Great returns at St James' place

St James’ Place Wealth Management Group recently moved into their new £10 million phase II office building in Cirencester, which is equipped with a comprehensive solar shading and screening solution from Levolux.

The FTSE 100 listed wealth management company moved to its current headquarters building in 2007 and has now expanded its operations on the site, by developing a new 50,000 sq foot office building. The new three-storey building, which was designed by Scott Brownrigg architects to achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating, stands alongside the original phase I building, on the former Bridges Garage site.

Having fitted an external solar shading solution for the original building, featuring horizontal Timber Fins, Levolux was invited back to develop a custom solar shading and screening solution for the phase II office building.

The new office building features an abundance of glazed openings on all elevations. This helps to maximise daylight levels and provide occupants with good outward visibility. To complement the glazing, Levolux developed a solar shading solution comprising its Infiniti Fin system and Aerofoil Fins, applied externally, along with motorised internal Roller Blinds and Venetian Blinds.

Five Aerofoil Fins, each measuring 200mm wide, have been incorporated into 60 horizontal panels, fixed at roof level. Together, the panels, which have a projection of 1.2 metres, resemble a ‘halo’ that encircles the building.

In addition, Levolux utilised its Infiniti® Fin system, incorporating 300mm wide aerofoil-shaped fins, fixed horizontally to the building’s south, east and west-facing elevations. The Fins, which feature concealed fixings, are secured to curtain walling using Levolux’s patented, thermally broken Triniti® bracket.

On the south-facing elevation, four Fins are fixed in a continuous vertical stack that runs across first and second floor windows at high level, with a combined length of almost 50 metres.

In contrast, on east and west-facing elevations, 21 vertically stacked Fins are incorporated into a series of shading structures, each measuring 9 metres wide by more than 9 metres high, extending from first floor to roof level. The horizontal Fins are grouped together at high level, across ground, first and second floor glazed openings. This not only provides effective shading, but also allows occupants unobstructed outward views.

Internally, Levolux also installed more than 200 of its motorised 760SX Roller Blinds, along with manual Venetian Blinds, to control light and glare levels.

The motorised roller blinds, which are fitted throughout office areas on each floor, are linked to a Levolux control system, allowing blinds to be controlled automatically, or individually using local switches. Blinds fitted around a central conference room are equipped with specialist dim-out fabric for increased privacy and to control light levels when AV equipment is used.

A series of manually operated Venetian Blinds have also been installed throughout the reception area, with 50mm wide timber slats. Levolux also supplied and fitted a roof plant screening solution, comprising its XL Louvre system. A series of vertical screens have been formed, featuring ‘Z’ profile louvre blades, around a central roof plant area. The screens have a height of 1 metre, with a combined length of more than 40 metres. A louvred gate allows easy access for routine maintenance.

Unsightly plant and equipment, located on the east-facing elevation, has been concealed by Levolux’s Contour Ventilation Louvres. A vertical, louvred façade, featuring ‘S’ profile louvre blades, extends 6 metres in width by more than 14 metres in height, from ground to roof level. Single and double louvred doors provide easy access at ground level, and the louvres are backed with birdmesh, for increased protection.

To complete its contribution on the project, Levolux devised a screening solution, to obscure the view of service areas which are used for waste storage and parking, around the base of the building. Extruded aluminium, trapezoidal-shaped louvres are fixed horizontally into a series of panels. The panels combine to form an attractive, ventilated facade that extends around the building’s south and east-facing elevations.

The St James’ Place Wealth Management Group, which was founded in 1991, is a popular employer in Cirencester, providing first-class office accommodation for its staff. The inclusion of solar shading and screening solutions on its office developments play their part, not only in attracting and retaining local talent, but also by generating a good return on investment.

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