate-attachment portion 24. The mullion engagement apertures 14 are adapted to receive a mullion-fastener 26 and the bracket-plate apertures 16 are adapted to receive a bracket plate fastener 28, for example via screw-threading. The mullion-fastener 26 and the bracket-plate fastener 28 may include screws, bolts, hooks and rivets. In the present embodiment of the invention, both the bracket-plate apertures 16 and the mullion-engagement apertures 14 are provided as cylindrical bores which extend through the mounting body 12. However, it would also be possible to provide apertures of other shapes, such as oval or substantially square apertures.

The mullion-engagement apertures 14 may most preferably extend through the mullion-engagement portion 22 and the plate-attachment portion 24, so that each mullion-engagement aperture 14 extends through the two portions 22, 24. The mullion-engagement apertures 14 may preferably have a step 30 within the mounting body 12 to facilitate the introduction of a mullion-fastener 26. The step 30 may be preferably positioned at the interface of the two portions 22, 24, or in the mullion-engagement portion 22. Alternatively, the step 30 could be positioned in the plate-attachment portion 24 to facilitate the introduction of particularly long mullion-fasteners 26.

Preferably, there are at least two mullion-engagement apertures 14, to prevent or reduce rotation of the attachment block 12 with respect to the mullion 32 in use. However, conceivably one could construct a mounting body in accordance with the invention with only one mullion-engagement aperture, if other means of attachment engageable with the mullion were provided on the face of the mullion-engagement portion. For instance, the mullion-engagement could bear integral plate attachment elements receivable into slots disposed on the mullion.

The bracket-plate apertures 16 may preferably be positioned laterally on the plate-attachment portion 24, so that they are disposed transversely from the mullion-engagement apertures 14. It is beneficial to have at least two bracket-plate apertures 16, to prevent or reduce rotation of the bracket-plate 18 with respect to the mounting body 12. Preferably, this allows a pair of two bracket-plates 18, each having two bracket-plate apertures 16, to be affixed on opposing sides of the plate-attachment portion 24.

The mullion-engagement portion 22 and plate-attachment portion 24 may have diverse profiles. It is advantageous for a shoulder 34 to be defined at an interface between the mullion-engagement portion 22 and the plate-attachment portion 24, as this allows the bracket-plates 18 to be seated on the mullion- engagement portion 22, preventing the bracket-plates 18 from tilting substantially from their desired position in use. Additionally, it may be preferable to provide the plate-attachment portion 24 with an at least partially curved profile, to allow for facile and/or automated removal of the mounting body 12 from the injection moulding die during manufacture.

Each bracket-engagement plate 18 or strap may preferably have at least one bracket plate aperture 16, and preferably at least two bracket engagement apertures 20, suitable for receiving fasteners similar to those described above, to preventing or reducing rotation of a bracket-engagement plate 18 with respect to a bracket 36. The bracket-engagement plates 18 may preferably be manufactured out of a corrosion-resistant structural or speciality steel, but other materials, such as cold-worked aluminium alloy, may also be appropriate. Alternatively, each bracket-engagement plate may include other bracket engagement elements, such as a screw-threaded fastener integrally formed with the bracket-engagement plate and projecting therefrom, or a screw-threaded recess which only passes partially into the bracket-engagement plate.

There may also be provided an insulating sheath element 38, which preferably may include at least one sheath aperture 40, collinear to the bracket-engagement aperture 20 of the bracket-engagement plate 18, to allow attachment to the two bracket-engagement plates 18. Beneficially, the interdisposition of this sheath element 38 between a bracket-engagement plate 18 and the bracket 36 results in a second thermal break, thus improving the insulation provided. The sheath element 38 may preferably be made of a flexible polymer. Polyisobutylene (PIB) rubber may be particularly appropriate. Alternatively, the sheath element 38 could be made of insulating plastics, such as nylon 6. Preferably, in use the sheath element 38 covers an opening of the mullion engagement apertures 14, preventing or reducing conduction of heat therethrough. Additionally or alternatively, further insulative plugs, not shown, may occlude each mullion-engagement aperture. The sheath element 38 most preferably also provides acoustic insulation.

