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working details

Arup Associates Arup Campus, Solihull - A glazed facade and a roof pod for light and ventilation

The structure and layout of the two-storey pavilion is integrated with the environmental strategy. It is naturally ventilated with double-height perimeter spaces to allow air to circulate and the steel-frame structure supports a first floor and roof of precast concrete planks, of which the soffits are exposed to contribute to thermal mass.

The roof is covered with self-supporting aluminium/ zinc-coated steel panels with standing seams at 600mm centres; it acts as a loadbearing deck which can be walked on for maintenance.

The facades are supported by 203 x 203mm universal columns at 6m centres and a secondary support system at 3m centres. They are clad with western red cedar boarding and glazing, arranged in a variety of dispositions to suit orientation; the north-west facing façade, shown right, is less affected by solar gain and is glazed with sash windows.

A row of louvre blinds on the inside prevents the transmission of glare from low sun in winter (on southeast facades the blinds are on the outside to reduce solar gain). A row of high-level dampers faced with minilouvres are set above the windows and linked via the building management system (BMS) to internal temperature sensors in the workplace. The dampers provide fresh air, trickle ventilation in winter and in summer they open at night to cool the precast floor slabs.

At the ridge a series of 'roof pods' - a combination of chimney and rooflight - induces stack-effect and cross ventilation.Top-hung vents operated by the BMS act as smoke vents in the event of fire.The north-west-facing rooflight has fixed louvres in the glazed cavity to reduce glare and solar gain from the setting sun in summer.

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