DAYLIGHTING Magazine issue 15 March/April 2019

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Issue 15 March/April 2019



The rooflighting resource NEW WEBSITE • Technical Information • CPD materials • Case studies • Manufacturer listings • News & articles • Rooflight gallery • Membership criteria





Editor’s Comment


DAYLIGHTING is published by: Bennett & Partners Pure Offices Lake View House Tournament Fields Warwick CV34 6RG United Kingdom TEL: +44 (0)1295 711666


Daylighting in Education


Scott Leeder of VELUX Commercial looks at key considerations for architects & developers


Derby Roundhouse: How a historic railway roundhouse was transformed into an educational facility 18

Industry News


New Projects


NARM Daylight Diary Updates from the UK’s influential trade association for rooflight manufacturers


AD SALES adsales@bennettand Tel: 01295 711666

Keeping the Light on Northern Ireland’s Building Boom, by Adrian Poucher, Partner, Malcolm Hollis, Belfast 21

DESIGN/PRODUCTION production@bennettand Tel: 01295 711666

Company Profile: MBS Software


Rights to Light


26 36

Industrial Rooflights

The Core Shopping Centre, Calgary

How a ‘Hole’ in your roof can help: better buildings with BREEAM rated rooflights by John Godley of Hambleside Danelaw



Daylighting Icons

Twitterings What’s trending on social media?


More about DAYLIGHTING Magazine Back issues & media information

EDITOR Paul Bennett Tel: 01295 711666 Mobile: 07900 895110


Daylighting in Transport Buildings Why polycarbonate glazing is meeting the needs of the rail industry, by Vicky Evans of Twinfix 30 Gideon Sykes outlines the recent refurbishment of rooflights at Heathrow’s Terminal 4 32


Solar Shading Guthrie Douglas uses technical expertise to reduce cooling demands in a rooftop bar

CIRCULATION Daylighting is available by email, free of charge to subscribers, by logging on at Free access is also available via our website and social media. Average impressions per issue are approximately 5,900, however this varies according to social media activity. Our readership is predominantly UK architects, specifiers, contractors, consultants and roofing professionals. Full details are available on our website. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of content, the publisher does not accept liability for errors. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. This publication contains editorial photographs which may have been supplied and paid for by suppliers. Full terms and conditions can be found on our website.


Front cover: Daylighting in Education – feature on page 14

Mar/Apr 2019


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Thriving on chaos?.. the construction industry and the ‘B’ word We’re now into our third year of publication. The term Brexit was coined well before our first issue, and yet here we are, still none the wiser as to whether the UK is in or out, or what forms our future trading relationships with Europe and the rest of the world will take. I suspect like many of you, I have been concerned about the potential effects of Brexit on the economy and specifically on our construction industry. The good news is that despite all the ongoing uncertainty, most sectors seem resilient – and some are even experiencing ‘boom’ times. An example of this is highlighted in Adrian Poucher’s Right to Light article in this issue, which covers the current office boom being experienced in Belfast. He states that: “investment by large companies shows no signs of slowing down. Belfast is considered the third fastest growing office market in the world”. Furthermore, it would appear that this is not an isolated case. Many of our advertisers and clients are also experiencing full order books and high activity levels.

So, what are we all to make of it? ...and how will the situation be affected if and when the UK actually leaves the EU, with or without a deal? I’m no economist and don’t have access to a crystal ball, but I’m starting to think that maybe the industry actually thrives on a bit of uncertainty and upheaval. Maybe it makes individuals more attuned to their tasks, more alert and able to adapt to changing circumstances. In truth, I’m heartily sick of the whole Bexit furore and I’m sure I’m not alone in that. I’m hopeful that some kind of a decision will be made within the coming days and we can all get back to talking about the weather.

Paul Bennett

However, if there has been an upside to the whole mess, it’s that maybe we’re all simply evolving to cope better with chaos – and in the long term that may prove to be a silver lining. If and when times do become more predictable, our industry will be in good shape. How we might adapt to the concept of certainty though, is another matter!

Issue 11 July/August 2018

Don’t forget, back issues are always available to read on-line at

Issue 4 May/Jun 2017




Previous issues of DAYLIGHTING Magazine will be available on-line indefinitely. So you can refer back to old issues whenever you like. It’s also on our ‘to-do’ list to set up a features index, so if you can’t remember in which issue you read that fascinating feature about XYZ, you’ll be able to find it in a moment.



Mar/Apr 2019



Vetrotech Saint-Gobain doubles production output within the UK

Vetrotech announces the take-over of operations of the Contraflam production line located in Coventry, which was formerly operated by Saint-Gobain Glassolutions. With its integration within Vetrotech, the specialised “Business Unit” dedicated to fire resistant and high-security glass products in Saint-Gobain, the company unites its UK sales organisation and production under its direct management. On the production line inaugurated back in 2010, the company now plans to further expand the range of “made in Britain” fire resistant glass products to ensure reliable lead times and maintain a high quality of service quality and customer care. Led by an experienced production team, already the site has increased its labour force by over 100% and doubled production output to ensure increased available capacity to its customers. Vetrotech is not only boosting production capability and the


Mar/Apr 2019

standard of service to their customers, but they are also boosting the local economy at a time when uncertainty is rife, thus firmly asserting their commitment to the UK and its heightening demands for reliable, durable and sustainable fire safety solutions. “I’m very proud to unite customer service and production under one roof, ensuring reliable lead times and maintaining the highest levels of service. This move is a powerful sign and demonstrates Vetrotech’s strong commitment for the business location in Coventry and production in the UK. With this integration, the Coventry site becomes 1 of 5 dedicated production facilities for Vetrotech in the European market”, says Rob Wood, Branch Office Manager of Vetrotech Saint-Gobain UK. Founded in 1980, Vetrotech was the first company to be uniquely specialised in the development, manufacture and distribution of sustainable fire-resistant and high-security glass of the highest resistance classes. First entering into the UK market in 1986 and

later producing in Coventry for coming up on ten years, Vetrotech has a well-established history and local presence, known for premium quality fire-resistant and high-security glass solutions, combined with multifunctionality that satisfy the highest requirements of their customers. The facility, located in Coventry, produces the leading industry brand “Contraflam” for the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Continental European markets. Containing a transparent, intumescent interlayer that becomes opaque and acts as a heat shield in the event of a fire. The Contraflam family of products offers fire resistive performance to E/EW and EI classifications from 30 up to 120 minutes. Variants include Contraflam Lite and Contraflam Structure, its patented “butt-joint” solution. This step is part of Vetrotech’s strategy to achieve sustained growth within the UK and assure customer service to the highest standard.


