PUTTING HUGH ASTON IN THE SHADE
August 2010

De Montfort University1 200x200The new £35 million BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated, Hugh Aston development at Leicester’s De Montfort University, features a custom Solar Shading solution from Levolux, which is making it cool to study Business and Law.

The striking new home for De Montfort University’s Business and Law Faculty, designed by CPMG Architects, comprises 3 linked wings of between five and seven storeys, formed around a central open atrium, known as the Winter Garden. It accommodates more than 6000 students and staff, providing them with a range of well equipped facilities, including a mock courtroom, a library and open spaces for meeting and socialising.

De Montfort University2 200x200In order to create and maintain a cool, naturally lit and highly efficient building, Levolux, the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, worked closely with the architect to devise a solution which effectively reduces solar heat gains within the building, significantly reducing the need for air conditioning, while allowing natural daylight into the building and unobstructed views outside.

The Levolux solution comprises timber and extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, applied externally along exposed elevations, with the addition of an integrated Walk-on Brise Soleil system. The complete solution provides shade to glazed areas at various levels and is meticulously finished to give the building a modern, yet naturally impressive aesthetic.

In total, Levolux installed 144 laminated finger jointed, Western Red Cedar Timber Aerofoil Fins, measuring 500mm in width, horizontally across the Oxford Wing, within the Winter Garden. These enormous Timber Aerofoil Fins are fixed at an angle to shade the entrance area for a new café and bookshop.

De Montfort University3 200x200In addition, 596 single piece extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, measuring 300mm in width were installed horizontally on the Hawthorn Wing’s south east facing elevation, across seven storeys. The Aerofoil Fins are fixed to exposed steelwork, projecting 900mm from the building’s curtain walling. The supporting structure incorporates an integral walk-on platform at six levels, providing access for essential maintenance and cleaning.

Completing the custom solution, Levolux installed its 300mm wide, laminated finger jointed Western Red Cedar Timber Aerofoil Fins, horizontally in a series of vertical stacks at high level and projecting at low level along the length of the Magazine Wing within the Winter Garden.

This Levolux solution features the Triniti Bracket, which is 70%* more effective at reducing heat loss through the structure than a standard curtain walling bracket. This virtually eliminates problems associated with cold bridging, noise transmission and interstitial condensation and has helped the building achieve its BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

De Montfort University4 200x200All Levolux timber comes from sustainable sources. Virtually maintenance free, Western Red Cedar Timber Fins can be left to weather naturally, taking on an attractive silver grey colour over time. Alternatively, treatments can be applied as required. All products installed by Levolux are finished to the highest standard and are engineered to last.

The new Hugh Aston development, with its energy efficient design and stunning, contemporary appearance, offers first class facilities to the University’s students and staff and is an excellent example of urban eco-architecture.

*Results of independent tests carried out by the Centre for Window and Cladding Technology (CWCT) at Bath University.