Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Levolux benefits go through the roof

This unique ‘solar chimney’ system was designed by Levolux to minimise energy costs and improve heating efficiency at Lancaster University. The results are extremely impressive.

Working closely with Architects John McAslan + Partners, Levolux created an innovative ‘solar chimney’ system to provide an eco-friendly method of controlling heat in the two-storey building. 

Resembling tall glass towers, five ‘chimneys’ were fitted to the southern elevation of the Statistics Centre. The front of each ‘chimney’ is glazed, with ducts attached to the rear. The ducts have internal openings at high level on each floor and are vented externally at roof level. As the sun heats the air trapped within these glass ‘chimneys’, the air then rises, drawing warm air out of the building.

Cool, fresh air is then drawn into the building 'naturally' at low level, which helps to keep the building at an optimum temperature for studying. Levolux’s involvement also featured the installation of its unique Matrix 910XL brise soleil, located between the solar chimneys. The Matrix system significantly reduces solar heat gain in the summer, which adds to the energy savings by greatly reducing the requirement for air-conditioning and reducing carbon emissions.

Retaining the building’s aesthetic qualities, Levolux’s Ventilation Louvres screen the building’s unsightly plant from view at high level. Creating a weather resistant enclosure, the Louvres allow a steady flow of air to circulate around plant and equipment, ensuring it operates efficiently.

The building achieved a BREEAM 'Excellent' rating and won an Architectural Award from the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Levolux’s pioneering installations played a key role in helping deliver this success.

Levolux offers a vast array of bespoke solutions, designed to satisfy an architect's vision, delivered with a first-class, cost-effective service.

For more information please visit our website at www.levolux.com.

Monday, 30 January 2012

Levolux makes its Ecobuild debut (S2010)

As the UK's leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux continues to innovate, with a comprehensive range of energy efficient, cost effective solutions. From design and manufacture, through to supply, installation and ongoing maintenance, Levolux offers the complete service to architects, specifiers and contractors.

As a member of the Alumasc group of companies, Levolux is ideally placed to satisfy a growing demand for Solar Shading, both within the UK and increasingly overseas. The Alumasc group specialises in the area of sustainable building products and solutions which enable customers to manage energy and water use in the built environment.

This year Levolux will be making its debut at Ecobuild, exhibiting alongside other Alumasc group companies on stand S2010. Among the products being shown are the Infiniti Fin system, PV integrated Glass Fins, the Triniti curtain walling bracket and some new innovations. Please stop by and pay us a visit at the show, or keep up-to-date by visiting our website at www.levolux.com.  

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Levolux takes Solar Shading to Infiniti and beyond

Levolux continues to challenge the laws of physics with its Infiniti Fin solar shading system. Since its introduction in 2009, the system has established itself as the preferred choice of architects in the UK and overseas. Its unique patented design, which comprises fixed shading Fins secured with concealed, stainless steel fixings, delivers the 'holy grail' in external solar shading. The ideal blend of form and functionality.

Fins are fixed at maximum possible spans, but unlike other systems available, the fixings are concealed within the Fins themselves, allowing the louvres to be cantilevered past the last support. This creates continuous, uninterruped lines of Fins that provide effective shading, while appearing to be weightless.

The Infiniti Fin system continues to evolve, with a choice of aluminium or timber Fins, available with an increasing range profiles and sizes, and variable fixing arrangements. These offer architects and specifiers the flexibility to complement any scheme, while allowing Levolux to meet specific project requirements.

In contrast with ‘bird-mouth’ type systems, which can look rather heavy and unsightly, the Infiniti Fin solar shading system has a sleek appearance and weighs up to 30% less. The system also boasts an extremely strong and reliable fixing method, which has been tested well in excess of the loads likely to be applied and has been engineered to accommodate thermal expansion – an important factor that can weaken ‘bird-mouth’ type systems.

Like other external solar shading systems developed by Levolux, the Infiniti Fin system is proven to reduce solar heat gain by as much as 95%. This can contribute significantly to the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings by reducing the need for energy-sapping air conditioning. At the same time, the system allows plenty of natural daylight to filter through and its lean construction provides good outward visibility, creating a comfortable, naturally lit environment.

