Lighting up European design

The new sports facility at Maldegem in Belgium is another example of how the Kalwall daylight diffusing system is being specified for many different kinds of applications across Europe. It is particularly popular in sports and leisure buildings, swimming pools and schools.

Designed by Van Acker & Partners in collaboration with Arcadis, as the result of a limited competition, this is a remarkable building of perfect synergy and sustainability where modern building technology is used to create the ideal playing conditions. 

The building’s north south orientation was specifically designed to exploit in full the use of renewable energy such as solar and daylighting. To combat glare in the 48 x 34m main sports hall, Kalwall was chosen because of its unique light transmission as well as its high levels of impact resistance, good insulation and low maintenance.  Consequently, say the users, the sports hall generates a very happy and pleasant atmosphere.

The Kalwall translucent cladding not only diffuses natural daylight deep into the sports hall, which can be divided into three playing areas, but creates perfect playing conditions by eliminating glare and shadows. The even distribution of light allows players to distinguish markings on the floor as well as to easily spot balls and shuttlecocks.

This solution also means that there is no need for blinds, curtains or external shading. With increased natural daylight and resistance to solar gain, energy-consuming artificial lighting and air-conditioning costs are dramatically reduced. 

Technically, the translucent panels are highly insulating, with U-values as low as 0.56W/m2K or further increasing to 0.28W/m2K when an aerogel is added within the panels.  

Kalwall is distributed in England, Wales and Northern Ireland by Structura UK, a leading supplier, fabricator and installer of glass curtain walling, rainscreens, glass atria, windows and other architectural glass building products.

The company has recently had all three of its ISO certifications successfully renewed for three years: OHSAS 18001 Health and Safety Management, ISO 14001 Environmental Management certification and ISO 9001 Quality Management certification.

Apart from being specified for all types of new build, Kalwall is increasingly used for the refurbishment of cladding or rooflights on aged buildings.