April 2012

When Anchor proposed a new £30 million development to create its first ‘Care Leadership’ home in an area of Green Belt land in Surrey, it chose to maximise the use of naturally effective building technology, including a Timber Fin Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

West Hall Care Home1 200 x 200Designed by Atkins to achieve a BREEAM “Very Good” rating, West Hall Care Home is unlike any other care home, firstly for its rural setting, with open green spaces interrupted by woodland and natural water features, and secondly for its use of energy efficient, low carbon technology.

The development comprises three individual clusters of oval-shaped buildings, each arranged over three floors topped by sweeping green roofs, providing specialist accommodation for up to 117 residents.

Each building is specifically orientated to maximise natural daylight on south-facing elevations. Full-height glazing ensures natural daylight penetrates deep into the building, through open-plan communal areas, into the living areas beyond.

West Hall Care Home2 200 x 200A naturally effective Solar Shading solution was essential to prevent excessive solar heat gain from occurring throughout the year. This is most noticeable in the summer, when solar heat gain, if not controlled, can raise internal temperatures to uncomfortable levels and increases a building’s dependency on expensive air conditioning.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a custom solution for the care home, following a challenging architectural brief.

The solution comprises three rows of 400mm deep by 50mm thick elliptical section Timber Fins, fixed vertically at 560mm centres, across the south elevation of each oval-shaped cluster. Each Timber Fin facade, which is inclined at an angle of 15 degrees, is supported from a series of single-piece Timber Columns, creating 11 bays on each elevation.

West Hall Care Home3 200 x 200The Timber Columns, each measuring 400mm in width, tapering down to 250mm at each end, range in length, from 5.3 metres at each end, up to an impressive 10.2 metres at the centre of each cluster. This allows the columns to tie-in with the arcing roofline, while maintaining a constant pitch of 15 degrees.

Unlike the Timber Fins, which are only applied to south-facing elevations, the Timber Columns are also fitted to north-facing elevations, in front of full length balconies with glass-fronted balustrades. A series of stainless steel wires have been fixed horizontally between the columns, providing a framework to support climbing plants as they grow.

In total, Levolux installed 777 Timber Fins and 72 Timber Columns, divided equally between the three oval-shaped clusters, all engineered from untreated Western Red Cedar, graded as No.2 clear and better. All timber supplied by Levolux for this project was derived from sustainable sources, which is FSC certified with a full chain of custody.

West Hall Care Home4 200 x 200The Timber Fins are fixed to horizontal, galvanised steel beams, using aluminium brackets which are finished in a dark grey powder coating, which complements the overall scheme.

Like all Solar Shading solutions provided by Levolux, the Timber Fins and Columns installed at West Hall Care Home are backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.

Now complete, the West Hall Care Home, with its striking Timber Fins and Columns, from Levolux, will provide highly sustainable, energy efficient and comfortable accommodation, which will enhance the lives of its elderly residents.