The Millennium Gloucester Hotel occupies a prime spot in Kensington. The hotel’s facilities include a stunning conservatory function space designated to host dinner parties, weddings and large group events. After a detailed selection process, Millennium Hotels selected Waverley to design, supply and install a shading solution to the glass roof to improve the comfort of guests during events.
The hotel’s management team had identified the need to protect guests from excessive heat and glare in the large function room during the summer months. There were four existing shade ‘sails’ installed to the apex roof which were insufficient. Decorated with classic replica palm trees, the space had a pleasing tropical look but the glazed roof was creating tropical inside temperatures!
The health and environmental benefits of maximising natural daylight popularise the use of roof glazing and atria. However the high glazed roof was typical of a common challenge in the hospitality industry:
- How to continue to benefit from great natural light in the space whilst providing adequate protection from the uncomfortable negative effects of solar heat gain?
- How was a shading system going to be operated on horizontal and sloping glazing given that it is normally installed beyond reach from a standing position on the floor?
- How was a shading system going to be installed when excessive heights are involved? Atria glazing can be way beyond reach of step ladders and this was certainly no exception.
- How would contractors work around the giant palm trees which were remaining in the space? Use of scaffold towers and powered access equipment present a health & safety challenge as well as a logistical hurdle.
- How to carry out such works without too much disruption and loss of revenue?
A Two-Fold Solution
Waverley used two window treatments to meet the challenge presented by the hotel’s glazed roof.
Firstly a reflective window film was installed to the inside of the glass. This has a permanent heat reducing effect as the reflective coating creates a barrier to the short-wave radiation from the sun (commonly known as light), reducing the amount of light absorbed by the glass and being re-radiated as long wave radiation (commonly known as heat). [Read our blog to find out more]
Secondly, Waverley supplied and installed a series of ShadeTech® RBT-I Tensioned Roller Blinds with Mermet Satine 5500 screen fabric to provide further glare and heat reduction. Electrically operated from a wall mounted central switch, the blinds can be opened and closed effortlessly. The blinds were mounted to the glazing frames and run parallel to the glass in side channels. The side channels also conceal a tensioned cord system which keep the fabric taut at all times.
Mermet Satine 5500 fabric was chosen as it is sufficiently stable to be used on a tensioned system. The 3% openness factor of the weave provides adequate shade whilst still allowing a good degree of natural light into the space.
We also replaced the existing sails at the apex of the roof with fixed triangular shaped shade sails, also in Mermet Satine 5500 fabric.
Working at height in a fully operational hotel called for detailed planning and co-operation with the hotel’s facilities management staff. Mobile scaffold towers were used to gain access to the roof, which was over 10m from the floor at the highest point. The floor was protected against the scaffold with ply sheeting.
Each blind (some of which were over 3m wide) was lifted manually up to the roof space. Our installers are trained and certified in the safe use of scaffold towers.
We also employed our own specialist electrical sub-contractor to provide power outlets in the correct positions.
The film provides constant protection against heat build-up and the blinds can be raised and lowered to control the amount of natural daylight in the room. When in use, the blinds also improve the acoustics within the space.
The end result is an opulent function space that can be used confidently on even the hottest day. Guests can enjoy the tropical ambience in the conservatory among the palm trees, but now without tropical temperatures!