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Solar Gain #1: Runnymede Civic Centre

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Runnymede Civic Centre, Surrey by Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios

Completion date
March 2008
M&E consultant
Max Fordham
Gross internal floor area


This two-storey civic centre includes accommodation for Runnymede Borough Council as well as Surrey Police, a public library and a community partnership.

Fixed, diagonal, aluminium brises-soleil enclose the cutbacks in the brick facade and provide optimum solar occlusion to the difficult north-east and south-west facades. The solution evolved out of a desire for the sky to be seen without resorting to moveable shading.

Brises-soleil on the horizontal roof consist of 500mm-deep fins at 200mm centres arranged north-to-south at 13° off the east-west axis. This rotation minimises perceived density and the 13° angle is optimal, shading both midsummer mornings and equinox afternoons - two extremes of potential solar gain.

The vertical brises-soleil are 400mm deep at 400mm centres, 45° off vertical and rotated 8.5° off the east-west axis. This solution achieves 100 per cent occlusion between 10am and 4.15pm.

The east and west courtyards were modelled with Ecotect building analysis software to stimulate shadow projection and shading detail under the annual sunpath. Visual feedback included daily animations and annual projections.

Matt Vaudin, partner, Feilden Clegg Bradley Studio

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