The Leonardo Building is a high specification ‘Grade A’ office development located within the Crawley Business Quarter just south of Gatwick Airport. Comprising 110,000 sq ft over 4 storeys, the building has an efficient core layout and design, with virtually column-free floor plates. The building was designed by tp bennett and originally constructed by Bowmer & Kirkland for developer Abstract. It was then fully let to Virgin Atlantic Ltd, who engaged Parkeray to fit out the space.
Parkeray’s brief was to create a modern office space, harnessing the latest technology while providing dynamic and flexible workspace for collaborative working. With the target of BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC ‘B’ rating, Waverley were asked to provide solar shading to augment the required sustainability credentials, whilst taking into account the client’s emphasis on employee health and wellbeing.
With a high percentage of the façade of this building made of glass, the client needed high performance blinds that would provide protection to office users from undue solar heat gain. Parkeray requested a solar shading system that would keep the building’s carbon footprint to a minimum, reducing the reliance on air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. At the same time, the blinds had to reduce glare for the building occupants but maintain the view of the outside world.
A blind fabric that would improve energy efficiency, as well as the health and well-being of the office occupants, was required. We 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.
A blind fabric that reduces solar energy by half
A fabric with reflective qualities would be required to effectively reduce heat and glare. Thanks to a white backing on our BetaScreen 20 fabric, 55% of the solar energy entering a building through the glazing is reflected back through the glazing. This potentially reduces energy consumption and another advantage is that the blinds present a uniform look on the outside of the building, regardless of the colour choice inside.
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 or facilities management 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 on the outside of the building. In addition, there is in-built 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 wellbeing of the Virgin Atlantic office staff and a building that produces minimal carbon emissions, thanks to an intelligent solar shading system reducing the effects of solar heat gain by over 80%.
The Leonardo Building also achieved BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC ‘B’ ratings.