Monday, 17 December 2012

Levolux sheds light on new technology

When Diamond Light Source opened in 2007, it impressed the scientific community, with its potential for advancing scientific research, and the architectural community, with its revolutionary Solar Shading solution, developed by Levolux.

Diamond Light Source is the UK’s national synchrotron facility, located at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in South Oxfordshire. The facility is used to produce very intense beams of x-rays, infrared and ultraviolet light, which enable scientists to study very small objects like molecules and atoms.

The impressive ‘doughnut’ shaped building, which was designed by Jacobs Architecture, represents the largest UK scientific investment for more than 45 years, occupying an area of around 45,000m2.
To ensure the building operates efficiently and to maintain optimum conditions for scientists to conduct their studies, Levolux was approached to develop a bespoke external Solar Shading solution.

The solution comprised rows of fabricated aluminium Louvres, fixed to curved supports with an innovative, integrated walk-on platform. The structure provides shade for the 2-storey building while creating a curved outer envelope which gives the building its distinctive ‘doughnut’ shape.
Fabricated aluminium Louvres vary in number, size and pitch around the circumference of the building, providing 235 metres of coverage. Depending on the size and orientation of glazed openings, Levolux applied its 600mm, 450mm or 75mm wide Louvres to ensure solar heat gain is minimised, while allowing natural daylight to penetrate deep into the building. 

As an alternative to single-piece extruded aluminium Louvres, Fabricated Fins allow for a perforated finish to be added, which softens the external aesthetic, maximises daylight levels and reduces the overall weight of the structure. 
Above the ground floor is a series of integral walkways, set behind the larger Louvres. Comprising ‘J’ tread elements the walkways not only contribute to shading performance, but also enable safe and convenient access to the exterior of the building for regular cleaning and maintenance.

Crispin Wride, Design Director at Jacobs Architecture was impressed with the results, commenting: “We worked closely with Levolux to develop a simple pragmatic system that provides solar protection for the naturally ventilated perimeter offices and laboratories, and access for cleaning and maintenance, whilst creating the dramatic external form.” 

Since it opened in 2007, scientists based at the Diamond Light Source have used the facility to help progress environmental, physical and life sciences. Equipped with a comprehensive Solar Shading solution, courtesy of Levolux, the facility boasts optimised environmental conditions that will support more progress in the years ahead. 

For more information, please visit

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Levolux earns its Spurs

The new Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre, which was completed this summer, is one of the most advanced and energy efficient facilities of its kind, with a state-of-the-art indoor training centre, equipped with a Solar Shading solution from Levolux.

Occupying a 67 acre site in Enfield, north London, the new development for Tottenham Hotspur Football Club provides world-leading facilities including two fully equipped gymnasiums, an indoor swimming pool and ancillary areas.

At the centre of the development is a 70 x 50 metre indoor artificial pitch enclosed within an arcing ETFE roof, similar to that used on the Eden Project biomes. The indoor pitch is linked to a two-storey ‘L’ shaped building, accommodating a First Team wing to the west and an Academy wing to the south.

The development, designed by KSS, is optimised to maximise natural daylight, while limiting solar heat gain. As the UK’s leading specialist, Levolux was invited to develop a custom external Solar Shading solution, comprising Aerofoil Fins, Ventilation and Screening Louvres, all formed from extruded aluminium.
Levolux’s Aerofoil Fins are designed to create an effective form of Brise Soleil, significantly reducing solar heat gain, while allowing daylight to filter through into the building and offering good outward visibility. Their sleek aerofoil-shaped profile ensures good airflow, even in high winds, preventing unwanted noise or vibrations from developing. 

Panelised Aerofoil Fins provide fixed shading to east-facing openings below the arcing ETFE roof of the 70 metre indoor pitch. In total 20 panels, each comprising 11 Fins secured between aluminium side-plates and spanning 3.5 metres, were supplied and fitted. The Fins, each measuring 400mm deep by 50mm thick, create a 4 metre deep shading canopy, projecting above ground floor windows.

Panelised Aerofoil Fins were also utilised on the First Team wing along its west-facing elevation. To prevent excessive solar heat gain in the gymnasium, which has a double-height glazed fa├žade, Levolux installed 6 vertical stacks of horizontal Aerofoil Fins. Each stack comprises 9 Fins, secured between aluminium side-plates, with a span of 5.4 metres. Each Fin, measuring 400mm deep by 77mm thick, is angled at 30 degrees to provide optimum shading.

Where applied as a vertical stack, Fins are secured to the structure using Levolux’s revolutionary Triniti® bracket, which is the only curtain walling bracket that is proven to virtually eliminate cold bridging, preventing interstitial condensation and minimising transmission of noise into the building.  

To complete the solution, Levolux provided its ‘S’ profile Ventilation Louvres to screen plantrooms on both the First Team and Academy wings, applied to west and south-facing elevations, respectively. The Louvres were chosen for their excellent airflow, attractive appearance and impressive weatherability.
Louvred facades extend up to 12.5 metres in length, while their height is contoured to follow the roof line, ranging from just 400mm up to 4 metres. Formed from extruded aluminium components and backed by bird mesh, the Louvres are pitched at 75mm and incorporate double and single Louvred doors.

Levolux’s XL Screening Louvres, with their ‘Z’ profile, were installed above the First Team kitchen at roof level, to conceal unsightly plant and equipment. The vertical screen extends to almost 50 metres in length, with a maximum height of 1.5 metres. An integral access hatch is included, measuring 1000mm high by 1000mm wide, to facilitate access for servicing and maintenance.

All aluminium components have been treated with a durable grey or white polyester powder coating, for long lasting good looks.

Completed ahead of the 2012/2013 season, Tottenham Hotspur FC’s new Training Centre becomes the new home for the Club’s First Team and its Youth Academy. By embracing future-proof, energy efficient technology, such as the passive Solar Shading solution from Levolux, the Club is now better equipped to deliver success, both on and off the field.

For more information, visit