New Chairman & Vice Chairman at NARM

New rooflighting website provides easy access to independent specification data NARM, the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, has launched a new website which it claims “offers the most comprehensive independent source of technical information for rooflight specifiers”.

Jim Lowther

Tom Ogilvie

NARM, the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers, has elected Jim Lowther of Xtralite as Chairman at its recent council election. Jim replaces Tom Ogilvie, who now occupies the Vice Chairman role.

been more at the forefront of architecture than it is today; as an abundant, renewable natural resource it is increasingly recognised to have a major impact on our wellbeing and also on the environmental impact of the buildings we occupy. As a result, our industry is changing fast and NARM has an important role to help identify and encourage the spread of best practice. Brett Martin Daylight Systems is a founder member of NARM and I’m pleased to be able to continue to support its work as Vice Chairman.”

Jim said: “I’m delighted to take on this new challenge at NARM. As an active member of the Council for many years and former Vice-Chairman, I’m closely involved with the Association’s ongoing work and I look forward to playing an increased role in NARM’s mission to support excellence and innovation in the provision of natural daylight via rooflights.” He continued: “NARM plays an important role in establishing definitions and standards pertaining to rooflighting, working with member companies, partner organistions and legislative bodies. For example, NARM technical representatives have liaised with DCLG and the Industry Advisory Groups that worked on development of Part L Building Regulations.” Vice Chairman Tom Ogilvie, said: “Daylighting has never

NARM officers are nominated and voted for by the membership, in regular council elections, the Chairmanship being a two year position. Other officers elected in the 2019 election are: Bill Hawker of Brett Martin Daylight Systems –Technical; Jeremy Dunn of Glazing Vision – Product Standards; Ian Weakford of Hambleside Danelaw – Marketing; Mark Wilcox of Filon Products – Safety & ACR Representative; Terry Tume of Coxdome – Council Member; and Chris Avery of Hambleside Danelaw – Treasurer.

The National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers is an active and influential trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of all types of rooflights into the UK market. Its purpose is to identify and promote best practice in rooflight specification, installation, maintenance and safety. The new site provides easy access to the association’s complete library of technical documents, ‘quickguides’ and case studies, as well as providing listings of member companies, latest news and a comprehensive rooflight gallery, with sector categories. Full membership criteria for rooflight suppliers interested in NARM membership, is also available on the new website.

Mar/Apr 2019



New 3D BIM service for window & door sealing

Foam tape sealing company ISO CHEMIE has extended the scope of its specialist services with the launch of new 3D BIM (Building Information Modelling) technology. The move will enable architects and designers to integrate high quality scaled digital information around window and door sealing solutions as part of their 3D visualisations and client presentations. BIM is playing an increasingly significant role in the design and delivery of large and complex fenestration projects and installations in the UK. Product information and specification data from the company’s joint sealing tapes, multi-function joint sealing tapes and in-front-of-wall installation systems such as Winframer will be available initially for downloading free as BIM-ready items via www.portal.iso-chemie. eu or an external database. It can also be used in CAD software such as ‘Autodesk Revit, while an electronic CAD product catalogue will be available as a supplement to this as more products are

at the planning stage. The new service will facilitate the planning, delivery and management of window and door design and installations using a common data model for all participants. All the relevant building data is digitally recorded, combined and interlinked in a model. Andy Swift, ISO CHEMIE’s UK national sales manager, said the scope of 3D BIM is expected to expand as the service gains traction among existing and new customers. He added: “It’s important that clear information is made available to those involved in the fenestration design, specification and supply sectors. Linking this to the 3D visualisation of plans and drawings delivers new levels of accuracy. “If a window needs replacing in the future, it will be clearly identifiable which products were originally used and the affected component connections. Renovation and refurbishment projects can therefore be planned more efficiently and carried out under controlled conditions.”

Lareine Engineering among first to gain new smoke control certification Lareine Engineering, the rooflighting & ventilation specialist, has gained approval under the new SDI 19 certification scheme, which has been developed by the Smoke Control Association (SCA) in partnership with IFC Certification. The standard is now a mandatory condition for SCA membership, reflecting the high importance being placed upon it by the industry. Lareine Engineering is one of only five companies in the UK to have been approved to date. Approval under the scheme ensures that competency is maintained in all aspects of the provision of smoke control. To achieve certification, businesses must demonstrate experience in fire strategy verification together with the design, installation and commissioning of smoke control systems in accordance with the relevant standards and guidance documents, including: Approved Document B and BS 7346 Parts 4, 5, 7 and 8. The scheme also recognises the ability of the certified business to provide appropriate subsequent levels of service and maintenance, in respect of building type, size and usage. The certification process involves comprehensive internal office and external site audits. www.


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As one of the UK’s leading and longest established suppliers of rooflighting, smoke and natural ventilation solutions, we’re no strangers to innovation and change. Following our move to larger manufacturing premises in 2017, this year sees the Company developing into another exciting new phase, with: • a new Midlands Sales & Customer Support Centre; • new and developing manufacturing partnerships with WindowMaster and Kingspan Light+Air • and the imminent establishment of a new Service & Maintenance Division. We’re investing in new resources and new skills to deliver more of what we do best: outstanding solutions for brighter, safer and more comfortable buildings in every sector.

