May 2017

A £20 million HQ development for INEOS at its Grangemouth site in Scotland, utilises an attractive solar shading solution from Levolux to keep visitors and staff cool and comfortable.

As part of a £450 million investment plan, the new office development, which was designed by Michael Laird Architects, signals a renaissance in petrochemical manufacturing in the UK.

The steel-framed building provides 6,500m2 of high quality open-plan office space, arranged across four floors, with state-of-the-art meetings rooms, conference facilities, gym and staff cafe on the ground floor.

As the UK’s leading solar shading and screening specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a custom external solar shading solution for the INEOS office development, based on its market-leading Infiniti Fin system.

The solution comprises vertically stacked, aluminium louvres, fixed horizontally into five bays. The flexibility of the Infiniti Fin system allows it to accommodate an extensive range of louvre/fin profiles. For this project, oval section fins were specified, each measuring 110mm wide by 100mm deep. The tubular fins are set at a pitch of 300mm to limit the exposure of recessed glazed openings to direct sunlight.

The Infiniti Fin system also offers uncompromised aesthetics, with continuous uninterrupted rows of fins with invisible, stainless steel fixings.

In total, Levolux designed, supplied and installed 195 tubular fins for the INEOS HQ development. These are incorporated into 4 bays on the building’s west-facing elevation and another on the south-facing elevation. The bays are divided by vertical steel columns and the arrays of fins in each bay extend 11.5 metres in height, from first floor to roof level.

Each fin is secured back to vertical, aluminium support arms, with typically five used in each bay. The fins are cantilevered 500mm past the supports at each end and combine to form an impressive shading structure, with a total area of more than 400m2. The structure extends along two elevations, shading the main entrance and adjacent glazed areas.

External solar shading is proven to prevent excessive solar heat gain from occurring by absorbing and reflecting a large proportion of heat energy generated from direct exposure to the sun.

The openness of the tubular fins also ensures natural daylight filters through into the building’s interior. This delivers naturally bright and comfortably cool working conditions for all occupants, all year round.

The extruded aluminium fins and associated support arms are engineered to last, benefitting from a highly durable powder coating, in a cool grey colour with a matt finish.

The completed HQ office development, with its distinctive tubular fins from Levolux, is part of a broader redevelopment of the Grangemouth site. Redundant facilities are being removed to create “brown field” sites for future development. The site is projected to become a centre of excellence for chemical manufacturing.