February 2013

Originally constructed in 1987, One Christchurch Way in Woking has undergone a comprehensive refurbishment to transform it into a landmark office development, boasting some outstanding features, including an external Solar Shading solution, courtesy of Levolux.

Project managed by CBRE, One Christchurch Way, formerly known as Chobham House, has been revamped, providing 25,000 sq feet of Grade A office space, arranged over four floors with significant glazing that extends along each elevation.

One Christchurch Way1 200 x 200Following a challenging brief, CBRE Building Consultancy and Planning, and appointed architects IMA, were responsible for transforming and modernising the building’s envelope, with a focus on sustainability. In its original form, exposed glazing on south and east facing elevations made the building susceptible to excessive solar heat gain, particularly in the summer. When the sun shone, internal temperatures would soar to uncomfortable levels.

In these conditions, a building becomes dependent on air conditioning, just to maintain habitable conditions. Consequently the building’s energy consumption would increase significantly, burdening the occupier with higher operating costs and weakening the building’s appeal to prospective tenants.

To make the building more energy efficient and attractive to prospective tenants, Levolux was approached to develop a custom Solar Shading solution, applied externally to south and east-facing elevations. The addition of external solar shading would significantly reduce solar heat gain by absorbing and reflecting a proportion of the sun’s rays. It would also allow the removal of existing solar film from all windows, thereby improving the daylighting to the office floors.

One Christchurch Way2 200 x 200The inclusion of passive cooling techniques also helped the developer to determine an accurate specification for a more cost-effective air conditioning system.

As a result it is estimated that the energy consumption of the building will be reduced by approximately 10%, helping to improve the building’s EPC rating from an F, to a B grading.

Working collaboratively with CBRE and IMA, Levolux devised a Solar Shading solution comprising horizontal aluminium tubes, incorporated into a series of vertical stacks, supported from an external steel frame. The arrangement of tubular Fins was inspired by Foster & Partners’ iconic More London development, where Levolux installed a striking array of 100mm diameter satin anodised aluminium tubes.

As an evolution of this original design, Levolux adapted its popular Infiniti Fin system, to accept 100mm diameter tubular aluminium Fins. The completed installation comprises three bays of 35 Fins installed in front of the east-facing elevation, each measuring 5.5 metres wide by 10.7 metres high, along with 3 more bays in front of the south-facing elevation, each measuring 7.5 metres wide by 10.7 metres high.

One Christchurch Way3 200 x 200The beauty of the Infiniti Fin system is that its fixings and supports are concealed within the Fin itself unlike other ‘birds-mouth’ style fixing arrangements. The Infiniti Fin system is synonymous among architects for creating clean, continuous, uninterrupted lines. This is achieved by Levolux’s skilled installation teams, quickly and efficiently using mechanical fixings, avoiding the environmental hazards associated with welding.

Ian McArdle from the architects IMA was pleased with Levolux’s performance, commenting: “We worked with Levolux from initial design sketches through to final installation and were delighted with both the process and the final product.  The installation of the solar shading screens exceeded our expectations.”

One Christchurch Way4 200 x 200To complement the overall scheme, Levolux applied a satin anodised finish to the tubular Fins, allowing them to stand out against the dark grey support steelwork and cladding.

One Christchurch Way demonstrates how a previously tired and uninspiring office building can be dramatically revived into an ultra-modern, highly efficient property, partly thanks to the addition of a sleek new Solar Shading solution, by Levolux.