The Daylighting & Ventilation Specialists Head Office: 01506 448140 Midlands Centre: 01788 579307 E


VELUX Roof Window Award winner announced HYVE Architects will receive £2,000 in prize money and a VELUX curved glass rooflight to use in their next project. HYVE Architects’ beautiful bothy conversion in Crawton was the unanimous favourite of this year’s judging panel. Using VELUX roof windows in the original structure’s gable, HYVE Architects were able to achieve maximum light deep into the converted space.

Nether Cowieswells by HYVE Architects announced as the Winner of the 2018 VELUX Roof Window Award. Nether Cowieswells in Crawton, Aberdeenshire – designed by HYVE Architects – has been

named the winner of the 2018 VELUX Roof Window Award. Judged by a panel of some of the UK’s leading architects, this exciting competition sought to reward inventive and modern designs that use VELUX roof window products.

Jane Duncan, former president of the RIBA, said Nether Cowieswells is the, “Most simple and elegant of remodeling projects which subtly introduces the wonderful local light through VELUX roof windows to enhance the clarity of the spaces.” For more information, please visit http://designcompetition.

Kawneer boosts London presence David Rees is the new architectural adviser for the SouthEast. He joins the company with 35 years of construction sales expertise, most recently on the glazing systems side. He has also worked in the façade panelling, bathroom pod and concrete and brick sectors as well as e-commerce and communication systems. Architectural aluminium glazing systems manufacturer Kawneer has announced two new appointments, to further enhance its service to architects in the capital and the South-East. David Scott will work closely with designers as Kawneer’s proposals


Mar/Apr 2019

engineer for London. He brings 11 years of construction experience with him, most recently with a façade contractor. He has studied civil engineering and recently achieved a Distinction MSc in BIM and Integrated Design from the University of Salford.

Kawneer’s London office in the heart of Soho, which supports its state-of-the-art manufacturing facility in Runcorn, Cheshire, was designed to enable capital-based specifiers to get up close and personal with samples of the company’s curtain walling, window and door systems.


BSI Fire and Construction Industry Conference

National Construction Expo Milton Keynes

BSI is holding its 11th fire safety conference in Edinburgh on 21st May 2019 for all individuals and organisations with an interest in fire and construction safety.

The National Construction Expo is a conference and expo being held on May 1st 2019 in the Marshal Arena, Milton Keynes.

The conference features leading experts from the fire and construction industry sector and the programme will include: • Overview on implementing changes the current system, following Hackitt • Fire Safety – Changes to Approved Document B • Fire evacuation techniques in tall buildings

aspects of tall buildings viewed by an insurer? • The role of standards in Scottish regulation • Facade testing

Speakers: Scott Steedman, Ian Moore, Chandru Dissanayeke, James Lavender, Adreena Parkin-Coates, Stuart Lloyd, Gary Howe, David Bell, Clyde Ashby, Michael Spearpoint, Nigel Hiorns, Debbie Smith

Key Topics Include: Planning, Facility Management, Energy Efficiency, Smart Buildings & Cities, Transport, Regulations & Policy, Sustainability, Identifying Projects & How to Win Them, Investment Outlook, Infrastructure, Energy Projects, Municipal and Government Projects, Industrial Projects, Technology & Innovation, Building materials & more.

More information is available at


Date: Tuesday 21st May 2019 Location: Hilton Edinburgh Carlton

• How are fire-related

Light for life

Daylight by Xtralite Specialists for over 25 years, Xtralite offers rooflights in every conceivable shape and size. From traditional to modern including a bespoke design service with responsive support. British made to the highest quality standards you are assured of excellent quality standards, thermal performance and safety compliance. Contact us now for your free design consultation. Call 01670 354 157 or visit

NEW PROJECTS Abbey Hill Academy, Stockton-on-Tees The Abbey Hill Academy in Stockton-on-Tees is an educational establishment for students aged 11-16 with learning difficulties and disabilities. As part of a recent refurbishment programme, Xtraltite installed four thermally enhanced selfsupporting 20m x 2.2m rooflights, one measuring 9 x 2.2m and other elements from the Company’s X-Span range of products. All were double glazed with a toughened outer and laminated internal glass. The Proton Beam Therapy (PBT) centre at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester One of the most complex and precise projects in the history of the NHS, this pioneering healthcare building features Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling, which has 50mm sightlines, and thermally advanced AA°720 top-hung casement windows which feature a BRE Green Guide ‘A’ rated frame.


Mar/Apr 2019

NEW PROJECTS Private Home East London This side extension features a glazed roof using Lonsdale thermally broken aluminium glazing bars on top of 150 x 50 structural oak joists. The timber was recessed, allowing the base of the aluminium glazing bar to sit inside the top of the rafters so only timber is visible up to the glass line from inside. www.lonsdalemetal.

Wixams Retirement Village, near Bedford Three sections of this construction project benefitted from Xtralite roofing solutions and its X-Span range of rooflights. The Winter Garden residential area, which is a single glazed atrium over a five storey building.The Village Centre roof itself benefitted from argon filled double glazed panels and the selfsupporting trapezium styled entrance canopy had single glazed panels from the X-Span range.

Mar/Apr 2019



Highlighting the importance of natural light in education Scott Leeder, Director at VELUX Commercial GB & IRE, looks at the key considerations architects and developers should make to maximise the benefits of natural light and ventilation in educational facilities.

