Diamond Quality Daylight

Diamond Hall, part of the University of Ulster’s Coleraine campus was completed in 1974. Nearly 40 years later, the University authorities decided to address its failings by appointing architects Samuel Stevenson & Sons to undertake major refurbishment.

The new brief was to improve thermal performance and energy efficiency and make the building less expensive to run, more efficient and comfortable to use. Apart from recladding the exterior, a major change was made to the original diamond shaped windows which have been replaced with Kalwall® translucent panels. These are designed to transmit light evenly into the main function hall, used for graduations, concerts, exhibitions and exams, while controlling solar gain and glare.

Project architect Milton Stewart specified the diffused daylighting system for both the Diamond Hall and the same University’s High Performance Institute of Sport near Belfast. He says:

‘I find Kalwall has many applications. It is particularly suitable for sports facilities where there is impact from balls, it reduces glare avoiding the need for blinds and making it suitable for roof installations as well as walls, it has good insulation properties and it requires minimal maintenance. The light quality is excellent and seen externally at night it exudes a very pleasing effect.’

Kalwall is the most highly insulating diffuse light transmitting cladding and skylighting system available. A dramatic ‘U’ value of 0.28W/m²K, equivalent to a solid wall, can be achieved by filling the 70mm thick translucent panels with an aerogel. The panels are factory prefabricated to the exact size and configuration for each project. Being largely self-cleaning, they can be flat or curved, while opening or fixed glazed window units can also be incorporated.

Apart from being specified for all types of new build, Kalwall is increasingly used for the refurbishment of aged buildings and failed curtain-walling or rooflights. Project and technical information is available from Structura UK. Structura UK is the leading supplier, fabricator and installer of glass curtain walling, rainscreens, glass atria, windows and other architectural glass building products and is the exclusive distributor for Kalwall translucent daylight building systems for England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Case studies and technical information are available from Structura UK Ltd on Tel: 01233 501 504 or visit www.structura-uk.com/kalwall.

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