REVIVING BRITTON STREET February 2012
Great Portland Estate’s 24 Britton Street, in central London has been transformed into a more attractive and sustainable property, thanks to a £3.7m refurbishment project, which included the addition of a striking new external Solar Shading solution from Levolux.
The regenerated five-storey building, which has achieved a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating, now features an impressive new entrance pavilion, reception facility and central atrium, along with an attractive new external envelope.
Working closely with Archer Architects, Levolux developed a bespoke Solar Shading solution to dramatically reduce solar heat gain and glare, while maximising daylight levels. The solution comprises fixed, external tubular Louvres and fully automated, external Tensioned Roller Blinds.
Almost 3500 oval-section, extruded aluminium, tubular Louvres create an external shading structure which wraps around the building, across the third and fourth floors. Each Louvre measures 51 mm wide by 40mm high, with a span of 1.8 metres. Fixed horizontally, the Louvres are grouped into 47 vertical stacks, each measuring almost 8 metres in height.
The pitch of the Louvres in each stack varies. At high level, the Louvres are packed tightly together, with a pitch of just 60mm, but the pitch increases in increments up to 480mm at the centre of each floor. This unusual design not only creates an attractive external aesthetic, with waves of Louvres running up the building, but delivers the optimum level of shade for the second, third and fourth floors, whilst maximising daylight levels and providing occupants with good outward visibility.
The building’s fifth floor, which offers excellent views across the city, also receives the most exposure to the sun, with few overlooking buildings. As a result this floor is at greatest risk of excessive solar heat gain, particularly in the summer. To help maintain a cool, comfortable environment for its occupants, Levolux applied its external, motorised Tensioned Roller Blinds at high level, around its perimeter.
In total, Levolux installed 53 motorised, external Tensioned Roller Blinds, each measuring 1.8 metres in width, with a drop of 1.3 metres, The Blinds are grouped into double and triple units, which are linked to a standalone programmable controller. This allows the Blinds to be raised and lowered automatically, taking into account readings from external light and wind speed sensors.
All external Blinds have an attractive dark grey screen fabric, which has an openness factor of 4%. This was selected for its solar performance and to maintain light levels. All exposed aluminium components are finished in a dark grey powder coating to complement the overall scheme.
Like all of Levolux’s solutions, the Louvres and Blinds installed at 24 Britton Street, are backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.
In stark contrast with its original 1970’s design, which was prone to excessive solar heat gain, 24 Britton Street has been transformed with the help of Levolux, for the benefit of its owners, the new occupants and the local community.