“For years, academics have researched the impact that educational buildings have on a student’s ability, attainment and aspiration. A report conducted by Professor Peter Barrett and his team of design experts at the University of Salford, showed clear evidence that differences in the physical characteristics of teaching spaces explained 16% of the variation in learning progress over a year*. The findings outlined in the HEAD Project (Holistic Evidence and Design)* also revealed that certain elements, including daylight, temperature and indoor air quality, are intrinsic to improving learning in the classroom. The report found that more daylight


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and fresh air, as part of an optimised teaching environment, can increase learning capacity by up to 8%. Several studies from across the world have also shown a positive correlation between the size of classroom windows and how well students perform on mathematics, logic and reading tests. Poor indoor air quality due to lack of ventilation has also been shown to seriously inhibit concentration and overall performance, as well as increasing absenteeism due to illness. As children spend up to 90% of their day indoors, with much of that time spent within a classroom, it’s understandable that the design of

Above left, right and following page: The Grade II Listed Hawthorn Engineering Works in Newcastle upon Tyne, is a great example of an education establishment that benefits from high optimum levels of natural light. The building forms part of the £12m pioneering new city centre University Technical College (UTC).


Mar/Apr 2019


DAYLIGHTING IN EDUCATION these spaces matter. A very effective method of ensuring optimum levels of natural light and ventilation, is to incorporate rooflights or skylights into the building design. Skylights are uniquely able to provide natural light and fresh air to deeper layouts, such as classrooms, lecture halls and common areas, where the size and shape of the space does not allow for adequate lighting through façade windows alone. Developed in collaboration with renowned architects Foster + Partners, VELUX Commercial Modular Skylights are completely prefabricated offsite, which makes installation on site up to three times faster than traditional rooflight systems. The modules simply click into place and can be fitted together in minutes, minimising time spent on the roof and ensuring a watertight seal is achieved exceptionally quickly, so rain won’t hold up the installation. This is vital for educational builds, where time and budget constraints can put strain on schedulers and builders alike.

Brighter builds The Grade II Listed Hawthorn Engineering Works in Newcastle upon Tyne, is a great example of an education establishment that benefits from high optimum levels of natural light. The building forms part of the £12m pioneering new city centre University Technical College (UTC). The college specialises in IT and Health Science courses for 14-19 year olds and forms the latest part of the £200m Stephenson Quarter in Newcastle city centre. Based on the site of George Stephenson’s Locomotive yard, where the Rocket was built in 1829, the college incorporates both a new build element and renovation. The concept behind the development was to construct a four-and-a-half storey


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teaching block next to the retained and refurbished Grade II Listed building. A key requirement of the design was high levels of natural light and ventilation. The existing roof on the Hawthorn building, which had originally been fitted with basic linear slot glazing, had fallen into disrepair and so it was agreed that it should be replaced, while retaining as much of the original timber structure as possible. It was felt that maintaining the lines of the original rooflights would enhance the internal space and so the focus was on identifying a system that would sit harmoniously with the roof aesthetic of reclaimed slate and traditional lead work.

The Grade II Listed Hawthorn Engineering Works in Newcastle upon Tyne, is a great example of an education establishment that benefits from high optimum levels of natural light.

The architects were also looking for a rooflight system that could be used as longlights on the main UTC building and linking structure. They overcame the challenge by incorporating VELUX Modular Skylights as fixed and natural ventilation longlights, ensuring that the internal space of the Hawthorn building, ‘link’ structure and laboratories in the main college are now naturally lit and delivered controlled natural ventilation throughout the day.

Summary The design of schools, colleges and universities have a profound effect on the health, wellbeing and academic attainment of students and as access to natural light and ventilation are key elements. To highlight this and the benefits of modular products in the design and construction of educational facilities, we recently launched a new RIBA approved Continual Professional Development (CPD) programme for architects working in the education sector. The VELUX Commercial CPD, ‘Under


the Rooflight: Spotlight on Education’ offers a review of the latest regulatory changes in the design and construction of education buildings specifically relating to rooflights, as well as a look at the benefits of natural light and ventilation. The CPD, which can be held onsite at your practice or a venue of your choice, will provide participants with information on amendments to the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) Facilities Output Specification (FOS) 2017, BREEAM 2018 and the new European Standard Daylight in Buildings EN 17037.

Architects will also gain a better understanding on the key factors that should be taken into consideration when specifying rooflights for educational facilities to meet the revised requirements. To book on the VELUX Commercial ‘Under the Rooflight: Spotlight on Education CPD’, call 01592 778 916, email: or sign up online at https://commercial.velux.

Sources * University of Salford’s Clever Classrooms - Summary report of the HEAD Project. (Holistic Evidence and Design). Professor Peter Barrett, Dr Yufan Zhang, Dr Fay Davies, Dr Lucinda Barrett. ** The Carbon Trust, Further and Higher Education report, Training Colleges and Universities to be energy efficient March 2012

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Derby Roundhouse: Ten Years On In 2009, Derby Roundhouse opened its doors to students after a £48m redevelopment scheme. A decade later, the Rooflight Company looks back at one of its favourite projects, and recounts what it was like to be specified on this historic building.

Constructed in 1839, the Roundhouse in Derby is the world’s first and oldest surviving railway roundhouse. Following closure of Derby Railway Works, it narrowly escaped demolition, before the area was skillfully transformed into the main campus of Derby College. The Rooflight Company was approached by Maber Architects who undertook the Roundhouse’s restoration and transformation. The roof posed the biggest challenge due its poor condition, and because it provided one of the few opportunities to improve the building’s thermal performance. Part of the reconstruction involved reinstating a ring of 48 trapezoidal rooflights, of which 36 open remotely using electric actuators. Employing straight bars, the 2.3-metre long units follow the line of the roof hip.

