Date: 12 Oct 2022

Harper Keele University Veterinary College

The project consisted of a 2 to 3 Storey building comprising of Lettable Spaces for External Tenants, Teachings Spaces including both Wet & Dry Labs and Staff Administrative Areas. The Central Core was designed as an Exhibition & Break Out area for Staff & Students across all three levels of the building.

The main design challenges on the project where the lighting installations to the Open Atrium and External Copper Mesh.

As the open atrium passed through all three floors, to meet the client’s ambition to illuminate using 3Mtr wide LED Halos was deemed both cost prohibitive and, they did not offer the required functional lighting outputs. Following several design reviews, meetings, and discussions with the site/client team we settled for the installed solution which offered the required visual impact from outside the building whilst delivering the required lighting levels inside on each floor level within the budget constraints.

The External Copper mesh offered another challenge as the support system for the mesh and the “Black Out” requirement behind the mesh meant that an evenly distributed lighting level could not be provided, and it would be very difficult to access following completion. We obtained several bracket options to enable a full mock up to be built in the site cabin. From the mock-up it became apparent that the only solution would be to install the proposed lighting horizontally to illuminate each individual section, unfortunately due to the “Black Out” aspect with minimal reflectance this meant that an even lighting “Wash Effect” could not be achieved. The other design solution we offered and incorporated was to have long secondary output lead’s purpose made for the LED Drivers; this meant that the drivers could be located internally to the building thus avoiding the need to access the drivers should one fail in the future, as these have a shorter life span than the lighting units.

The other main issue during the construction period was the limited ceiling void availability to the corridor around the general circulation areas and the pinch points around the Lift/Riser in the Atrium. Our designers reviewed these and moved the Electrical Containment out of the Corridor Voids into the Lettable Spaces. This allowed suitable access to the containment for future installations and access to ductwork & dampers for future maintenance.


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