To help demonstrate the flexibility of the system in practice, here are some links to recently completed installations at Royal Holloway College, Ropemaker Place, M&S Stratford City, Colmonell Primary School, Grand Hyatt NY, South Devon College and Lea Manor High School. While aerofoil and rectangular shaped profiles are popular, other shapes are available, such as oval or diamond shaped louvres. 

Fins range in width, from a slender 60mm, up to an impressive 480mm. Other shaped sections or Fins can be made available.

For maximum benefit, the Infiniti Fin system integrates seamlessly with Levolux’s Triniti Curtain Walling Bracket, which reduces cold bridging, dampens vibrations and prevents noise transmission into the building. The bracket features a unique thermal break to eliminate the risk of interstitial condensation, which over time can weaken the structural integrity of a building. 

A retro-fit Triniti RF Bracket is also now available, which allows external solar shading to be applied to an existing building without removing the glazing. This results in a number of significant benefits for property managers and developers, as they can now effectively upgrade an existing property quickly and simply, with minimum disruption.

For more details please visit www.levolux.com.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Levolux takes the lead at "SportPark"

Loughborough University's £15 million “SportPark” development represents a significant step forward in the pursuit of 'excellence', both in British sport and in the application of a custom Solar Shading solution, developed by Levolux. 

This helped it achieve a BREEAM (BRE Environmental Assessment Method) rating of "Excellent". The development has already picked up two CIOB "Committed to Construction in the East Midlands Awards‟, for 'Excellence & Quality' and 'Sustainability'.

Designed by David Morley Architects, the purpose built centre comprises of three linked wings of up to five storeys in height and provides more than 4000 sq metres of office space, with interconnecting communal areas and an energy cafe. It becomes home to a number of sports organisations, including British Swimming/ASA, Volleyball England and the Youth Sport Trust.

SportPark occupies a prominent position on the University's campus with an open outlook to the south and west. In order to help prevent excessive solar heat gain, Levolux developed a custom aluminium Solar Shading solution, incorporating giant Perforated Sails and Aerofoil Fins, applied externally. By limiting the exposure of glazed areas to direct sunlight, internal temperatures can be maintained at the optimum level, with less need for mechanical cooling and air conditioning equipment.

Working to a challenging brief, Levolux installed a series of 12 giant Perforated Aluminium Sails, on three west facing elevations, to control light and heat and give the building a distinctive appearance. Arranged vertically either side of the main entrance, the eye-catching sails measure 2650mm wide and are graduated in height, ranging from just over 6 metres to an impressive 12.6 metres. Single skin, curved perforated aluminium sheets are incorporated into a bespoke frame, which is secured to the building at approx 1500mm centres.

Elsewhere, above windows along three south facing elevations, Levolux installed a series of horizontal extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, measuring 150mm wide, with a projection of 1000mm and a combined length of 228 metres. Aerofoil Fins are arranged between profile-cut side plates, with three, four and five tiers on the building‟s south facing elevations. These control light and heat, while allowing unobstructed outward visibility.

Completing the custom Levolux solution, on the building's most southerly facing elevation, is a vertical stack of 52 horizontal extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fins, each measuring 150mm wide. The Aerofoil Fins combine together to shade a glazed facade measuring 3000mm wide and 13000mm high.

Michael Friel, Project Architect at David Morley Architects was impressed with Levolux's contribution on the project, commenting; 
“The Solar Shading system installed at SportPark, by Levolux exceeds our expectations, in terms of its aesthetic appearance, the quality of workmanship and its effectiveness in reducing solar heat gain inside the building.” 
 All Solar Shading systems from Levolux are backed by the company's design, manufacture and installation package.

With the help of Levolux, SportPark has already achieved distinction in its field by offering an attractive and energy efficient base for several of the country's sports governing bodies. It will play a crucial role in supporting Olympic success later this year. 

