Case Studies

Kingston Park Primary School

Kingston Park Primary School was built in the mid-1980s to a design based around a distinctive glazed atrium spine, serving open plan teaching and activity areas.

Without any openings, the existing glazed roof offered no ventilation and overheating was an on-going problem. When the self supporting glazing began to fail, it was decided to replace the atrium glazing to solve these problems and make significant reductions in the carbon footprint of the building, with a design by Newcastle City Council’s ‘City Design’ group, in conjunction with Xtralite and other specialists.

Sustainability opportunities

City Design Project Designer Keith Stevenson explains:
“The whole glazed roof over the 77 metre long by 3 metre wide atrium was replaced with Xtralite’s Nanogel filled panels to improve thermal insulation and reduce heat gain, as well as glare. Unlike the original roof, a glazing bar structure was added to ensure long-term performance. This also presented an opportunity to include 22 photovoltaic (PV) panels as an integral part of the roof, which is not only architecturally neater but also more efficient in terms of cost and materials. The PVs generate electricity with surplus fed back into the national grid.

Improving Comfort

“Finally, 32 opening vents were incorporated, serving two zones, each controlled by a system of CO2 sensors, thermostats and manual switches, overridden by wind speed and rain sensors. It is expected that this new ‘smart’ roof will make a major difference to comfort levels throughout the year.”

The design concept presented Xtralite’s design team with a number of challenges—in particular, integrating the heavier glass PV panels distributed along the roof, while restraining structural deflections.

Working partnerships

Close working relationships between specialist suppliers, as well as with the designer, were essential. The PV panels were delivered to the working position on site by a local supplier for installation by Xtralite. For the automatic opening lights, the control system was provided by Xtralite’s specialist partner SE Controls to ensure full integration.