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Refurbishing Daylighting

Refurbishment of bradford’s eccleshill pool with kalwall is yet another example where this highly insulating system has been used to refurbish curtain-walling, skylighting and rooflights which have aged and failed.  Kalwall is unique in its ability to distribute diffused daylight evenly as ‘museum-quality’ light, without the need for blinds, curtains or solar control and to eliminate the stark contrasts of light and shade. The system is widely used for all types of project and is particularly popular for schools, sports halls and pools because of its ability to create ideal studying, playing and swimming conditions.  Stringent energy regulations have increased the optional use of lumira (previously called nanogel) within the panels to provide a u value of 0.28 w/m²k, equivalent to a solid wall, enabling architects to maximise areas of translucent cladding or roofing.

The Project

Eccleshill Swimming Pool is a local authority run pool in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Built in 1968, the original design was a steel framed curtain wall with plywood cladding panels and a clearstory band of glass at the head. Although the original panels were later replaced with insulated ones the steel frame was corroding and became structurally unsound, so much so that the pool would have to be closed on safety grounds unless a cost effective refurbishment solution could quickly be found to solve the problem (see above image: “Before the refurbishment” )

The Solution

The agreed solution was to demolish the flank wall and rebuild in a different type of construction. Obviously, it was important to retain a large element of fenestration by installing a translucent system which would generate good daylight and also give protection against vandalism. Consequently it was the decision of Bradford MDC architects to rebuild using the Kalwall system. That decision was based on Kalwall’s reputation and widespread use on many new swimming pools, including some local authority pools which had also been refurbished. Consequently, Kalwall was installed over more than half the depth of the wall while the lower part was opaque and clad externally with terracotta tiles. At night, the pool presents a glowing exterior.

The Comments

Bradford Metropolitan District Council and the public were delighted with the final refurbishment. The stunning effect of using Kalwall to diffuse natural daylight into the pool greatly improved the interior ambience. Running costs have been reduced because of the improved insulation and less reliance on artificial lighting. Another important observation is that the diffused daylight eliminates glare and veiling on the water which means that lifeguards can see swimmers better.

The System

Kalwall is the most highly insulating diffuse light transmitting cladding (and skylighting) system available. It is designed to transmit “museum-quality” light evenly across the interior without glare or harsh contrasts of light and shade. The translucent panels are factory prefabricated to the exact size and configuration for each project. Panels can be flat or curved, and opening or fixed glazed window units can be incorporated. The panel is generally 70mm thick (100mm is also available) and by providing various densities of insulation. the thermal resistance and therefore ‘U’ values can be varied without loss of light. With Cabot’s aerogel Lumira (previously called Nanogel), a ‘U’ value of 0.28W/m²K can be achieved. Kalwall is resistant to damage and is largely self- cleaning.

More Information

For new Kalwall brochure, downloadable publications, including dedicated information on pools, sports halls and schools, and short videos, visit www.stoakes.co.uk or telephone 020 8660 7667.

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