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Levolux just the solution for new research facility

When leading designers Nicholas Hare Architects Ltd required a shading solution to control the climate of the new, highly-glazed Richard Doll Building for the University of Oxford, who better than Levolux, the UK’s leader in the design, manufacture and installation of solar shading solutions, to provide the answer.

With the extensive use of glass on the building’s façade, an external shading solution was the obvious choice. Levolux, with their vast knowledge and experience in working on prestigious and landmark buildings, worked in partnership with Nicholas Hare Architects to achieve the right solution for the new medical research centre. As a result, Levolux designed and extruded a new one-piece 500mm rectangular shaped aluminium fin that was stacked vertically to allow natural light into the building whilst minimising solar heat gain.

Levolux also produced a bespoke and totally unique bank of vertically stacked lightweight tubular louvres – again extruded in one-piece aluminium, diameter 50mm diameter and positioned at 100mm intervals. This results in a screen that allows views out from inside the building, yet appears as an even, opaque mesh when viewed from afar.

The louvres, not only allow natural light into the building, but they also act as a safety balustrade designed to protect people working on the external maintenance walkways.

“With the new building set to house some of the world’s most pioneering clinical trials, it was paramount that the research staff and students had a working environment that matched their needs,” commented Paul Baxter, partner at Nicholas Hare Architects Ltd. “Levolux demonstrated that they had the ability and expertise to design a system of horizontal fins that would offer the necessary protection whilst complementing the modern design of the building.”

Virtually maintenance free, the system can be used on both new and existing buildings. Like all systems from Levolux, it is backed with the company’s design, manufacture and installation package and can be produced in a variety of finishes, including timber, glass, mill finished, anodised or polyester powder coated, to co-ordinate with the overall architectural design of any building. The fins are a non-retractable system that can be mounted at a fixed angle, adjustable, motorised or be fully automated with solar controls.

The Richard Doll Building is a new facility at Oxford University that will house a number of cutting-edge medical research departments. Funded by a Joint Infrastructure Fund grant, Cancer Research UK, British Heart Foundation and the university, the £19 million project began in January 2003 and has just been completed.

The building is named after Sir Richard Doll, the eminent scientist who discovered the link between smoking and cancer.

Email: Tracey.Lawrence@cfapr.com


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