Bespoke Conservation Rooflights from the Rooflight Company were specified for the project, providing the necessary ventilation and thermal requirements. Equally importantly, the units’ slender frames matched the appearance of the originalroof windows. The project also included 64 Studio Designer rooflights, which are closely linked to the Conservation Rooflight, and measure up to 3x1.6 metres. The units are installed on former carriage shops and engine sheds, following the runs of the original rooflights. “The roof of the Roundhouse had been severely compromised over the latter half of the twentieth century by fire, removal of the slates, structural movement and removal of the rooflights, explains managing director of Maber Architects, Ian

Constructed in 1839, the Roundhouse in18 Derby Mar/Apr is the world’s 2019 first and oldest surviving railway roundhouse. Following

Equally importantly, the units’ slender frames matched the appearance of the orig inalroof windows. The project also

DAYLIGHTING IN EDUCATION – advertorial Harris. The conservation approach for this particular element of the scheme was one of restoration, so we wanted to reinstate the roof in accordance with contemporary etchings and photographs from the 1860s. When it came to the rooflights, there were a limited number of manufacturers who could provide a product that was suitable in terms of glass weight, section size and span.” “We specified the Rooflight Company since their Conservation Rooflight met our very specific list of requirements. Each one of the new rooflights has slightly different dimensions, reflecting the nature of the original building and its movement over time making site measurement and accurate manufacture absolutely critical. The original Victorian rooflights were all fixed, however, the new heating and ventilation design required one in three of the rooflights to be openable.

We were very clear that the fixed and openable lights must have the same section sizes so that they are indistinguishable from each other when closed. The Rooflight Company were able to ensure we achieved this, even with our longest glazing spans.” “Many people who worked on this project at the time described it as a labour of love and the resulting attention to detail is still clearly evident. Ten years since we completed it’s latest incarnation, The Roundhouse is still looking fantastic as the beating heart of Derby College.”

“Many people who worked on this project at the time described it as a labour of love and the resulting attention to detail is still clearly evident”.

In 2010 Derby Roundhouse won Project of the Year at the RICS Awards. More information about the scheme is available at theroundhouse-interiors/

Mar/Apr 2019



neo™ - Same Aesthetic, Different Roof Pitched or flat, we have a rooflight that provides a frameless appearance inside and out. Choose from 14 neo™ or 7 neo™ Plateau standard sizes. Call us on 01993 833108 or visit

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Keeping the Light On Northern Ireland’s Building Boom By Adrian Poucher, partner, Malcolm Hollis Belfast

Northern Ireland is experiencing an office boom. Take up of office space in Belfast has reached the highest levels ever recorded. In the first quarter of 2018, 538,646 square feet of office space was let, more than double the take up in the same period of 2017. This figure was helped by the completion of the Allstate headquarters, one of the largest structures built in the past 15 years. Investment by large companies shows no signs of slowing down. Belfast is considered the third fastest growing office market in the world. Businesses that come to Belfast, stay in Belfast: 75% of businesses that relocate here choose to re-invest in the city. This growth in investment and in construction is likely to continue in the city centre, and core parts of Northern Ireland. While increased investment bolsters a rapidly expanding Belfast, the temptation can be to prioritise aesthetics rather than planning, design, and maximising floor plates. However, failing to place appropriate emphasis on planning and design coupled with an increase in new buildings in city centres could lead to Right to Light issues, especially as city centres become more densely populated with buildings.

Right to Light, or the fundamental rights that long term property owners have to maintain the level of illumination in their structures, is a longstanding tenant of English law supported by the 1832 Prescription Act. However, Right to Light is a relatively new concept for most business owners and developers in Northern Ireland. The law stipulates that the light cannot be infringed on buildings that have benefitted from light for 20 uninterrupted years. The right allows building owners to take legal action against a neighbour or developer who would like to build on neighbouring land in a way that obstructs the light. Developers cannot erect a structure that reduces the light to less than one lumen per square foot in more than 50% of the property.

“In a world where space is a commodity and buildings are being built upwards rather than outwards, matters of Right to Light are set to become far more pertinent in Northern Ireland, but no less of a headache for developers�.

In a world where space is a commodity and buildings are being built upwards rather than outwards, matters of Right to Light are set to become far more pertinent in Northern Ireland, but no less of a headache for developers. These cases are usually very subjective. Light in buildings is not commonly measured, and when a room or building has been receiving light steadily for over twenty years, problems can appear very quickly. City planning departments usually look at daylight and sunlight infringement,

Mar/Apr 2019



but passing such a test does not eliminate the risks of Right to Light. The responsibility for conducting these tests falls almost solely on the developer, who must conduct the relevant tests early in the design stages to determine the impact of the building on neighbouring structures. In Belfast, there has been plenty of activity in the market, making the need to examine this issue more pressing. Developers in England and Wales have been significantly affected by issues pertaining to Right to Light, and in many cases, these obstructions resulted in significant cash payoffs and even demolition. In the case of HKRUK II (CHC) Ltd. v Heaney in 2010, a developer infringed the Right to Light of neighbouring structures with the top two floors of a London development. The Court ruled that the top two floors needed to be removed from the development. These floors were already completed, fully furnished, and partially let to tenants. The message sent by the High Court was clear: ignore the risks and suffer the consequences.


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Of course, not all Right to Light issues result in demolition, but the fallout from the case may have other effects. From the legal and professional costs, delay expenses, and costs of construction, to reduction in the value of the property. The damage such a case can do to the reputation of a business can be significant. All of these factors combine to create a potentially volatile situation. Awareness and good behaviour are certainly factor in Right to Light decisions, as courts have a history of looking unfavourably on plaintiffs that are blasé about these important rulings. This was especially true in the prominent case of Ottercroft v. Scandia Care [2016] and the case of Humphrey v. Rogers [2017]. In the case of Ottercroft v. Scandia Care, it was decided that Scandia behaved poorly during the proceedings. Scandia repeatedly told Ottercroft that the building’s light would not be affected. When the Right to Light was eventually compromised, the judge chose to support legal proceedings because they felt that Scandia had wilfully broken the law.

“Awareness and good behaviour are certainly factor in Right to Light decisions, as courts have a history of looking unfavourably on plaintiffs that are blasé about these important rulings.”.


