Levolux’s Cool Look For Iconic Derby Tower

As part of a £13.5 million refurbishment project, Levolux was invited to help improve the energy efficiency and internal comfort levels of the University of Derby’s Kedleston Road site, with the application of an attractive Timber Fin Solar Shading System. Dating back to the early 1960’s, the Kedleston Road site includes three multi-storey towers, set on a hill to the north west of the city.

The iconic towers have helped establish the University as a centre of excellence for developing talent, which has contributed to economic growth in the East Midlands region. Thanks to a significant refurbishment project, the three towers have been updated and dramatically transformed, to create a more energy efficient, aesthetically impressive and comfortable environment for students and teachers alike.

Adjacent to the University’s main entrance, the South Tower is a dominant focal point of the campus, occupying a prominent south facing position. It provides almost 3500m2 of administration, meeting and teaching space over five floors.

As the third and final stage of the tower’s refurbishment project, which was conceived by London based architect, Tilney Shane, the South Tower now features a host of state-of-the-art, energy efficient features, including low E glazing and an integrated Timber Fin solar shading system from Levolux.

To combat the risk of excessive solar heat gain, through south facing, lower level windows, Levolux developed a custom solar shading system, comprising four rows of 450mm wide by 80mm deep, external Timber Fins. Installed horizontally along the building’s south east and south west elevations, the Timber Fins are fixed at an angle of 90 degrees and have a combined length of more than 52 metres.

The finger-jointed, laminated, aerofoil shaped Timber Fins reflect and absorb direct sunlight, before it passes through windows. This significantly reduces solar heat gain, which helps to maintain comfortable internal temperatures, with less need for expensive, energy-sapping air conditioning equipment.

Levolux secured the attractive Timber Fins to the structure using its unique Triniti® Bracket, which is a revolutionary solar shading support system for curtain walling. It is the only patented known bracket to have an integrated thermal and acoustic break and has been proven to be 70% more effective at reducing heat loss, than conventional curtain walling brackets. The exposed fixings and support arms have been given a dark grey powder coating, to complement the overall scheme.

The Timber Fins are engineered from Western Red Cedar, which is a lightweight, durable timber, requiring no application of a finish. Over time, the Timber Fins will adopt a silver-grey patina providing long-lasting good looks.

All timber used on this project was sustainably sourced and the Timber Fins, like all Solar Shading systems from Levolux, are backed by the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.

Combined with other energy efficient features, the Levolux Solar Shading system will help the University of Derby to achieve a significant reduction in its energy consumption, which will consolidate its status as one of the most highly rated higher education institutions in the country, for environmental performance.

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