October 2017

The St Brides Major Primary school in Bridgend, South Wales, recently opened its new nursery building, fitted with a colourful solar shading solution from Levolux.

Designed by C2J Architects, the new building accommodates nursery and reception class units, which are linked to the main school building. Located to the south-east corner of the school grounds, the single storey building incorporates an outside teaching area at each end, facing north and south.

Levolux was invited to return to the school, where it had originally installed a solar shading solution for the main school building in 2012. The original installation of Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system has proven to be so successful that Levolux was the obvious choice when architects set to work designing the new building.

To complement the original scheme, Levolux again proposed its popular Infiniti Fin system to form an external solar shading solution for the new building. This creates a cohesive, seamless arrangement of colourful Fins that shield school buildings on exposed elevations.

Like several other school developments, such as Lea Manor School and Pontprennau Primary School, external solar shading has been used to brighten up the building envelope. Resembling a rainbow, the distinctive horizontal Fins appear in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple.

Each Fin measures 200mm wide and is fixed at an angle of 30 degrees from horizontal. The vertically stacked Fins are set at a pitch of 235mm. The combination of angle and pitch ensures the shading structure performs effectively, particularly when heat and glare from the sun can become excessive, between April and August.

The inclusion of Fins as a form of passive solar control, is a practical and cost-effective method for maintaining a comfortable environment for children to learn and thrive.

The horizontal Fins extend along the south-east elevation and continue seamlessly around the building to the south, with neat mitred corners. An outside teaching area to the south is also shaded, allowing teachers greater flexibility when planning activities for pupils.

Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system delivers an uncompromised appearance, thanks to its unique, concealed, stainless-steel fixings. Fins appear continuous and can be cantilevered past the last vertical support.

For St Brides Major Primary School, aerofoil-shaped Fins are secured using angled brackets, which are fixed to vertical, extruded aluminium carrier arms. The flexibility of the system design allows the Fins to achieve greater spans. As a result, the position of vertical supports can be aligned to accommodate almost any curtain walling or cladding system.

All Fins supplied by Levolux for the new building, together with other aluminium components, have been given a durable, high quality gloss powder coating. But you needn’t take our word for it. The original installation of Fins, which were given the same multi-coloured finish more than 5 years ago, look as good today as the day they were fitted.

It was a long term ambition to establish a nursery class within the school. Now the age range for children attending the school has been extended, accommodating children aged just 3 up to 11 years of age. This benefits parents with young children attending the same school as an older sibling.

The recently extended St Brides Major Primary School provides a welcome boost to education provision in Bridgend. The school’s new building, complete with its Levolux solar shading solution, delivers a comfortable and stimulating environment that will serve future generations, for many years to come.