A similar situation occurred in the case of Humphrey v. Rogers [2017]. Private citizens Mr. and Mrs Humphrey entered into an agreement with a development without obtaining permission from the purchasers, and then broke the terms of the agreement. Their argument, that the Rogers’ family could be paid for the inconvenience, was not supported in court. Interestingly, not many firms in Northern Ireland offer Right to Light services. The responsibility for Right to Light falls squarely on the shoulders of the developer. However, the developer does have options to prevent such a claim.

Considering Right to Light at the Design Phase While planning departments usually consider daylight and sunlight, passing those tests does not mean the development is safe from Right to Light claims. Taking into account Right to Light claims in the early design stages is one of the most efficient ways to handle the issue. This can be done by inviting a specialist surveyor to take the measurements of the proposed building and other buildings in the area. Many surveyors have very sophisticated mapping technology that can build a virtual model of the site to test the new building’s impact on the Right to Light of its neighbours.

Utilising Light Obstruction Notices Light Obstruction Notices are used to prevent Right to Light problems from surfacing. Should a building not have accrued the requisite 20 years of uninterrupted light, a developer is able to use a Light Obstruction Notice which will interrupt the period of light, preventing the Right to Light from

being put in place. Should anyone challenge the notice, potential Right to Light claims are identified, but if the notice is not challenged, the developer has a very strong argument should the case come to court.

Enter an Agreement Should the developer know that Right to Light will be infringed, entering into a financial agreement with those affected is an easy way to stay ahead of the issue. The agreement is usually quite simple: the affected party signs a waiver releasing the developer from problems that may arise from a Right to Light issue in exchange for a substantial fee. Such an agreement is not without risks, as the affected party may still choose to take legal action, though any action following an agreement would be looked upon unfavourably by a court. A solicitor should be engaged in order to mitigate any misunderstandings.

“While planning departments usually consider daylight and sunlight, passing those tests does not mean the development is safe from Right to Light claims. ”.

Right to Light Insurance Insurance is a good option for developers with time and money to spend on negotiations with their neighbours. As with the agreement, insurance will not protect against a claim being made, but rather, go a long way in providing costings and protection should a claim arise and be successful. This insurance would cover not only the cost of demolition, but of market value loss. Insurance brokers will be able to offer considerable expertise in choosing a policy with an appropriate amount of coverage.

Mar/Apr 2019


COMPANY PROFILE - Special feature

MBS Software: trusted solutions for daylight & sustainability This UK-based business is a pioneer in developing software for right to light and sustainability consultants, architects and surveyors.

Founded in 1997, MBS Survey Software Ltd is an independent company specialising in providing bespoke software, expert analysis and training for professionals within the built environment. The business employs a small and highly motivated team of software developers and analysts, led by Managing Director David Maltby and Software Director Jason Bird, both of whom have been with the company since its infancy and continue to play hands-on roles. MBS products are the most widely used software solutions of their kind in the UK and are increasingly used all over the world. They are fully in line not just with BRE guidelines and compliance tests, but also with the latest climate-based modelling. MBS Products include the best selling Waldram Tools for AutoCAD®; the recently developed Daylight for SketchUP®; and Surveying Software. A plug-in of Waldram Tools for Revit is also due to be released very shortly.


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“MBS products are the most widely used software solutions of their kind in the UK and are increasingly used all over the world. They are fully in line not just with BRE guidelines and These products are enabling compliance tests, customers to carry out a range of tasks, but also with the quickly and efficiently, within a familiar and intuitive software environment. latest climate-based Tasks include: • Master planning modelling. ” • Facade analysis • Solar glare studies • BREEAM analysis • Radiance • Transient shadow studies • Rays of light. MBS supports its range of software solutions, with comprehensive training and information services designed to get the most from the software, as well as professional analysis, consultancy services and development of bespoke solutions. The company can also provide Laser Scanning and 3D modelling services, in consultation with leading specialists in this field. For further information about MBS Survey Software Limited and its range of products & services, please contact David Maltby or Jason Bird, on 020 3176 0984.

Waldram Tools - Daylighting Software MBS has been developing software for the last 25 years. Delivering applications that are powerful yet easy to use. Waldram Tools is an excellent package for meeting the requirements for daylight & sunlight testing laid out in the BRE Guide. It is however much more than that, with many tools to aid design, such as facade analysis including solar radiation to test for overheating. Ray traced Daylight and sunlight calculations using Radiance, which allows more complicated situations to be assessed. Transient shadows can be assessed over a range of times with the shadow cast matching the colour of the proposed building The potential for solar glare can be assessed in an easy to read rendered image

The software produces:

· · · · · · · · ·

BRE Compliance tests VSC,APSH,NSL,Sunlight to Amenity and Average Daylight Factor Rights of Light contours Complete excel exports Automated transient shadow images Climate based daylight calculations Spatial Daylight Autonomy Annual Sunlight Exposure BREEAM calculations Solar Glare Solar Radiation Facade analysis

Available for AutoCAD 2014-2020*

Alternative products: "Daylight forSketchup" Coming soon: "Daylight for Revit"

For more information contact us on:

Tel: 020 3176 0984



How a ‘Hole’ in your roof can help. Better buildings with BREEAM rated rooflights – by John Godley, Technical Manager, Hambleside Danelaw Limited.

“They’re just a hole in the roof that lets the light in.” “We just specify one rooflight in the middle of each bay.”

you money and efficiency in your completed industrial or commercial building.

“I’ve always been taught that 10% rooflights is plenty.”

Many Architects and contractors believe that specifying rooflights for the design of an industrial building can often be something of an afterthought.

