LEADING AT THE WAG December 2010
The new £20 million Welsh Assembly Government building in Llandudno Junction is the greenest in the Assembly Government’s estate, with a host of advanced, energy saving features, including a biomass boiler, natural ventilation and a dynamic Solar Shading solution from Levolux.
Acknowledged locally as a ‘jewel in the crown’ for North Wales, the ‘three fingered’ brown-field development is arranged over three floors, providing 8,800 square metres of office space. Designed by leading architects, Austin-Smith:Lord to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, the building is celebrated for providing the local community with greater access to the Welsh Assembly Government’s services.
With an elevated, unobstructed outlook to the south and west, the building receives prolonged exposure to the sun’s rays, particularly during July and August. To reduce the risk of excessive solar heat gain within the building, Levolux was invited to develop a custom Solar Shading solution. Drawing on its unrivalled expertise, Levolux combined a bespoke arrangement of motorised, vertical Fins, with its Infiniti® Fin system, to help maintain internal temperatures naturally, without the need for energy-sapping air conditioning.
On exposed west-facing elevations within a floor to ceiling glazed enclosure, Levolux devised a custom Solar Shading system incorporating vertical, rotating aluminium Fins with integral stainless steel mesh panels. In total, 114 motorised Fins, each measuring 700mm wide by 32mm deep and up to 3.3 metres in height, have been installed to provide shade to ground and first floor levels.
Linked to an intelligent Programmable Logic Controller (PLC), with two external light sensors, the silver powder coated Fins are rotated automatically, following the movement of the sun as it tracks across the sky. While helping to control natural daylight levels, the Fins are adjusted to allow the sun’s rays to warm the building (winter setting), or to increase shading, thereby cooling the building (summer setting).
Elsewhere, Levolux’s Infiniti® Fin system has been applied horizontally above ground and first floor windows on south facing elevations. The Infiniti® Fin system has innovative concealed fixings, with a patented stainless steel locking plate, creating a unique aesthetic of continuous Fins. Extruded aluminium, diamond profile Fins, each measuring 480mm in width, have been grouped into three rows, arranged in a vertical stack. Almost 550 metres of Fins were installed on this project, all finished in an attractive matt green powder coating, which is coordinated to match the building’s copper cladding.
David Williams, lead architect on the project at Austin-Smith:Lord, praised the Levolux team for its contribution on the project, commenting; “Critical to the success of the project, the solar shading applied to this building required an innovative approach. Levolux exceeded our expectations throughout, to deliver a highly efficient, cost effective solution.”
Like all of Levolux’s solutions, the motorised Fins and Infiniti® Fin system installed at the Welsh Assembly Government Building in Llandudno Junction, are backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.
With its locally sourced slate cladding and an intelligent Solar Shading solution from Levolux, the new facility, officially opened by the Rt. Hon Carwyn Jones AM First Minister of Wales in September 2010, is set to transform the quality of services delivered by the Welsh Assembly Government throughout North Wales. This will provide a welcome boost for the local economy and will provide greater support to residents and businesses alike.