Friday, 10 February 2012

Levolux shows why bigger, can be better

Still the world’s largest single-piece extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fin!?

These Fins are an incredible 700mm wide and span a massive 9 metres. Together with a series of motorised fabricated, perforated fins measuring up to 10.5 metres long and 1 metre wide, this ground-breaking installation helped a state-of-the-art speculative office building to meet its objective of providing occupants with the perfect internal working environment.


Chiswick Park is one of the UK's largest business parks, developed by Stanhope plc which, once complete, will consist of 12 office buildings ranging in size from 81,000 sq ft up to 332,000 sq ft. The buildings are designed to achieve a BREEAM rating of 'Excellent', offering a large floor plate that allows for maximum use of natural daylight. The scheme has won several national awards for both the quality and design of the offices and also for the extensive landscaping of the office campus. 

Building 5 was the seventh building to be completed at the development, providing 140,000 sq ft of office space and 14,000 sq ft of retail space. Stanhope, Richard Rogers Partnership and Arups wanted to improve on the performance of previous buildings – and so enlisted the help of Levolux, market leader in the design, manufacture and installation of solar shading solutions.

The design team pushed forward the boundaries of external solar control by creating a solution to work with the low energy displacement air system and maximise its effectiveness at cooling the building in a sustainable way. The solution also had to be unobtrusive so that views from the building’s interior across the landscaped gardens were not obscured.

Using its unrivalled knowledge of Solar Shading, Levolux collaborated with the design team to design a new solution. As a result, the world’s largest single-piece extruded aluminium Aerofoil Fin and a new motorised perforated, fabricated Fin were born.


The single piece extruded Fins, measuring 9 metres long and 700mm wide, were fitted as a fixed canopy at roof level, providing protection to the south and east elevations.

The motorised, perforated, 1 metre wide fabricated Fins were fitted along the south and east elevations running from roof level to the first floor level. The completed installation comprised a total of 191 Fins, providing an effective method of reducing solar heat gain whilst still allowing natural light to penetrate the building through the perforated aluminium surface.

To enable the low energy displacement air system for cooling to meet its full potential, Levolux also installed a control system allowing the motorised Fins on the south, east and west elevations to accurately stay ahead of the sun and shade the building during the day.

The control system, programmed with accurate details of the buildings position and orientation together with the sun’s position and movements, gradually tilts the Fins to provide precise solar control throughout the day. It adjusts to account for varying weather conditions to create a comfortable interior environment without the need for integration to a Building Management System (BMS).

With the ability to span such large distances, the 9 metre and 10.5 metre long fins significantly reduce the need for structural support and fixing elements. This ensures that the views from inside the building are uninterrupted and the external aesthetics of the building remain uncompromised and less cluttered.

The giant Fins, developed specifically for Building 5, ensure that it offers occupants a truly comfortable, sustainable and aesthetically pleasing working environment.

Like all systems offered by Levolux, the 700mm wide extruded Aerofoil Fin is backed with the company’s design, manufacture and installation package.

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

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