BEATING THE DRUM IN DEVON
October 2010

South Devon College1 200x200The new, four storey £8million South Devon College University Centre is transforming the quality of higher education provision for more than 500 students, thanks to some innovative features, including a striking Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

Designed by LHC Architecture, the 2,300sqm development becomes the main focal point of the Vantage Point campus. It incorporates a new Research Centre, an Ideas Laboratory, an Adult and Community Learning (ACL) facility and flexible break-out space, which can accommodate small conferences. The top floor of the building offers spectacular views, particularly from the south facing curved drum section, which features 360° glazing and allows access onto a balcony.

South Devon College2 200x200The BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated building benefits from a host of innovative, energy saving technologies, including rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic cells and an array of external solar shading, applied to south facing elevations.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a custom shading solution for the building, with contrasting arrangements of fixed, horizontal Aerofoil Fins and Louvres that are integrated into the building’s facade.

On the curved drum section of the building, Levolux installed its Infiniti® Fin system, comprising 400mm wide extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, with a matt silver powder coated finish. Two faceted sections with five rows of blades provide shade to ground and first floor levels and a single faceted section with three rows of blades shade the second floor. These effectively limit the exposure of glazing to direct sunlight at critical times, preventing excessive solar heat gain in the building.

South Devon College3 200x200Elsewhere, on two adjacent wings, Levolux installed its Infiniti® Fin system, this time comprising 400mm wide box section extruded aluminium blades, specially developed for the project. Arranged horizontally, 21 blades are fixed with mitred corners allowing them to follow the contours of the building. The rectangular blades are applied in two sections, each measuring 9195mm in length and 12200mm in height and are finished with a matt white powder coating.

To help minimise structural heat loss and noise transmission, and to ensure the rectangular Fins remain secure, when exposed to very strong winds, Levolux incorporated its unique Triniti® Bracket into the custom solution. This revolutionary curtain walling bracket features a highly effective and unique thermal and acoustic break.

South Devon College4 200x200To complete the custom Solar Shading solution, Levolux applied its 400mm wide extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins into a horizontal shading canopy fixed at high level on the third floor of the curved drum section of the building. The shading canopy comprises four rows of Aerofoil Fins, with a 100mm diameter aluminium front tube, all finished with a matt silver powder coating. The shading canopy has an un-braced projection of 1700mm and is designed to provide shade to the top floor of the building.

The Infiniti® Fin system, Triniti® Bracket and Aerofoil Fins used on this development help to conserve energy by reducing the need for air conditioning, while minimising structural heat loss from the building. The complete solution is backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package, along with a three year warranty.

South Devon College5 200x200Mark Daley, Director at LHC Architecture, was particularly pleased with Levolux’s contribution on the project, commenting: “From design to installation, through to handover, the quality of workmanship and attention to detail demonstrated by Levolux was exceptional”.

South Devon College’s new University Centre, with its aesthetically impressive and highly efficient Solar Shading, is one of the most exciting and energy efficient learning resources in the South West.