All of these statements can cost

As long as they install roughly 10%


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INDUSTRIAL ROOFLIGHTS of the roof area as rooflights, they’ve pretty much got it covered, haven’t they? After all, they all let in daylight and surely that’s all that matters, isn’t it? No, it isn’t - And here’s why it matters... Natural daylight is our most abundant and accessible resource. It sustains and supports the vast majority of the earth and is critical to our wellbeing. On the most fundamental of levels, natural daylight is the natural state for human beings. It is the environment in which we have evolved and in which we are at our most comfortable. It is natural daylight that has a whole range of positive effects on building occupants. Exposure to daylight enhances mood and energy through the release of endorphins. In fact, daylight is critical to mental wellbeing - as evidenced by the growing understanding of the condition known as SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder, caused by inadequate exposure to daylight. In factories and warehouses, high daylight levels contribute to increased productivity, improved levels of safety and reduced absenteeism. But there’s another extremely important factor that’s been the subject of significant research over the last two decades – one which plays an increasingly important role in building design today and will continue to do so in the future - energy saving. Rooflights, via the provision of daylight, contribute benefits to a building which are additional to those delivered by the roof system. They are a key component and, in some instances, essential to achieving regulatory compliance. Electrical lighting energy represents nearly 20% of global energy

consumption. Therefore reducing energy demand by introducing more daylight into buildings should be a priority for specifiers. This cannot be fully achieved by simply specifying a roof system without giving proper consideration to the rooflights. The balance between daylighting, electrical lighting, heat loss and solar gain is a delicate one. It involves maximising the reduction in lighting energy usage and minimising heat loss without overheating the building. At Hambleside Danelaw we can provide a wide range of rooflight configurations to enable you to maximise the energy saving potential of your building envelope. Looking at the wider picture rooflights can also contribute to BREEAM. These contributions are easy to achieve, low cost and, moreover, they are ADDITIONAL to any BREEAM contribution from the specified roofing system. It would be wise to consider the rooflights from the outset - ideally RIBA Stage 1 or 2 plan of works to maximise their BREEAM impact and “lock” it in to the building specification. However, given the low-cost element they are also useful to utilise even at later stages as replacement contributions where they may have been missed. The contributions all fall within the highest weighted categories: • Energy • Materials, specifically MAT01, MAT02 and MAT03 • Health and Wellbeing Contact Hambleside Danelaw to find out how we can help you enhance your project. We can shed light on the important design considerations to deliver maximum efficiency to the building.

Mar/Apr 2019




TO ACHIEVE 1.5 EXTRA BREEAM POINTS... JUST LOOK UP. We are the first rooflight manufacturer to be able to contribute a minimum of 1.5 BREEAM points to your building in addition to the metal roof system. Just simply specify Zenon rooflights.


19/03/2019 11:01

: non-fragility, ACR[M]001:2014


Mar/Apr 2019


daylight diary Evolving to meet the needs of a changing construction industry...



In these times of rapidly evolving technology, political uncertainty and cultural change, all of us in business and commerce need to continually reassess our practices and our approach, to stay relevant and maintain our effectiveness. ...and this applies to a trade association like us, just as it does to manufacturing or service businesses. So, whilst we’ve always been recognised as a ‘moving force’ in the industry, the first months of 2019 have been particularly busy in terms of new initiatives at NARM. From an external viewpoint, the most visible change is our new website. This has been developed to make the results of our work and collaborations more easily accessible and simply better presented, allowing rooflight specifiers and other parties to benefit from shared knowledge. Below the surface, other changes are in process, too. For example, we’re establishing new working groups to address key topics including fire regulations, materials, marketing and the ongoing subject of energy efficiency. We’re actively encouraging the participation of experts employed within our member companies, to

Our new website contains easy-to-access listings of technical documents for free access and dowload, as well as details of member companies

attend these working groups, to help us lead positive change in these areas... and we’re exploring ways of using on-line technology to unite these groups. NARM’s policy of regular voting to elect officers on a yearly or bi-yearly basis, also means that our focus and our commitment stays fresh – and new ideas are regularly introduced. You can read about the latest appointments to our Council elsewhere in this issue of Daylighting Magazine.

VISIT OUR NEW WEBSITE Connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter


Why polycarbonate glazing is meeting the needs of the rail industry By Vicky Evans, Director, Twinfix Limited

In its solid form polycarbonate looks like glass and is a safe product that offers many benefits for modern day glazing applications. This sustainable and long lasting material lets the light through, is less than half the weight of glass and is virtually unbreakable.

installation or use due to its inherent strength; making it a safer material during installation and when in-situ.

Polycarbonate offers the best of both worlds; architecturally it can really add to a building’s design, and it also provides practical advantages, such as:

• In refurbishment projects, lightweight polycarbonate reduces strain on the building’s fabric, helping to extends its life.

• No danger of breakage during transit,


Mar/Apr 2019

• Polycarbonate is virtually maintenance-free and retains its properties at high and low temperatures – meaning no cracking.

Above and opposite page: Stirling Station

TRANSPORT SECTOR • Non-fragility of polycarbonate glazing makes significant contributions towards complying with directives for working at height. • Installation time costs money and possession times are usually very restricted. Twinfix’s modular Multi-LinkPanel NF, for example, has a unique fixing method, meaning installation takes less than a third of the time of a traditional split bar glazing system. Specifiers can choose from multiwall and glass-clear grades, or a Georgian wired effect polycarbonate that passes heritage requirements. The aluminium framework can be powder coated to match colour schemes and both the aluminium and polycarbonate are recyclable at the end of their long lifespan. With safety a main concern on any building site it’s imperative that specifiers do their best to ensure that items fitted and used at height are as safe as possible, especially rooflights. Use of the Twinfix Multi-Link-Panel NF – that conforms to the ACR[M]001:2014

drop test – goes a long way towards achieving a higher level of safety, both to people working near to rooflights, and those who gain unofficial roof access. In the past, polycarbonate was deemed unsuitable for use in older, more traditional stations; nowadays it is widely recognised as an advanced building material that is appropriate for use on older buildings. Twinfix’s Georgian wired-effect polycarbonate makes a great modern day replacement for damaged Georgian wired glass.