For more information, visit www.levolux.com.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Levolux shines a light at St Botolphs

The design of the new St Botolph office development in the City of London pushes the boundaries of contemporary architecture, including the internal application of vertical illuminated Louvres from Levolux.

Located on an island site near Aldgate, the St Botolph Building is a fourteen storey landmark building, designed by internationally acclaimed architects, Grimshaw. It provides circa 560,000 sq ft of office and retail accommodation, based around a dramatic 13-storey central atrium.

Access into the central core of the building is via a split level, double height reception and adjoining circulation areas. These areas are designed to effectively serve several high profile tenants, including international insurance, legal and financial institutions.

In order to create an impressive, 'hi-tech' appearance, Levolux was invited to develop a unique internal louvred solution for the reception and circulation areas, leading to the central core of the building. The bespoke solution incorporated vertical extruded aluminium Louvres, which clad the walls and form a balustrade on the first floor and running alongside eight escalators. In total, Levolux installed 1,750 Louvres with a 'H- section' profile, each measuring 185mm wide and 40mm deep, with a collective length of almost 7.3 kilometres.

To achieve the desired aesthetic, Levolux created a custom aluminium extrusion, to incorporate LED lights at the top and bottom of each Louvre. The single piece extrusion also incorporates a serrated diffuser, which distributes the light along the length of each Louvre. When all Louvres are illuminated together, they create a stunning, ultra-modern aesthetic.
This 'hi-tech' theme continues into the core atrium of the building, where 16 computer controlled lifts operate within eight transparent shafts, facilitating the coordinated and clearly visible movement of people to and from the offices up above.

Andrew Byrne, Grimshaw Associate in charge of the project, said: “We really appreciated Levolux's collaborative approach during the design stages of this scheme. Their enthusiastic attitude towards the project led to stunning results.”

Secured to the structure individually, with stainless steel brackets and with a natural anodised finish, the bespoke vertical illuminated Louvres installed by Levolux, complement the overall scheme and are virtually maintenance free. As with all Levolux solutions, the installation of vertical Louvres at St Botolphs is backed by the company's design, manufacture and installation package.

Now complete, St Botolphs is an exciting BREEAM 'Very Good' rated office development which boats some unique design features, setting it apart from its neighbours. Perhaps the most imposing of these is the application of Levolux's vertical illuminated Louvres throughout its reception and circulation areas.

For more information, visit www.levolux.com.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Positive Energy Efficiency - Solar Shading Holds the Key

The Benefits of Solar Shading as a Way of Reducing Energy Consumption
Energy efficiency and conservation has always been high on the agenda. With the introduction of the Climate Change Levy and with increasingly stringent Building Regulations impacting on the design of new buildings, the issue of energy efficiency is more critical than ever. As part of the Government’s commitment to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, we now have to look at ways in which to deliver low energy consumption without affecting the comfort, usability and aesthetics of our architecture. 

30% of the energy consumed in the UK is wasted
It is a fact that around 30% of the energy consumed in the UK is wasted, contributing to global environment problems such as climate change, and this waste is costing billions of pounds. In buildings, air conditioning, once seen as the ‘summer saviour’, is now increasingly identified as a major drain of energy. 

According to the Carbon Trust, air conditioning accounts for more than 50% of many buildings’ energy costs, with lighting accounting for around a further 15% and heating the next significant contributor. According to CEN (Creative Environmental Networks), a 20% reduction in energy consumption can easily be achieved by most businesses, and this reduction can have the same positive effect as a 5% increase in sales. 

So how can we reduce this huge energy consumption created by air conditioning, lighting and heating, whilst providing comfortable working environments? The answer lies with solar shading and control. 

Controlling and diffusing sunlight improves natural daylight in buildings
Controlling and maximising the potential of our biggest natural heat and light source – the sun – is, in theory, a simple proposition. However, with the sun come the issues of solar heat gain and the necessity to have control. In cold climates winter sun entering a south-facing window can contribute to passive solar heating whilst in warm climates, excess solar heat gain may result in high cooling energy consumption, such as air conditioning. In nearly all climates, controlling and diffusing sunlight will improve natural daylight in buildings. 