In a second embodiment of the invention, as shown in Figure 4, instead of a single sheath element, a single insulating packer 142 or strip may preferably be provided on the external side of each bracket-plate. This is advantageous in that it reduces the per-unit cost of the mounting device 110. Other aspects of this embodiment are identical to those of that described above, so further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements are indicated by their reference numeral in Figures 1 to 3 plus one hundred for ease of reference.

Referring to Figure 5, there is shown a first embodiment of a modular exterior solar shading mounting device 15 for attachment to a mullion, comprising a plurality of exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting bodies 12 substantially as described above, attached in a longitudinal alignment to receive brackets 36 of varying length in a dimension, in use perpendicular to a mullion 32, by means of a pair of extended bracket-engagement plates 44.

Constructing a modular exterior solar shading mounting device is advantageous as it allows facile customization of installation for different sizes of bracket 36 and mullion 32, particularly in the case where the mullion is a curtain wall mullion and the glazing is an exterior curtain wall of a building. Furthermore, the ability to freely choose the number of mounting bodies 12 is beneficial as it allows for greater control over the degree of structural support provided by the mounting bodies 12 while using only one design of mounting body 12. This is particularly preferable due to the high cost of custom-manufacturing the mounting bodies 12 and testing each design for relevant strength parameters, especially if the mounting body 12 is manufactured from fibre-reinforced plastics. However, in some cases, especially when extremely high loads are applied to the mounting bodies 12, it may be appropriate to manufacture a custom extended mounting body 12.

To achieve modular construction, a plurality of mounting bodies 12 is arranged in end-to-end (longitudinal) alignment, and an extended bracket-engagement plate 44 with at least one bracket-engagement aperture 20 and one bracket-plate aperture 16 per mounting body is overlaid thereon. Each aperture 16, 20 may receive a bracket-plate-fastener 28, which may preferably be a bolt or screw-threaded fastener. In the latter case the apertures 16, 20 may preferably be screw-threaded to better receive the fastener. Most preferably, further bracket-engagement apertures and bracket-plate apertures per mounting body are provided to avoid inappropriate structural weakening in the case of failure of one or more fasteners in said apertures.

Advantageously, such a modular exterior solar shading mounting device, particularly one having a plurality of carbon-fibre reinforced plastics mounting bodies, may reduce or eliminate interstitial condensation risk for a curtain walling installation in which a solar shading bracket is thereby mounted. Simulations demonstrate that elimination of interstitial condensation risk may also be achieved when the carbon-fibre reinforced plastics mounting bodies are replaced by stainless steel mounting bodies, in such a modular exterior solar shading mounting device.

Simulations of a modular exterior solar shading mounting device, as shown in Figure 5, using four exterior- solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting bodies, were conducted. The said mounting bodies were formed from carbon-fibre reinforced polyamide 6,6, with a fibre volume ratio of 30%. Heat loss efficiency, measured by the temperature of the mullion face, was improved by 20% when compared to a commercially available exterior solar shading mounting device, with a conventional polymer thermal break between the mullion and the bracket. The point heat transmission coefficient of the modular mounting device was found to be 0.0673 W/K, as opposed to a known value of 0.12 W/K for the commercially available mounting device with a thermal break, based upon an external temperature of -5 degrees Celsius and an internal temperature of 20 degrees Celsius. The heat loss efficiency of the modular mounting device was improved by 85% when compared to a second commercially available mounting device which lacks a thermal break between the mullion and the bracket. To simulate the modular exterior solar shading mounting device's performance, modelling was performed in accordance with the following standards: ISO 6946:2007, ISO 10077-2:2012, ISO 10211 :2007, ISO 12631 :2012, ISO 13788:2012, BS 5250:2002, BS 12524:2000.

Referring to Figure 6 there is shown a second embodiment of a modular exterior solar shading mounting device 215 for attachment to a mullion. For features similar to those of the first embodiment, further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements previously described are indicated by their reference numeral in Figure 5 plus two hundred for ease of reference.

