MAKING TRACKS IN CALGARY December 2012
Following almost 30 years of planning, Calgary recently opened its new Light Rail Transit (LRT) route serving its southwest communities with 6 new stations, featuring state-of-the-art, energy efficient components including a Levolux Solar Shading solution.
The West LRT route extends 8.2 kilometres to the west of Calgary, doubling its LRT network and represents a big step towards making it a more sustainable city. The new route has six new stations including Sunalta, Shaganappi Point, Westbrook, 45th Street, Sirocco and 69th Street.
GEC Architecture undertook the conceptual design of each station, giving each its own unique identity, but with a common design format. Accounting for climatic changes, each station is equipped with features to optimise the passenger experience. This included the external treatment of south-facing facades with a Levolux Solar Shading solution, to counter the risk of solar heat gain throughout the summer.
Flynn Canada, a leading building envelope contractor, was tasked with selecting products and with detailing the curtain walling and glazing arrangements. They preferred Levolux’s proposed solution as it offered the most compatible arrangement of Louvres to meet specific structural requirements dictated by the curtain walling mullions.
The application of external solar shading on new buildings with large, glazed openings is usually required to comply with building codes or regulations and is often exploited by architects and designers to enhance a building’s external aesthetic.
As the leading provider of Solar Shading solutions, Levolux was invited to develop bespoke solutions for six buildings, comprising its Infiniti® Fin System and Aerofoil Fins, formed from extruded aluminium components.
In total, Levolux supplied 227 aerofoil-shaped Fins, applied against vertical, inclined and curved elevations. The Fins, measuring 300mm or 400mm in width, provide effective passive solar control to glazed openings in ticket halls and platform enclosures.
By adopting Levolux’s renowned Aerofoil Fins and Infiniti Fin system, the optimum form, composition and fixing method for external projections could be achieved. This helps to maintain comfortable temperatures naturally, without the need for mechanical cooling and air conditioning.
In order to satisfy the client’s challenging brief, Levolux engineered custom brackets and support arms to integrate with the curtain walling and cladding arrangements. The risk of cold bridging, interstitial condensation and noise transmission has been significantly reduced thanks to Levolux’s unique Triniti® Bracket. It is proven to outperform standard curtain walling brackets by as much as 70%, in terms of reducing structural heat loss.
As a pioneer in its field, Levolux offers an unrivalled range of products that can be tailored to meet almost any project requirement, taking into account solar path analysis, shading coefficients, structural tolerances and cooling loads.
The City of Calgary Council invested in the region of $1.4 billion to develop its West LRT route, which is designed to fulfil the region’s transit requirements for the next 20 years.
By using energy efficient, sustainable building components, such as the Solar Shading solution provided by Levolux, the new transport infrastructure promises to provide a cost effective and comfortable service for Calgary’s commuters.