Building Regulations suggest that there are three strategies for avoiding solar overheating
  1. appropriate glazing design
  2. the use of exposed thermal mass with night ventilation
  3. the use of solar shading.
Solar shading is not a new concept. In fact it has been around for hundreds of years in the shape of external awnings. Today, awnings are still frequently used to shade the sun, as are roller, vertical and Venetian blinds. 

Maximum benefits from external solar shading systems
However, it is with external solar shading systems that maximum benefits and returns in terms of heat, light and glare control within buildings can be achieved. Fitting in with the Government’s plans for energy conservation, their promotion as a core function in building design is being led by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM). 

In terms of costs, they also provide significant savings. When compared to the reduction in air conditioning requirements – both installation and running costs – solar shading can pay for itself in a matter of years. 

Enhancing the aesthetic appeal
As well as providing vital control of heat, light and glare, many architects are using external solar shading systems as a way of enhancing the aesthetic appeal of buildings. Levolux has developed a range of systems that are specifically designed to complement the architecture of a building whilst providing passive temperature control, through effective shading. This can all be achieved without obscuring the view through the glass. 

So how exactly do they work? 
External solar shading systems are largely produced in extruded aluminium, which can be anodised or powder coated. Steel, timber, polycarbonate and glass systems are also available. Systems can be customised to fit almost any elevation, arranged vertically, horizontally or inclined, while integrating seamlessly with the building envelope. 

Aerofoil fins are perhaps the most popular form of external shading, applied in bays, above windows or on glazed elevations. Matrix louvres are also effective for projecting horizontally, or at an angle above openings.

During the spring, summer and autumn, fixed horizontal fins or louvres projecting above windows on a south facing façade will provide shading throughout the day. During winter months, the sun is much lower in the sky and its rays may pass between the fins or louvres. However, as the rays are significantly weaker in the winter, solar heat gain is not a major problem. In fact passive heat gain in buildings from the sun during the winter months can be a positive contributor to heating.

For east and west facing façades, as the altitude of the sun is much lower, a slightly different system is required. Fins can be arranged vertically to cast shade along the building, across glazed openings. As an alternative, motorised fins can be installed, which when linked to a shading management system, can follow the path of the sun. This provides optimum protection against the sun whilst ensuring maximum visibility and natural daylight.

Government pressure to make significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.  
Energy efficiency and consumption will continue to cause concern amongst architects and building owners, and the Government will be sure to keep pressure on to make significant reductions in carbon dioxide emissions.  

As long as glass is used on new buildings, then controlling solar heat gain will continue to be a critical factor in their design. By involving a specialist like Levolux in the initial design stages and creating an integrated solar shading system, the issues of limiting solar heat gain, maximising daylight and preventing glare can easily be overcome. While solar shading has often been overlooked in the past, to reduce costs or for aesthetic reasons, surely this cannot continue if a building’s energy efficiency is to be optimised.

Over recent years, the range of solar shading solutions available from Levolux has exploded and we now believe it is possible to create a cost-effective, aesthetically impressive, highly efficient solution for any building. Please put us to the test.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Levolux gives pupils a cool new start

When ARPL architects designed the new £1.5 million Colmonell Primary School in South Ayrshire, they created one of the most energy efficient and eco-friendly schemes in Scotland, including a comprehensive Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

The BREEAM "excellent‟ rated development, demonstrates how contemporary materials and energy efficient building technology can be applied cost-effectively and sympathetically to transform education provision in a small rural community. The school's design maximises use of natural resources, ensuring all internal spaces benefit from natural ventilation and natural daylight.

A south-facing 13 metre wide by 4 metre high vertical glazed projection, set immediately behind and above the reception area, not only creates an attractive focal point, but also performs a vital role. It enables natural daylight to penetrate deep into the core of the single storey building.

As the UK's leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was approached to develop a solution, comprising its internal motorised Roller Blinds and external Aerofoil Fins, to control light, heat and glare levels.