Preferably, the terminal mounting bodies 212a of the modular exterior solar shading mounting device may be formed from a stainless-steel alloy, while the mounting bodies 212b disposed between the terminal mounting bodies 212a may be manufactured from, for example, fibre-reinforced plastics. The terminal mounting bodies 212a should hence provide sufficient support to the bracket 236 in the absence of the mounting bodies 212b disposed therebetween.

This specific arrangement is advantageous as it ensures sufficient structural support of the bracket 236 by the mullion 232 in the case of a fire. The fibre-reinforced plastics contemplated for the mounting bodes 212 have a higher degree of heat stability than typical plastics used in curtain walling installations, such as polyamide or ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber. However, structure fires may result in exposure of the mounting bodies 212 to temperatures of at least 600 degrees Celsius. Commercially available fibre- reinforced plastics with the desired thermal insulation properties typically are unable to withstand such temperatures without melting, deformation or chemical degradation. For instance, commercially available 40% fibre reinforced polyamide 6,6 composites may have melting points of under 300 degrees Celsius.

Failure of the mounting blocks may be dangerous during a structure fire, as the bracket, no longer structurally supported, would fall from the building. Such falling debris may injure rescue workers and bystanders, or cause property damage on impacting nearby buildings or vehicles. Additionally, the precautions required to avoid injury from such debris may delay firefighting or other rescue work.

In the case of fire, it is therefore advantageous for at least the terminal mounting bodies 212a to be formed from a material with higher temperature resistance, such as a stainless-steel alloy, so that if the mounting bodies 212b fail due to heat exposure, the bracket will still be adequately supported.

Ferritic and austenitic stainless-steel alloys which can safely support loads at temperatures up to 1150 degrees Celsius are commercially available, and may preferably be used to construct the terminal mounting bodies 212b. For high structural strength over long exposure times, and low embrittlement, a nickel- chrome-silicon-nitrogen-cerium austenitic steel alloy may be preferred, such as UNS 30185. However, any stainless-steel alloy with a maximum service temperature of at least 800 degrees Celsius may be advantageously used.

It is advantageous for the mounting bodies 212b between the terminal mounting bodies 212a to be formed from or comprise fibre-reinforced plastics, or another polymeric material, to improve the thermal break between the mullion and the bracket. It may also be contemplated to provide both the terminal mounting bodies 212a and the mounting bodies 212b from a stainless-steel alloy, to reduce load on the mounting bodies, and thus the risk of failure thereof, for instance, in a structural fire. The arrangement shown, in which the mounting bodies 212b are formed from a fibre-reinforced plastics material, while the terminal mounting bodies 212a are formed from a stainless-steel alloy, may be understood as a compromise which ensures adequate structural support of the bracket in case of a structural fire, while providing a sufficient thermal break to provide improved insulation. It is found by simulation that such an arrangement also results in a reduced risk of interstitial condensation in installation with respect to mounting devices known in the prior art.

Various other combinations of mounting bodies of different materials may also be considered, for example other heat resistance metals. For instance, the terminal mounting bodies could be formed of a suitable ceramic material, with superior heat insulation properties to stainless steel. Various other materials hereinbefore described for use in the mounting blocks may also be considered.

Another possible modular arrangement is depicted in Figure 7. In this case, the two mounting bodies 12, shown as in Figure 1, each have their own respective pair of bracket-engagement plates 18, which are not connected. The two mounting devices 12 are attached to one another by a substantially V-shaped bracket 46. The said V-shaped bracket 46 is attached to each bracket-engagement plate 18 by V-shaped-bracket- fasteners 48 which extend through a V-shaped-bracket-aperture 50 positioned collinear to a bracket- engagement aperture 20. The mounting devices 10 are identical to those shown in Figure 3, and therefore further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements previously described are indicated by their reference numeral in Figures 1 to 3 for ease of reference.

However, it will be appreciated by the person skilled in the art that the mounting bodies 12 may also be manufactured or formed from a suitable temperature-resistant stainless steel, or a ceramic material, or any other material hereinbefore contemplated for such purpose. A selection of mounting devices of the same or different materials may be contemplated by a method hereinafter described.

