Factory 2050

Factory 2050, the latest development within the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) in Sheffield, has a striking, ultra-modern appearance, partly thanks to an external Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

This award-winning development, comprises a main rotunda building and an adjoining rectangular building. Levolux was approached to develop a passive solar shading solution, to be applied to both buildings.

The solution proposed by Levolux comprises oval-shaped aluminium louvres, arranged horizontally between vertical aluminium carriers. Each louvre measures 60mm wide by 50mm thick and is formed from extruded aluminium components. Based on Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system, the oval-shaped louvres feature concealed fixings for a clean, uncompromised appearance.

The tubular louvres, which are vertically stacked with a pitch of 200mm, have been custom engineered to suit the shape of each building.

The main rotunda building has 8 metre high curtain walling, with full height glazing. To accommodate the building’s circular form, each louvre has been carefully curved. 20 rows of louvres run around the perimeter of the building at high level, accentuating the building’s unusual shape, which resembles the ‘Starship Enterprise’.

In contrast, for the rectangular-shaped adjoining building, louvres have been incorporated into a continuous vertical stack, providing shade to glazed areas at high level. 18 rows of louvres combine to form a shading structure, measuring 15 metres in length by 3.5 metres in height. The louvres are mitred to accommodate an external corner of the building.

The louvred section applied to the rotunda building is secured back to steel mullions using Levolux’s Triniti® brackets.

All extruded aluminium components, including the tubular louvres and vertical carriers, are finished in a durable, light grey powder coating.

The Factory 2050 development was recognised as the Yorkshire & Humberside Region, ‘Project of the Year’ at the Constructing Excellence Awards in July 2016. This was eclipsed in December 2016, when the project scooped the national ‘Project of the Year’ award.