May 2016

Cubric Cardiff1 200x200The new £44 million Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC) building at Cardiff University’s Innovation Campus, which is equipped with an attractive Timber Fin Screening Solution from Levolux, is specially designed to facilitate brain research.

The facility will seek to provide unprecedented insights into the causes of neurological and psychiatric conditions such as dementia, schizophrenia and multiple sclerosis, as well as understanding the workings of the normal, healthy brain.

Cubric Cardiff6 200x200It brings together expertise that has established Cardiff University as one of the UK’s top three universities in the UK for Psychology, Psychiatry and Neuroscience with state-of-the-art equipment, including Europe’s most powerful MRI scanner.

The design of the CUBRIC building is similar to the recently completed Hadyn Ellis Building, which is situated alongside. In line with the previous project, IBI Group architects again specified a Levolux external solar shading and screening solution, this time incorporating vertical Timber Fins in addition to Ventilation and Acoustic Louvres. These were applied in different parts of the building.

Cubric Cardiff2 200x200The most visual aspect of the solution is the Timber Fin screening structure that is located at the centre of the development, accommodating the main reception, a staircase and circulation areas.

At 13 metres in height, the ‘drum’ like structure has a curved footprint that extends out beyond the building’s glazed curtain walling. This creates a useful reference point for visitors when locating the main entrance. Inside the building, the timber fins form balustrading for the reception area and around circulation areas on first and second floors.

Cubric Cardiff3 200x200The structure comprises up to seven rows of vertical rectangular-shaped timber fins, each measuring 185mm wide by 44mm thick, engineered from untreated Western Red Cedar. The Fins in each row are set at 250mm centres and are fixed at an angle that varies by 45 degrees, creating an interesting aesthetic that changes, depending on your viewpoint.

The timber fins are virtually maintenance free and will be allowed to weather naturally, giving them an attractive silver-grey patina.

Cubric Cardiff4 200x200In addition to the timber fin screening, Levolux also provided its Ventilation Louvres to screen plantroom areas at high level.

Levolux’s Contour and High Performance Ventilation Louvres were utilised to provide an attractive, yet highly weather-resistant facade. Extruded aluminium louvres feature an effective ‘S’ shaped profile. This delivers the optimum performance, both in terms of airflow, resistance to wind and rain and their aesthetic quality.

Louvres are set at a pitch of 75mm and are incorporated into a number of sections extending up to 42 metres in length and 2.8 metres in height. The louvred facade at roof level is fitted with integral double louvred doors, to facilitate easy access to plant and equipment for routine servicing, maintenance and cleaning.

Cubric Cardiff5 200x200Levolux also supplied and installed a single bank of Acoustic Louvres at roof level in two areas around plant and equipment. The 300mm deep louvres are manufactured in modular panels from galvanised steel, with an acoustic infill material to provide effective noise reduction.

All louvres and aluminium components have been finished in a matt grey powder coating to complement the overall scheme.

The new CUBRIC building, with its unusual and distinctive solar shading and screening solution from Levolux, accommodates four state-of-the-art MRI laboratories. Its scanning systems are so advanced that they are unique in Europe. One of the MRI scanners is only the second of its kind in the world, with the other at Harvard University in the USA.