Levolux's Infiniti Fin system, with its unique concealed fixings, creates a seamless aesthetic of horizontal Aerofoil Fins in front of exposed south-facing windows. In total, more than 150 metres of 300mm wide Aerofoil Fins have been grouped into two bays, with 9 rows per bay.

Fixed at the optimum angle for maximum solar protection in the summer, the Fins prevent excessive solar heat gain, allowing the building to remain cool naturally, without the need for air-conditioning.

Conversely, the angle of the Aerofoil Fins is such that during the winter and to some degree in the mornings and afternoons, the glazing becomes more exposed to the sun, allowing solar heat gain to help warm the building.

Complementing the external Solar Shading and to allow more precise control of light and glare levels, Levolux fitted its motorised Tensioned Fabric Blinds and Roller Blinds internally against south-facing windows.

Seven motorised Tensioned Fabric Blinds, fitted at high level, control daylight levels in the core of the building. Installed in two groups, the Tensioned Blinds range in length from 1.7 up to 3.7 metres, with a drop of 4 metres. The Blinds are equipped with stainless steel cables to maintain the fabric at the optimum tension and to guide the blinds as they are raised and lowered.

To complete the solution, Levolux fitted its motorised fabric Roller Blinds internally to shade exposed south-facing windows at low level. Ranging in length from 2.5 to 3.3 metres and with a drop of 1.5 metres, the Blinds can be raised and lowered separately using wall-mounted rocker switches.

The Tensioned Blinds and Roller Blinds are fitted with a durable white fabric, which was selected for its solar performance. The fabric reflects 70% of solar radiation, while allowing 19% of light to filter through into the building, helping to create a naturally light, yet cool environment.

Colmonell Primary School's Head Teacher, Cindy O‟Driscoll is very pleased with the contribution from Levolux, commenting; “The Blinds and Fins reduce glare and heat considerably, without darkening the space. The effect of light entering through high level windows is quite breathtaking and would not be possible without the protection provided by the Blinds and Fins.”

The Aerofoil Fins and other extruded aluminium components have been finished in a matt white powder coating, which complements the overall scheme. Pupils and staff at Colmonell Primary School can now enjoy their light, airy new facilities, thanks to the application of eco-friendly and sustainable building products, such as the Solar Shading solution, from Levolux.

For more information, visit www.levolux.com.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Levolux delivers at Central St Giles

When acclaimed architect, Renzo Piano designed Central St Giles, a new 500,000 sq ft, mixed use development in central London, he created a bold scheme, with a number of distinctive, colour coordinated features, including a custom arrangement of Louvres and Blinds, from Levolux.

Comprising a 15-storey residential block and 11-storey commercial block around a central piazza, the BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated development breathes new life into a neglected part of London, making a striking addition to the city’s skyline.

As the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist, Levolux was chosen to develop a unique solution, incorporating its external Screening Louvres, Custom Doors and Gates and its internal High Performance Roller Blinds.

A new custom Louvre, with a ‘Z’ profile and a 80mm pitch, has been applied extensively at ground floor level on the commercial block, with a total surface area of 510m2. With their continuous appearance and neat mitred corners, the Louvres create an attractive, ventilated facade, concealing unsightly service areas from view.

To maintain a seamless aesthetic at street level, Levolux engineered two giant, folding loading-bay doors, each measuring 7.6 metres wide by 5 metres high, based on an original design by Renzo Piano. Comprising a steel box section frame hung on heavy duty hinges, the doors are externally clad with ‘Z’ profile Louvres to blend in with the surrounding facade. The doors are designed to swing back and fold neatly away into recesses, allowing quick and easy access for deliveries and maintenance vehicles.

To facilitate safe and secure access to the underground car-park via two purpose-built car lifts, Levolux engineered and installed a custom aluminium motorised sliding gate, measuring 9400mm wide by 5300mm high. The sliding gate, designed by Renzo Piano, with its clean, modern appearance, moves smoothly, suspended from seven colour-coordinated yellow rollers. An intelligent control system prevents the gate from operating if physical force is applied or if an obstruction is detected and a manual over-ride ensures it can be operated in the event of a power failure.

