Building bright futures with Kingspan Light + Air

Kingspan Light + Air has helped to create a bright and welcoming new home for a popular community primary school in the heart of Salford, Manchester. Its bespoke daylighting solution, comprising high performance Kingspan Kapture Prismatic Skylights with climate control glazing, offering savings of up to 80 per cent on artificial lighting energy consumption.

Due to an increased demand for school places in the local area, the decision was made to relocate The Deans Primary School to a purpose-built facility which will allow it to double its intake to 420 pupils, in addition to providing a 30-place nursery on the same site. The new building has been designed by Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, to offer the best environmental conditions for learning, including high-quality daylighting within the classroom and corridors. It also aims to enable students and teachers to work comfortably within bright spaces that contribute to the overall sense of positivity and wellbeing around the school.

To ensure this was realised on the first floor of the building without glare or overheating, the technical team at Kingspan Light + Air used climate-based daylight modelling of the proposed building to design a skylight system, comprising Kingspan Kapture Nano-Prismatic Skylights with climate control glazing. Installed strategically across the roof span, larger 1630mm x 1560mm skylights were used in the corridor where there were limited external walls for windows, whilst smaller-sized 780mm x 1560mm skylights were used in the classrooms, covering over 90% of the floorplan below with uniform natural light.

The unique contoured form of the Kapture Skylights allows light to be captured at low sun angles such as in the early morning and late evening, ensuring the internal spaces are illuminated all day. Not only will this result in long-term energy savings, but research has shown that exposure to sunlight has considerable physiological and psychological benefits for the learner, improving their attitude, learning rates, health and attendance.

The advanced nano-prismatic layer uses microscopic prism structures to efficiently scatter beams of sunlight, reducing disruptive glare to avoid a ‘lights-on-blinds-down’ situation, in which the natural light is blocked-out in favour of costly artificial lighting. Excess sunlight can also cause uncomfortable hotspots in the area below if not properly considered and managed. Therefore, the Kapture skylights were specified in Kingspan Light + Air’s climate control glazing option as they can achieve a solar heat gain coefficient as low as 0.45, with an overall light transmission of 81 per cent.

Once the products had been installed, the Kingspan Light + Air team visited the project to conduct a full site report, ensuring the projected daylight levels were achieved. After taking various readings of the light levels inside and outside, it was confirmed that the Kingspan Kapture Prismatic Skylights achieved a Daylight Factor of 5 per cent in the classrooms and 3.5 per cent in the corridor. The scheme also achieved a uniformity of over 90 per cent, complying with the requirements of CIBSE Lighting Guide 5 Lighting in Schools, and the Education Funding Agency (EFA).

Stephen Kirkpatrick, Head teacher of The Deans Primary School, commented:

Our vision is to create an environment which is both stimulating and interesting for our pupils, allowing their talents and personalities to flourish. It was important that the new school building embodied and supported this vision. The Kingspan skylights have helped to create a calm ambience throughout the top floor of the building, supporting the learning that takes place there.”

The new school building has been pre-assessed under BREEAM UK New Construction Non-Domestic Buildings 2014, achieving a ‘Very Good’ rating. The final light levels, which exceed 300 LUX for over 3000 hours per year and the glare free design contributed towards the award of the three credits available within the Health and Wellbeing Hea 01 Visual Comfort section.

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