Figure 8 depicts a cruciform modular exterior solar shading mounting device 52. This arrangement is particularly suitable for attachment to a curtain wall mullion 32 of the external curtain wall facade of a building. Typically, such curtain wall mullions 32 may be provided as a cruciform unit located at the points of intersection of the vertices of the panes of the curtain wall, with the space between the mullions 32 on the line of intersection between the panes of glass occupied by extended struts, which may or may not be substantively load bearing.

In this case the mounting devices 10 engage with two mutually engageable bracket elements 54 to form a cruciform mounting device 52 suitable for attachment to the mullion 33. Each mutually engageable bracket element 54 has two arm portions 56 and a central connecting portion 58, disposed so that the two arm portions 56 extend transversely with respect to the central connecting portion 58. Preferably, a slot 60 is disposed on each central connecting portion 58 to allow a locking engagement of the two bracket elements 54. The bracket elements 54 may have similar profile; alternatively, it may be preferable for the bracket elements 54 to be provided with differing profile, to facilitate the mounting of the louvre on the bracket 36. Although the bracket 36 could conceivably be formed solely of the two bracket elements 54, it would be preferable for a further louvre support portion of the bracket to be attached via a plurality of louvre support portion attachment apertures on the central connecting portion of one or more of the bracket elements 54.

While the depicted cruciform mounting device 52 would be appropriate in the case of a rectilinear curtain wall facade, in the construction of a curvilinear curtain wall facade, or a mixed curtain wall facade with substantially curvilinear portions, it may be preferable to provide a cruciform mounting device with bracket element arms of differing lengths, or where the bracket element arms are asymmetrically disposed, to provide better support. Additionally, it may be preferable to construct the cruciform mounting device whereby one or more arm each bears two or more mounting devices, to allow the mounting device to better carry an asymmetric load. Most preferably, one, two or four mounting devices may be provided per arm.

Providing a cruciform mounting device 52 is preferable as there are four distributed points of support, reducing the likelihood of failure of the louvre mounted thereon due to damage to the louvre, bracket and/or mullion 32, for instance in adverse weather conditions. In particular, the cruciform mounting device 52 will provide greater lateral stability relative to a linear modular mounting device. The cruciform mounting device 52, especially when the mounting bodies 12 are manufactured of fibre-reinforced plastics, will also be advantageous relative to aluminium alloy transom supports, as typically used, due to better strain resistance, and hence may reduce the incidence of fatigue-related failure. The heat loss performance of the cruciform mounting device 52 is similar to the mounting device 15 hereinbefore described, due to the equivalent contact surface area with the mullion in use.

However, it will be appreciated by the person skilled in the art that the mounting bodies 12 may also be manufactured or formed from a suitable temperature-resistant stainless steel, or a ceramic material, or any other material hereinbefore contemplated for such purpose. A selection of mounting devices of the same or different materials may be contemplated by a method hereinafter described.

The mounting devices 10 are identical to those shown in Figure 3, and therefore further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements previously described are indicated by their reference numeral in Figures 1 to 3 ease of reference. Referring now to Figure 9, there is shown an embodiment of an exterior-solar-shading thermal -break bracket mounting device 310 which comprises a mounting body 312, a bracket receiver 362 integrally formed as one-piece with the mounting body 312, a plurality of mullion-engagement apertures 314, a plurality of bracket-engagement apertures 316 extending through said mounting body 312. The mounting device 310 may most preferably have a mullion-engagement portion 320 and a bracket-engaging portion 322. For features similar to those of the first embodiment of the seventh aspect of the invention, further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements previously described are indicated by their reference numeral in Figures 1 to 3 plus three hundred for ease of reference.

The bracket receiver 362 is preferably provided as a medial slot or depression in the bracket-engaging portion 322 of the mounting body. The bracket-engagement apertures 316 may intersect the bracket receiver 362, such that in installation a bracket section, having one or more apertures collinear with the bracket- engagement apertures 316, may be inserted into the bracket receiver 362 and fixed therein by the insertion of bracket-receiver fastenings, not shown, through the bracket-engagement apertures 316 and said apertures of the bracket section. Preferably, the mullion engagement apertures 314 may also intersect the bracket receiver 362 and/or the bracket-engagement apertures 316, but the mullion-engagement apertures could also be restricted to the mullion-engagement portion 320.