The Screening Louvres, folding loading bay doors and sliding gate installed at ground floor level are all finished in a coordinated, cool grey semi-gloss powder coating, which contrasts with the red orange terracotta tiles above.

Elsewhere, at ground floor level on the residential block, Levolux installed a bank of steel, ‘Z’ profile, stackable Louvres, with a 50mm pitch, to conceal a naturally ventilated area, in which plant and equipment can operate efficiently. To complement the overall scheme, the steel Louvres were finished in a coordinated red orange powder coating, to match the terracotta cladding on adjacent elevations.

Completing the solution, Levolux installed 2,891 of its High Performance Roller Blinds throughout the commercial block, to control light and glare levels for office workers. The manually operated, bead chain Roller Blinds feature a white grey fabric with an openness factor of 5%.

The Central St Giles development is an iconic example of urban eco-architecture and has dramatically transformed the area around it. With its distinctive coloured terracotta tiles and bespoke Louvres, Gates and Blinds from Levolux, it demonstrates an effective blend of form and function.

For more information, visit www.levolux.com.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Levolux steps up at Ropemaker Place

Ropemaker Place in central London recently benefited from a comprehensive fit-out project and now boasts some innovative design features, including an internal application of Levolux’s Infiniti Fin system.

Designed in collaboration between the client and Clive Wilkinson architects, the fit-out applied to 6 interconnecting floors, all served by a full height atrium.

At ground floor level, a large reception and circulation area has been created. To complement the overall scheme, a striking Levolux screening solution has been applied at ceiling level, incorporating aerofoil-shaped Louvres.

Levolux’s Infiniti® Fin system had already been chosen as an internal screening solution for the ceiling in the atrium. Its impressive, uncompromised design stood out and the design team decided to incorporate the system at ground floor level.

A unique screening solution was devised for the new reception, comprising rows of 300mm wide aerofoil-shaped extruded aluminium Louvres, set at 300mm centres, angled at 45 degrees. Concealed fixings and discreet support arms allow the Louvres to appear weightless, suspended from steel struts.

The Louvres are arranged into a complex grid of triangular sections, which are intricately engineered to accommodate columns, sprinkler heads and lighting. The Louvred sections are also contoured to disguise a split-level ceiling, creating a continuous, flowing aesthetic.

The Infiniti® Fin system is an innovative, flexible system that accommodates a wide range of Louvres, which can be fixed horizontally or vertically and at almost any angle. With unique concealed fixings and an integral stainless steel locking plate, Louvres appear seamless, with uninterrupted lines, and can be cantilevered past the last support.

All Louvres installed by Levolux at Ropemaker Place, are finished in a white gloss powder coating, which ensures their striking good looks will be long-lasting and maintenance-free.

The successful application of internal screening Louvres at Ropemaker Place is testament to a carefully considered, collaborative design process, which enabled Levolux to deliver a ground-breaking installation.

To find out more, visit www.levolux.com.

Thursday, 12 January 2012

Controlling Solar Heat Gain

Control of solar heat gain is a central tenet of Approved Document L2A. It is recognised as a critical element on new-build and refurbishment projects, particularly on commercial buildings.

Solar shading devices are often specified to simply modify the daylight entering a building or to help reduce the glare potential of windows. Perhaps more importantly, they are required to control the admission of direct radiation from the sun. If this is the case, then the positioning and colour of shading devices has to be a key consideration.

Internal shading devices can only intercept the solar radiation which has already passed through the glass. A significant portion of the radiant energy striking an internal device is absorbed, some is convected and some is re-radiated into the room. This makes internal shading devices less effective for controlling solar heat gain than if they were applied externally.

External shading devices dissipate almost all of the convected and reradiated heat to the outside air. It is typical that the effectiveness of an external shading device is 30% greater than that of an internal one.

Dark coloured, internal Venetian blinds absorb 20% more heat than light coloured ones. With roller blinds the effect is even more pronounced and light colours give about 30% more protection than dark ones. When applied internally, bright metallic, white or light coloured solar shading devices should be used where possible, as they absorb less solar radiation and are less likely to re-radiate heat into the room or warm the air through convection.

