August 2010

HML HQ Skipton1 200x200The new multi-million pound headquarters development for HML in Skipton, brings together more than 800 of its staff into a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rated building, equipped with a revolutionary Levolux Solar Shading system, which actually generates its own electricity.

The development for HML, a subsidiary of Skipton Building Society, to the west of Skipton, consolidates its local business operations from four sites in the town centre, into a single site. The 10,000m2 development comprises two buildings, linked by a central atrium, with accommodation arranged over three and four floors.

HML HQ Skipton2 200x200Locally based, Bowman Riley Architects, created an ambitious design, incorporating a raft of energy saving features. These include rainwater harvesting, solar hot water panels and a comprehensive Solar Shading system from Levolux. As a result, the buildings are much less dependent on energy-sapping artificial lighting and air conditioning.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was chosen to design, fabricate, install and commission a bespoke Solar Shading solution, incorporating its external Glass Fins with integral photovoltaic cells and its Internal 760SX Roller Blinds.

HML HQ Skipton3 200x200The external, motorised Glass Fin PV Solar Shading system, incorporates 210 horizontal Glass Fins, each measuring 535mm wide by 18mm thick and spanning up to 1937mm. Each Glass Fin is laminated, with two layers of clear glass sandwiching an inter layer which includes mono-crystalline photovoltaic cells. The underside of each Glass Fin has been screen printed with a silver dot matrix effect, creating an attractive opaque finish.

The Glass Fins, arranged in a series of vertical stacks, provide shade to windows on south facing elevations of each building at each level. The motorised Glass Fins are linked to a stand-alone controller, which automatically rotates them, following the movement of the sun overhead. This maintains them at the optimum angle for effective shading, reducing unwanted solar heat gain and allows the photovoltaic cells to operate efficiently, contributing 11kWp of renewable electricity.

HML HQ Skipton5 200x200The Glass Fins are fixed to vertical extruded aluminium support posts, 1150mm in front of the glazed facade. All aluminium components have been given an attractive silver grey powder coated finish.

Elsewhere, Levolux installed its 760SX Internal Roller Blinds throughout both buildings to control light and glare levels on each floor. In total, more than 347 individual, manually operated Roller Blinds were applied, in widths of up to 2870mm and lengths of up to 3570mm. All Blinds feature an attractive white pearl fabric, with an openness factor of 3% and incorporate a continuous metal bead chain.

Paul Hodgson from Bowman Riley Architects, was very pleased with the completed project and with the contribution from Levolux, commenting; “With the help of Levolux and the application of their Solar Shading solution, the new HML headquarters development successfully balances the need for efficiency, quality and aesthetic appeal.”

HML HQ Skipton4 200x200Like all Solar Shading systems from Levolux, the Glass Fins, with photovoltaic cells and Internal Roller Blinds used on this project are backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.

The new HML headquarters development was completed in April and thanks to Levolux, it provides a more comfortable and efficient environment for staff to continue their work, looking after investments worth more than £47 billion.