Replacing the bracket plates of the first embodiment of a mounting body with a bracket receiver 362 unitarily formed therewith is advantageous in several aspects. In the first instance, the unitarily formed mounting device 310 may economically have production costs similar to that of the mounting body of the first embodiment of the mounting device. Furthermore, as the unitarily formed mounting device 310 lacks the additional conducting volume of the strap device, more efficient thermal insulation will be provided.

It is advantageous for a shoulder 334 to be defined at an interface between the mullion-engagement portion 320 and the bracket-engagement portion 322, to allow for facile and/or automated removal of the mounting device from an injection moulding die during manufacture.

In an alternative embodiment of the invention, the bracket receiver may be attached or attachable to the mounting body. For example, the bracket receiver may be provided as a separate unitary component including two bracket plates, attachable to the mounting body by means of screw-threaded fasteners, or as a component press-fixable to the mounting body.

Referring now to Figures 10 and 11, there is shown an alternative embodiment of an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device 410, comprising a mounting body 412, a plurality of mullion- engagement apertures 414 extending through said mounting body 412, a plurality of bracket-plate apertures 416 extending through said mounting body 412, a pair of opposing bracket-engagement plates 418 attachable to the mounting body 412 via the bracket-plate apertures 416, and at least one bracket- engagement aperture 420 in each bracket-engagement plate 418. For features similar to those of the first embodiment of the seventh aspect of the invention, further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements previously described are indicated by their reference numeral in Figures 1 to 3 plus four hundred for ease of reference.

The bracket-engagement apertures 416 of the mounting body 412 may preferably include a stepped portion 415 adjacent to the openings thereof on either side of the mounting body 412. Each bracket-engagement plate 418 has a corresponding raised rim 425 around an inner opening of each bracket-plate apertures 416 thereof, such that the raised rim 425 is receivable within the bracket-engagement apertures 416 of the mounting body so that the raised rim 425 sits flush with the stepped portion 415. This is advantageous, as it prevents or limits rotation of the bracket-engagement plates 418 with respect to the mounting body 412, which may result in displacement of a mounted bracket from the desired installation orientation.

Rotation may be further limited by providing a ledge 435 midway along each bracket-engagement plate 418, such that in use the ledge 435 is seated on a shoulder 434 of the mounting body 412. Referring to Figure 12, there is shown a curtain walling mullion in combination with an exterior solar shading device mounted thereon, the combination including the curtain walling mullion 32, the mounting body 12 as shown in Figure 1, mullion-engagement element 22 at the mounting body 12 which is engageable with a building exterior mullion 32, bracket receivers 18 attached to the mounting body 12, and bracket-engagement element 28 at the bracket receivers 18 engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket 36. For features identical to those shown in Figures 1 to 3, further detailed description has been omitted for the sake of brevity, and all elements thus previously described are indicated by their reference numeral in Figures 1 to 3.

Typically, the curtain walling mullion 32 may be manufactured by extrusion, out of aluminium alloy or alternatively steel, and may include an internal reinforcement spine 64, to improve its load bearing properties, as well as a glazing bar 66, preferably integrally formed, to facilitate attachment of the glazing. The glazing bar 66 may preferably include two attachment sections 68, adapted to engage with one or more interior seals 70, which fit to a glazing unit. The seals 70 may advantageously be manufactured out of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM), for excellent weather resistance, but other synthetic polymers may be also appropriate. In any case, the presence of the seals 70 improves the heat insulation provided by the glazing unit, and they may preferably be removable from the glazing bar 66 to allow modular construction of the unit to custom specifications.