Conversely, dark coloured external shading devices reflect less energy through the glass. The heat absorbed is lost by convection and re-radiation to the outside air. Therefore, dark coloured external shading devices perform better than light coloured ones.

Levolux thrives on the challenge of developing solar shading solutions, working to technically demanding specifications and designs. As the UK's leading solar shading specialists, Levolux has established itself as the architect's choice. For more information visit www.levolux.com.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Levolux thermal break bracket 'best in test'

Levolux’s new Triniti RF (Resin Fix) Bracket has been developed to satisfy the increasing demand for a thermally broken, retro-fitted curtain walling bracket. Building on the success of its original Triniti Bracket, Levolux has created a new bracket that can be applied to an existing curtain walled building, without removing the glazing.

Both the Triniti and Triniti RF brackets significantly reduce cold bridging, dampen vibrations and provide an incredibly strong fixing point for external Solar Shading. According to independent heat loss tests carried out at Bath University, the Triniti bracket performs 70% better than standard curtain walling brackets.

By eliminating the risk of interstitial condensation forming where the bracket punctures the mullion, harmful mould growth is prevented. The bracket also provides a vital barrier to audible noise energy being transmitted into the building structure, which can become a problem when Solar Shading is secured using standard curtain walling brackets.

To ensure new and refurbished buildings perform as efficiently as possible and comply with the latest building regulations, Solar Shading is an essential consideration. Now featuring a high performance, specially formulated acrylic resin, the Triniti RF bracket represents a major ‘break-through’ for architects and specifiers.

A retro-fitted Solar Shading solution can now be applied cost-effectively and with minimal disruption, without compromising a building’s existing structural integrity. Thanks to Levolux’s Triniti RF bracket, the application of Solar Shading just got a whole lot easier.

For more information, please visit www.levolux.com.

Monday, 9 January 2012

Levolux makes its mark on Stratford City

The latest flagship store for Marks and Spencer, at Westfield, Stratford City is turning heads, with a dual purpose state-of-the-art Solar Shading solution, courtesy of Levolux, the UK’s leading Solar Shading specialist.

M&S Stratford is one of the company’s largest stores, with 136,000 sq ft of selling space arranged over four floors. It is also one of the company’s most efficient stores, with a surprisingly small carbon footprint, thanks to some innovative, energy-efficient features. The concept design by Pentagram with implementation by TTG architects, has helped the building to achieve the company’s highest ever BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating.

The largest ever M&S Cafe juts out from the building’s prominent south-east facing elevation at first floor level, behind a glazed projection, allowing impressive views across east London. To prevent excessive solar heat gain, without loss of daylight, Levolux developed a Solar Shading solution based on its ever-popular Infiniti® Fin system.

The Levolux solution comprises 44 horizontal, rectangular section Fins, which cover an area measuring 35 metres wide, by 6.5 metres high. Each Fin measures 100mm deep, by 50mm high and is fixed at 1500mm centres. Working to a ground-breaking brief, Levolux adapted the design of the Solar Shading system, to allow it to perform a rather unusual function at night.

During the day, the Fins effectively shade the building, reducing the building’s need for artificial cooling and lighting systems. This helps to reduce running costs and improves the comfort of occupants.

When darkness descends, the Fins are transformed into a giant illuminated billboard, projecting the iconic M&S logo across the east London night sky. Formed from 326 individual LED lighting panels incorporated into the Fins, acrylic lenses are arranged to create a logo which measures 16.5 metres wide by 6.5 metres high.

The Infiniti Fin system features a patented design, with unique concealed fixings, allowing a clean, uncompromised aesthetic. The rectangular section Fins installed at M&S Stratford create an impressive external design feature, finished in a high gloss, gold coloured powder coating.

The M&S Stratford store is the second of the company’s Plan A ‘Sustainable Learning' stores to open. With the help of cutting-edge technologies, such as the innovative Solar Shading solution from Levolux, Marks and Spencer is on track to achieve its goal of becoming the world's most sustainable major retailer by 2015.

To find out more, visit www.levolux.com.