Specifiers can choose from multiwall and glass-clear grades, or a Georgian wired effect polycarbonate that passes heritage requirements.

Polycarbonate glazing is widely used across Europe in stadia and railway stations, it has evident money saving advantages but also architectural merit. For a material that is easy to handle, install and unlikely to break in-situ, polycarbonate offers great longevity. With design life of products so important nowadays, polycarbonate is a key building material in the rail industry.

Mar/Apr 2019


TRANSPORT SECTOR – advertorial

Daylighting takes off at Heathrow Gideon Sykes outlines the recent refurbishment of rooflights at Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 4. Replacing ageing glass rooflights originally installed in the 1980’s, 1750 square metres of Kalwall Skyroof cladding is being used above the Terminal’s International Departure Lounge and check-in desks.

Curtainwall Engineers and Kalwall distributor Structura has recently completed a challenging but fascinating ‘replace and refurbishment’ project at Heathrow’s T4. This in conjunction with Structural Engineers Webb Yates for a scheme designed by Pascall+Watson architects. The project proved so successful that main contractor Balfour Beatty named Structura as their ‘Most Promising New Supplier 2018’. Replacing ageing glass rooflights originally installed in the 1980’s, 1750 square metres of Kalwall Skyroof cladding is being used above the


Mar/Apr 2019

Terminal’s International Departure Lounge and check-in desks. Fully ASAID compliant with regards to blast performance, Kalwall improves the solar control and insulation to the space below. In this project, its inherent strength in a lightweight frame means the existing substrate could be adapted and reused - saving £7m in project costs and more than a year from the build programme. The whole retrofit was completed externally in ‘engineering hours’ using a bespoke moving scaffold, meaning there was no disruption to the inside of the building.

TRANSPORT SECTOR – advertorial Kalwall offers complete line-ofsight protection, maintaining privacy for the security screening area and departure lounges while bathing the interior with diffused daylighting, regardless of the weather.

Kalwall offers complete line-of-sight protection, maintaining privacy for the security screening area and departure lounges while bathing the interior with diffused daylighting, regardless of the weather. Apart from providing the visual protection, its inherent strength and heavy-duty impact resistance make it ideal for secure locations such as this. It offers the highest protection in terms of wind-borne debris and resistance to impact, abrasion and point loads. Not only is it also safe to walk on but Kalwall achieves S:AA (BS 476 part 3) and Broof(t4) to EN 13501 part 5 for external fire performance. The exterior face is colour stable and includes a UV resistant, self-cleaning surface. This means that normal rainfall helps to keep the surface free of dust and dirt while at the same time retaining its original colour during the weathering process. Case studies and technical information are available from Structura UK Ltd on tel: 01233 501 504 or by visiting:

Mar/Apr 2019



External blinds reduce cooling demands in rooftop bar Guthrie Douglas, the innovator in blind systems, has used its technical expertise to produce an exceptional solar shading solution for the Kong Bar in Paris. This stunning rooftop terrace bar and restaurant required solar protection that would keep its diners comfortable and enable them to enjoy the views of the River Seine and the Pont Neuf Bridge. Guthrie Douglas, whose external blinds are used in locations with challenging climates such as the Middle East and northern Scandinavia, designed and manufactured 18 bespoke external blinds for the 100 sq m curved glass roof. The Guthrie Douglas TESSTM system was selected for its strength, versatility and wind resistance and this was combined with Serge Ferrari’s Soltis fabric, providing the optimum balance of transparency and heat reflection. The system dramatically cut solar heat gain and glare, significantly reducing the need for air conditioning. While it has long been known that glass buildings can help to reduce heating costs, thanks to the abundance of natural sunlight, there remain concerns about interior spaces overheating. It’s why architects have to think carefully about how to combine the aesthetic beauty of a building with an energy efficient solution. Andrew Kitching, of the Guthrie Douglas Group Ltd, said: “External fabric blinds can reduce the need for


Mar/Apr 2019

air conditioning by more than 70% and reduce heat gain to almost zero, absorbing and reflecting the sun’s energy before it even touches the glass. “Recent research at the South Bank University demonstrated reductions in internal air temperature by as much as 18C using mid-range fabric blinds on a building in London.” External blinds also bring aesthetic and other practical benefits, removing the need for internal clutter of cassettes or rollers around windows, and they can make a significant difference to insulation values in the winter. They can be integrated within the curtain wall or façade structure, which creates a clean look and helps to reduce the amount of fade damage to floors and furniture inside the building that has been caused by solar heat and UV rays. Guthrie Douglas’s exterior blind systems are manufactured with a strong tension mechanism that holds fabric tight even in extreme temperatures and strong winds. They also meet the stringent tests set out in the European Norms and are CE marked accordingly.

SOLAR SHADING External blinds also bring aesthetic and other practical benefits, removing the need for internal clutter of cassettes or rollers around windows, and they can make a significant difference to insulation values in the winter.

Mar/Apr 2019


DAYLIGHTING ICONS The biggest: the best: the most awe-inspiring; the most outrageous; the most influential... In this regular feature we indulge ourselves and our readers with images of daylighting projects throughout the years that simply deserve a double page photograph...

The Core Shopping Centre, Calgary, Canada The Core Shopping Centre (known as CORE), which consists of TD Square, the Holt Renfrew building, and the former Calgary Eaton Centre, is the dominant shopping complex located in the downtown core of Calgary, Alberta, Canada. It spans three city blocks and contains approximately 160 retailers on four levels. The property also contains four major office towers (TD Canada Trust Tower, Home Oil Tower, Dome Tower) and the historic Lancaster Building. The centre’s architectural focal point is a vast supported structural glass skylight which spans the length of the complex. At 26 metres wide and 200 metres long it’s claimed to be the largest of its kind in the world.


Mar/Apr 2019


Mar/Apr 2019



Twitterings Follow us for regular updates between issues... in the meantime, more highlights...


Mar/Apr 2019


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