The glazing bar 66 preferably also includes a central portion 72 positioned between the two attachment sections 68, and extending towards the space between two adjacent glazing units. The central portion 72 may advantageously comprise at least one central portion aperture 74 matching the mullion-engagement aperture 14 of the mounting block 12, to allow for attachment to the mounting block 12 by the introduction of a fastener through said apertures. The mounting block 12 also is attached to the bracket-engagement plates 18 via a bracket plate fastener 28 inserted through the bracket-plate apertures 16 of the mounting block 12 and bracket-engagement plates 18. The bracket-engagement plates 18 then may be affixed to a bracket interface element 76 of the bracket 36 by bracket plate fasteners 28 introduced through the bracket-engagement apertures 20 of the plates 18 and the bracket interface element 76, in such a way that the bracket interface element 76 abuts the mounting device 10. However, most preferably, there is an air gap disposed between the bracket interface element 76 and the mounting block 12, to provide for additional insulation. There is preferably no metal-to-metal contact between the interface element 76 of the bracket 36 and the bracket plates 18 due to an insulating element 38 interposed therebetween. When the mounting block 12 is manufactured out of an insulating material, there is thus provided heat insulation across all of the main potential conduction paths. The bracket 36 preferably comprises two exterior seals 78, which may be manufactured out of ethylene propylene diene monomer rubber (EPDM) or another synthetic polymer. For example, for installations in locations where outside temperatures are frequently extremely low, such as the Arctic, it may be more appropriate to use a silicone based rubber which has a lower minimum service temperature for the exterior seals 70. These seals 70 may also preferably be removable from the bracket 36 to allow modular construction of the unit to custom specifications.

Furthermore, the bracket 36 preferably comprises a further extension portion 80, which may preferably be fastened to the bracket interface element 76 by a first bolt 82 extending through a large aperture disposed on the distal end of the bracket interface element 76, and a corresponding aperture on the proximal end of the extension portion 80. A louvre supporting bracket element 84 may then be attached via a second bolt 86 extending through a large aperture disposed on the distal end of the extension portion, and a corresponding aperture on the proximal end of the louvre supporting bracket element 84.

A general method of installing an exterior-solar shading bracket at a curtain walling mullion of a structure, such as a residential or commercial building may be contemplated. A plurality of mounting bodies may be provided, formed from a variety of materials with different structural and/or thermal properties, and suitable mounting blocks may be selected from the plurality of mounting blocks based on structure-specific data for the installation.

Such structure-specific data may include a required maximum temperature operational limit for the mounting bodies as derived from a fire safety analysis of the structure, or a required heat loss rate through the mounting block to achieve a desired total heat loss rate across the mullion and bracket. The structure- specific data may also include data on required stress-resistance or maximum tensile load of the mounting bodies. Structure-specific data may be derived from a computer-based simulation of the mounting bodies in use, or, especially in the case of a retro-fit, a test installation at the structure. It is therefore possible to provide an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device for forming a thermal break which in use prevents or reduces thermal conduction across a building wall mullion and glazing assembly, including a preferably fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body, at least one mullion- engagement element at the preferably fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body which at least in part enables the preferably fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body to be engagable with a building exterior mullion, a bracket receiver on the fibre-reinforced plastics mounting body, and a bracket-engagement element at the bracket receiver for engaging an exterior-solar-shading bracket or a mounting member therefor. This allows the realisation of high quality insulation at low cost, while retaining a similar strength at the mounting body to traditional metal-based connections. Furthermore, it is possible to provide such an exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting device in a manner that allows the facile construction of modular bracket mounting devices comprising multiple such exterior-solar-shading thermal-break bracket mounting devices. This advantageously allows customized installation to project-specific criteria.

The words 'comprises/comprising' and the words 'having/including' when used herein with reference to the present invention are used to specify the presence of stated features, integers, steps or components, but do not preclude the presence or addition of one or more other features, integers, steps, components or groups thereof.

It is appreciated that certain features of the invention, which are, for clarity, described in the context of separate embodiments, may also be provided in combination in a single embodiment. Conversely, various features of the invention which are, for brevity, described in the context of a single embodiment, may also be provided separately or in any suitable sub-combination.

The embodiments described above are provided by way of examples only, and various other modifications will be apparent to persons skilled in the field without departing from the scope of the invention as defined herein.