Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Levolux secures Blinds at Victoria

When office workers move into the new landmark office development at 62 Buckingham Gate, in London’s Victoria district, they’ll be relieved to find that each of its eleven floors is equipped with Levolux’s 760SX controlled ascent Roller Blinds.

As the UK’s leading solar shading specialist, Levolux was approached to supply and install more than 1,500 manual Roller Blinds to eleven floors of this BREEAM ‘excellent’ rated development. Having already impressed with its delivery of a custom roof screening enclosure with integrated photovoltaic panels, Levolux was the natural choice to fulfil the internal solar shading requirements.
62 Buckingham Gate is central to Land Securities’ regeneration of Victoria, which will transform an area stretching east from Victoria Station, along Victoria Street. It is an eleven storey mixed-use development, offering 256,970 sq ft of prime office space, with 15,250 sq ft reserved for street level shops and restaurants.

Designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli and Swanke Hayden Connell architects, the new development boasts surprisingly large floor plates, with floor to ceiling glazing allowing daylight to penetrate into the core of the building.

Unlike traditional office buildings, which tend to have a uniform external envelope with a vertical facade, 62 Buckingham Gate resembles a prism-like structure with a multifaceted glazed façade, accommodating fine creases or folds, and tilting planes.
The tilting and tapered nature of the glazing on each floor is unique and introduced a challenging 3-dimensional aspect to overcome when designing the position and deployment of each Roller Blind, particularly when negotiating corners and crease lines. A bespoke bottom bar retainer has been used to incline each Blind inwards or outwards, as required to bring the Blinds into alignment with the glazed envelope.
Once each Roller Blind has been lowered to the desired position, the bottom bar and bead chain are then hooked into place to secure the blind. Each Blind is fitted with an automatic braking system to prevent excessive stress on components. A controlled ascent feature raises the Blinds automatically should the bottom bar and bead chain become disengaged from the retainer.
The fabric selected for the Blinds provides the optimum balance between transmitting and reflecting light energy to maximise daylight levels, reduce glare and to control solar heat gain. The cool grey fabric, with its 3% openness factor, allows occupants to maintain visual contact with the outside environment, which is proven to create a healthy and productive working environment.

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

Monday, 12 August 2013

Levolux gets on top in New York

Dating back to 1842, Topping Rose House hotel in Bridgehampton, New York, now boasts a new ‘studio’ building and four luxury cottages, all equipped with an attractive Timber Fin solar shading and screening solution from Levolux.

The beautifully restored Greek revival style mansion house, formerly a home of Judge Abraham Topping Rose and his family, is now complemented by a series of new buildings, offering luxury spa and leisure facilities, event space and guest accommodation. It has been transformed into a modern luxury refuge right in the heart of the Hamptons, just a short drive from Long Island’s long sandy beaches.

As a global leader in the design and delivery of solar shading and screening solutions, Levolux was invited to work closely with acclaimed architects from Roger Ferris + Partners, to provide solar control and privacy screening for the new buildings.

The ‘studio’ building and cottages required an effective, yet sympathetic form of solar control, applied externally across glazed openings. This reduces the exposure of glazing to direct sunlight, helping to maintain a cool and comfortable interior even on a hot summer’s day. Thanks to the pitch and angle of the Fins, this is achieved without compromising daylight levels and outward visibility.

Due to their naturally attractive appearance and to satisfy sustainability criteria, Timber Fins were selected to screen each building from top to bottom.

Manufactured from Western Red Cedar, Timber Fins were supplied with a custom ‘rhomboid’ shaped profile. The Fins, each measuring 150mm wide by 45mm thick, are arranged horizontally, incorporated into vertical and horizontal panels. 

In total, 96 vertical panels have been applied extensively across the ‘studio’ building and the four cottages. Each panel comprises Fins with typical spans of 1.3 metres set at a pitch of 145mm.

Timber Fins extend up and across the two-storey ‘studio’ building on two elevations. Similarly, Timber Fins are used to screen each cottage, although here they extend upwards to form a 1 metre high balustrade, encircling a private roof terrace.

Individual Timber Fins incorporated into vertical panels are fixed at an angle of 5 degrees from horizontal, which allows rainwater to run off the facade, away from the building. By preventing water from pooling on the Fins, the timber will weather evenly, for a consistent appearance. The ‘rhomboid’ shaped profile ensures Fins can be angled, while front and rear surfaces remain vertical.

Timber Fins have also been incorporated into 20 horizontal panels that form two shading canopies, applied to the north and south-facing elevations of the ‘studio’ building. Each canopy measures 14 metres in length, 150mm thick and projects 1.3 metres from the glazed façade.

The Timber Fins within each canopy are fixed on edge at 145mm centres, creating an effective form of Brise Soleil above ground floor openings.

The Western Red Cedar timber supplied by Levolux is FSC-certified, derived from sustainable sources, with a full chain of custody. The material was selected based on its lightweight, durable characteristics and its natural aesthetic. Over time the Timber Fins will acquire an attractive, silvery grey patina.

All aluminium components, including the supporting mullions and fascias, have been given a striking silver anodised finish. Steel brackets were galvanised and treated with a durable light grey polyester powder coating.

Topping Rose House, with its distinctive Greek revival styling, offers a rare glimpse of American architecture from the early 19th century, which became so popular during that period.

The recent addition of the ‘studio’ building and four cottages, which all feature external solar control and privacy screens, courtesy of Levolux, is perhaps indicative of a more sustainable style of architecture, which promises to become just as popular in the 21st century. 

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