February 2009

Orbis Energy Centre1 200x200The new Orbis Energy Centre in Norfolk, a worldwide centre of excellence for offshore renewable energy, is shading its occupants from the bright coastal sunshine with Levolux’s custom-designed Solar Shading.

Designed to BREEAM Excellent standards and constructed over five storeys, the landmark building occupies a prominent, elevated position on Britain’s most easterly location at Ness Point in Lowestoft.

With unobstructed views to the eastern horizon, the building is subjected to intensive exposure to the sun’s rays which posed a challenge to the architects, Pick Everard.

Orbis Energy Centre2 200x200To help ensure occupants within the building would remain protected against solar heat gain and glare from direct sunlight, Levolux, the UK’s leading solar shading specialist were invited to meet the challenge. Levolux devised an innovative, bespoke Solar Shading solution to provide a high level of shading to all glazed areas, including a stunning, central glass atrium in addition to providing a balustrade system with an integral walkway system.

The bespoke Levolux Solar Shading system comprises of their 9000 Fin system working at high level, applied to all elevations, in addition to their Matrix system installed above glazed areas along the western elevation of the building.

Orbis Energy Centre3 200x200The Levolux 9000 Fin Solar Shading system comprises of a series of horizontal aluminium Aerofoil Fins with widths of 500mm and 250mm. These were manufactured from single piece aluminium extrusions and individually secured to suitable pre-drilled steelwork. The system was further enhanced with a custom-designed integrated balustrade system with walkway.

The Levolux Matrix system provides shading to the building’s state-of-the-art offices, conference and exhibition facilities, with a series of horizontal projections above windows along the building’s western elevation.

The complete, custom-built Levolux Solar Shading system is extremely efficient, reducing solar heat gain by as much as 95%. This helps to minimise the centre’s reliance on expensive, energy sapping air conditioning while maintaining a naturally lit, cool environment for occupants.

Orbis Energy Centre4 200x200Finished with a co-ordinated natural silver anodised finish, the Solar Shading system gives the building a striking, modern appearance while protecting it against the harsh natural coastal environment. In addition, as with all Levolux systems, it is backed up by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.

Opened in November 2008, the Orbis Energy Centre is not only important to Lowestoft and the surrounding area, but is vital to help the whole country meet its targets of using energy from renewable sources.