Virgin Atlantic Ltd, The Leonardo Building, Gatwick

BetaScreen 20 fabric used to reduce heat & glare in BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rated office building

Waverley’s electric roller blind system ShadeTech RBL-E with Betascreen 20 fabric was incorporated into this high specification office building located within the Crawley Business Quarter in Manor Royal, just south of Gatwick Airport. Designed by architects TP Bennett and built by Bowmer & Kirkland in 2015 the building was fully let to Virgin Atlantic Ltd, who engaged the specialist fit-out company Parkeray Ltd to fit-out the building.

Waverley’s solar shading expertise assisted Parkeray with meeting the brief, which was to create a modern office space that harnessed the latest technology while providing dynamic and flexible workspace for collaborative working. Parkeray asked Waverley to provide blinds to augment the building’s BREEAM ‘excellent’ sustainability credentials.  The solar shading must also take into account the client’s emphasis on employee health and well-being.

With a high percentage of the façade on this 110,000 sq ft building made up of glass, Parkeray enlisted the services of Waverley to provide high-performance blinds for offices that would provide protection against solar heat gain. Parkeray requested a solar shading system that would keep the building’s carbon footprint to a minimum by reducing the reliance on air conditioning in summer and heating in winter.  At the same time, the blinds must reduce glare for the building occupants and maintain a view of the outside world.

Betascreen 20 fabric reduces solar energy by half

A blind fabric that would improve energy efficiency, as well as the health and well-being of the office occupants, was required. Waverley generated detailed performance data taking into account the glass specification to ensure that effective glare control was provided, whilst still retaining high levels of natural light into the space and good through-vision.

Waverley ascertained that a fabric with reflective qualities would be required to effectively reduce heat and glare. Thanks to a white backing on the fabric, 55% of the solar energy entering a building through the glazing is reflected back towards the glazing.  This reduces the load on air conditioning plant in summer. Another advantage for the landlord and the architect is that a uniform look from the outside of the building is achieved regardless of the colour of the fabric.

Electric blinds give occupants greater functionality

Waverley used 4 motor relays with quiet motors, with all blinds operated from a single switch per floor. This enables security to raise and lower all blinds simultaneously as required. There are also localised wireless switches controlling each bay of blinds; the switches are programmed to have 3 intermediate stop positions with the alignment of adjacent blinds, for a consistent look from outside the property.

In addition, there is inbuilt flexibility so that groupings of blinds can be changed without re-wiring.

The end result is an inspiring working environment that boosts the health and well-being of the Virgin Atlantic staff and a building that produces minimal carbon emissions thanks to an intelligent solar shading system that reduces the effects of solar heat gain by over 80%.

To find out more about how to best meet the challenges of solar shading on your next project, book a CPD or arrange a meeting with a Waverley technical consultant.

Understand the numbers. Performance data of blind fabrics can be confusing. Read our blog post which explains what the various numbers are telling you.

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