Using aluminium for pergolas

Posted by Mitchell Stewart on 2/20/19 11:00 AM
Mitchell Stewart
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aluminium pergolas new zealand

Aurae has a large range of aluminium pergolas used across a multitude of applications. In this article, we’ll explore why we choose aluminium and discuss the range of pergola options available with Aurae.

Why aluminium pergolas?

Aluminium is a versatile material and can be used in a variety of ways to produce pergolas that deliver value to the modern dwelling. This includes variation in louvre blade shape, having the louvre blades fixed or rotating, fixing details and variations in the overall design structure. Aurae works everyday with architects to design and engineer pergolas that bring aesthetic value, sunshade and weather protection to residential dwellings. When designing a pergola here are some things that need to be considered.

Aluminium has an added advantage of being durable and resistant to coastal conditions - making aluminium pergolas the perfect choice for the bach or coastal home.

Having other elements built from aluminium helps too. Next, we’ll explore those benefits in more detail.

Aluminium louvre blades

Louvre blade

When designing a pergola, one key consideration is what profile to use for the horizon cross members. Aurae provides 3 basic louvre blade shapes; rectangle (the Solaris blade), aerofoil (the Aurora blade) and parallelogram (the Caldera blade). If there are louvre blades elsewhere on the dwelling, often the same shape blade is selected for the pergola to match, but ultimately the louvre blade shape is selected based on personal preference. Once you have decided which shape to use, you then need to ensure that the blade can span the required distance. Span tables for all our louvre blades can be found on the technical specs page of our website, In broad terms the larger the louvre blade, the further it can span. If you wish to use a louvre blade that can’t span the desired distance, changes can be incorporated into the support structure as below.

It is also possible to have timber louvre blades for a more organic touch.

Overall structure

Once you have decided on the horizontal cross members to use, the next thing that requires attention is the overall support structure of the pergola. How far the beams must span and the loads they have to carry are the first considerations when designing the support structure. Aurae’s internal design team can assist when selecting the correct beam size, starting from 100x50 rectangle hollow section (RHS) up to 300x50 RHS. In broad terms aluminium beams can span up to 6.0 meters, any spans larger then this can be designed from steel. Should the selected horizontal louvre blade not be able to span the desired distance, intermediate beams can be incorporated into the support structure.

Fixing detail

The next thing that needs to be considered when designing a pergola is the fixing detail. Whether the pergola is fixed to the house structure or freestanding, footings are required for the support posts. These can be from concrete or included in the timber structure of a deck. Aurae can assist architects with footing requirements. If you want the pergola fixed into the house, Aurae can provide you with the fixing detail suited to the cladding type. These details can be used in your building consent documents to demonstrate compliance with the waterproofing requirements of the building code (E2).

automated louvre roof nz

Louvre blades rotating or fixed

Today's louvred pergolas can have the louvre blades either rotating or fixed. The rotating louvre blades provide complete shelter from the elements with an internal gutter system and motors. If the budget doesn’t allow for rotating louvre blades or only sunshade is required, the blades can be fixed.

Rotating louvre blades are achievable with either a manual rotation or automated. By combining the latter with rain sensors or remote control the homeowner benefits from convenience and practicality at the touch of a button. Aurae can assist with finding the perfect solution for your project needs.

Overall, there are several considerations when designing pergolas for the modern dwelling. Aurae can assist you with every step of the process to ensure that your pergola is compliant with the builder code and brings the desired value to the dwelling.

With decades of experience in building design-led pergolas across New Zealand Aurae are the perfect partner for your design project. The team at Aurae partner with you to consult and propose the best solution for your client’s project. Understanding your overall goal allows the team to find the best solution, without compromise.

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Topics: design inspiration, Pergola