April 2011

St Austell Town Centre1 200x200Designed by Chetwoods Architects, St Austell’s £70 million White River Place development makes best use of local resources and benefits from the latest eco-friendly technologies, including rainwater harvesting and a Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

The development takes pride of place at the heart of Cornwall’s largest town, providing more than 14,400m2 of retail space, numerous restaurants and cafes, a four-screen cinema, 69 homes and an underground car park with just under 500 spaces. Given a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, White River Place has since picked up the 2010 National Retail BREEAM Award.

St Austell Town Centre2 200x200As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was chosen to design, manufacture and install a bespoke solution incorporating its Aerofoil Fins, Ventilation Louvres and a series of Glass Canopies. These make a significant contribution to the overall energy efficiency of the buildings by preventing excessive solar heat gain, thereby helping to reduce the need for air conditioning.

Levolux’s new Infiniti Fin system is an innovative form of external Solar Shading which features concealed fixings and supports a wide range of Fins. It has been applied at first floor level using 200mm and 300mm wide extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, arranged horizontally in vertical stacks spaced across glazed areas. The Aerofoil Fins are engineered to follow the building’s facade around corners and have a combined length of more than 320 metres.

St Austell Town Centre3 200x200To create a co-ordinated external aesthetic, the Aerofoil Fins have been finished with a durable dark grey or white powder coating, to match the surrounding cladding.

Complementing the Infiniti Fin system, Levolux devised a series of shading canopies, with a combined length of almost 57 metres, projecting horizontally from the buildings above ground floor windows. 150mm wide Aerofoil Fins have been grouped into rows of 10, 8 and 6, achieving projections of 1850mm, 1300mm and 1100mm, respectively. Fixed between profile-cut side plates, the Aerofoil Fins significantly reduce solar heat gain from building up inside retail outlets.

St Austell Town Centre4 200x200Elsewhere, Levolux installed 19.5mm thick bespoke Glass Canopies, formed from CIP laminated glass panels, attached to buildings with stainless steel fixings. The Glass Canopies have a horizontal projection of 2300mm and a combined length of almost 38 metres. The canopies not only provide shade, but also offer protection to entrance areas, allowing shoppers and pedestrians to take cover from inclement weather.

To complete the solution, Levolux installed its Screening Louvres, with an ‘S’ profile and a 50mm pitch, to form a vertical ventilated facade, which conceals unsightly plant and equipment from view. The Louvres are designed to allow optimum airflow for mechanical and electrical plant to operate efficiently. In addition, Screening Louvres with a ‘Z’ profile and a pitch of 140mm have also been installed horizontally, screening unsightly plant and equipment, so it cannot be seen from overlooking buildings.

St Austell Town Centre5 200x200Finished with a dark grey powder coating, the Screening Louvres provide an attractive and highly durable external facade, and like all of Levolux’s solutions, they are backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.

White River Place, located at the heart of St. Austell, just 2 miles from the Eden Project, sets a new benchmark for other retail developments to follow. With its range of energy efficient features, such as the Solar Shading solution from Levolux, the town centre is benefitting from an alternative form of retail therapy.