Francis Crick Institute

The Francis Crick Institute in central London is a world-leading centre of biomedical research and innovation. It’s research groups are now beginning to move into a new state-of-the-art building, featuring an extraordinary roof screening solution from Levolux.

The building is equipped with a vast array of specialist, highly sensitive plant and equipment, much of it located at roof level. To satisfy planning requirements, it was necessary to limit the visual impact of the building, particularly at high level, as it overlooks St Pancras International Station, the British Library and housing in the Somers Town area of Camden.

Levolux developed a custom roof screening solution, which extends 160 metres in length and 80 metres in width, and reaches up to more than 43 metres above street level. The enormous roof screening structure resembles a modern vaulted roof, divided into two interlocking shells.

Each shell is formed from a variety of screening fins, or louvres, that combine to create an attractive, yet multifunctional enclosure. Solid, perforated and twisted aluminium fins all feature, along with glass fins.

In total, Levolux designed, fabricated, supplied and installed almost 2400 screening fins. The fins vary in size, with widths ranging from 150mm up to 750mm and lengths of up to 9 metres. Each fin is engineered with custom brackets to facilitate the smooth operation of lifting and securing them into place.

The roof screening solution incorporates one of the largest building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) installations in the UK.

Over 800 custom-built solar panels have been incorporated into more than 420 of the Glass Fins, fixed to south-facing sections of the roof. The laminated Glass PV Fins are formed from toughened glass, sandwiching a PVB interlayer and mono-crystalline PV Cells.

The complete PV array, which is connected to the Building Grid, the BMS and EMS, is expected to generate around 204,200 kWh/year from a renewable energy source.

Levolux’s Ventilation Louvres were also specified to create protective enclosures around key items of plant and equipment.

HP75 and HP50 louvre systems were used, both featuring ‘S’ shaped louvres. The two systems are distinguished by the pitch of louvres, being 75mm and 50mm respectively.