Project Type: Sheltered Housing Development
Architect: John Bloomfield of Bloomfield & Parker, Emsworth http://www.bloomfieldparker.co.uk/
Client: The Thorngate Churcher Trust, Gosport https://www.thorngate.org.uk/
Main Contractor: Arun Projects, Eastleigh http://www.arunprojects.co.uk
Installer Partner: Roofglaze, St Neots https://www.roofglaze.co.uk/
A combination of daylight and natural ventilation have helped ‘bring the outside in’ for residents in a Sheltered Housing Project in Gosport, Hampshire.
Lucas Court is a Thorngate Churcher Trust development of 10 private flats, a new communal lounge and public areas. It was officially opened by the Duke of Gloucester (who studied Architecture at The University of Cambridge) in April 2018.
The development includes an inspiring atrium design, which was achieved using VELUX Modular Skylights.
VELUX ridgelights transform what would otherwise be an uninspiring corridor linking the private flats with public areas, into a naturally-lit, tranquil space that residents and visitors can use and enjoy.
One of the reasons for maximising natural light through the use of VELUX ridgelights in the linking corridor was because daylight has been shown to have a profound impact on the quality of all our lives.
Specifically for the residents at Lucas Court, over 50 studies carried out over the last decade have shown that daylight reduces dependency on medication whilst lessening stress for building occupants and staff. For example, high levels of natural light and ventilation help people with dementia by improving their mental wellbeing and increasing life expectancy.
The Architectural Considerations
It was the restrictions on site at Lucas Court that meant the public and private spaces had to be linked using the long, elongated atrium. Had this space been built with a traditional tiled roof it could effectively be described as a corridor, creating a functional conduit, rather than the inspiring space that the client was seeking.
Once John Bloomfield of Bloomfield & Parker Architects had settled on the idea of creating a naturally-lit space, he initially considered a patent glazing system. However, it was found that the scheduling requirements of building this on site would have added unnecessary complexity.
Following a meeting with VELUX Modular Skylights, in which the architects learned more about the benefits of specifying a modular ridgelight system, a decision was taken to progress with this option.
VELUX Modular Skylights are manufactured off-site, meaning there is no fabrication required on site. Specifying a skylight system that offers all these offsite benefits ensures that they fit right, first time, every time on site - and can be up to three times faster to install than a traditional installation.
The self-supporting VELUX ridgelight specified by Bloomfield & Parker Architects comprised the following:
64 No standard module sizes - based on the structural opening, envisioned rooflight pitch and smoke/comfort vent requirements. These 64 modules comprised:
60 No 1000mm width x 1400mm height modules. Included within these units were 8 no smoke/comfort ventilating modules – controlled by the Building Management System. These provide rooflight openings that are electronically controlled and allow the hottest and stalest air to escape efficiently. The use of rooflight openings reduced the need for energy-intensive air conditioning systems
4 No 800mm width x 1400mm height modules
The VELUX ridgelight is a modular system that is capable of creating roof pitches between 25-40°. Its elegant, classical proportions consist of two rows of self-supporting skylights that add natural light and openness to the areas below.
VELUX ridgelights are mounted on standard steel profiles that enables a fast installation and a safe, economical building process. All the wiring and motors are built directly into the frame to retain the sleek minimalistic aesthetic.
"We liked the fact that the VELUX ridgelights allowed us to change the angle until we achieved a pleasing symmetry. We concluded that a pitch of 37 degrees was the perfect arrangement, helping it work spatially, whilst providing optimum levels of good quality natural light. The system from VELUX not only helped us avoid the connecting corridor becoming a space lit solely by artificial lighting, but it transformed it into a highly valued part of the development. "
John Bloomfield, Bloomfield & Parker Architects
He added: “We preferred the modular design of the VELUX Modular Skylight because it meant fabrication was completed off-site. This minimised disruption and made installation quicker and easier. Despite a strict budget and value engineering on this project, the modular system was retained, which tells you something about how much it was valued by the client and residents.”
The main contractor at Lucas Court was Arun Projects of Eastleigh. Alan Meaden, Site Manager, explained: “The 100% modular design of the VELUX Modular Skylights system meant there was no fabrication on site, making the atrium at Lucas Court weathertight within a very short space of time. The VELUX Modular Skylights’ team provided ongoing support throughout the project and installation by Roofglaze was very straightforward.”
The ridgelight system was installed by VELUX installer partner Roofglaze Limited, based in St Noets, Cambridgeshire. Ashley Childs, Contracts Manager, said: “When VELUX is specified we know that it will be a hassle-free installation. We like the attention-to-detail, such as the module clamping arrangement, which can fix directly to a steel I-Beam or steel plate, making it a much more efficient and easy installation.”
Each of the 10 flat entrances and their kitchen windows at Lucas Court now face on to the naturally-lit atrium. As one resident explains: “It really does feel as though we are looking to the outside yet it is all within the atrium. It is wonderful just to sit here and chat to neighbours and feel as though we are in the open air.”
Anne Taylor, Chief Executive Officer, Thorngate Churcher Trust, said: “We are delighted with the finished result and have received some great feedback from residents. The atrium is a really valued part of the new development and can be used by residents all year round.”
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