TURNING IT AROUND FOR BRITISH SUGAR February 2019
Motorised Vertical Glass Fins
A new multi-million-pound headquarters development for British Sugar in Peterborough is now complete. A host of features were incorporated to improve the energy efficiency, functionality and aesthetic quality of the building, including an external Solar Shading solution from Levolux.
The three-storey building, which occupies a 4.5-acre site in Hampton to the south of Peterborough, was designed by CPMG architects. It provides first-class office accommodation for 300 employees, in addition to training and conferencing facilities, a café and a range of meeting spaces set around a central, three-storey atrium.
Based on the concept of a ‘white box’, the square-shaped building harnesses passive design principles to maximise use of light and heat from the sun. This influenced the orientation of the building, the adoption of high thermal mass construction and the requirement for brise soleil.
Working with Bowmer & Kirkland, Levolux developed an operable solar shading/brise soleil solution, applied externally across full-height glazing at first and second floor levels. The custom solution comprises two rows of vertical glass fins, fitted to south, east and west-facing elevations.
In total, Levolux provided 398 glass fins, each measuring 750mm wide, by 4.2 metres high and 25mm thick. The 750mm wide glass fins are set at a pitch of 750mm and are formed from toughened, laminated glass.
All glass fins can be rotated, with pivoting brackets, integrated actuators and link bars ensuring a smooth, synchronised operation. An intelligent, programmable control system automatically changes the angle of fins, taking input from external light sensors.
The ability to fully exploit passive cooling at any time and on any day can result in significant cost savings due to reduced demand for mechanical heating and cooling. The intelligent solar shading solution developed by Levolux tracks the movement of the sun and makes corresponding adjustments to the fins to maximise thermal comfort levels.
Occupants of the new British Sugar HQ development in Peterborough will be relieved to find that as the weather changes, during the day and through the year, the interior of the building will remain cool and comfortable, partly thanks to Levolux.