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Xtralite offer extra light to British Airways

Project Background

The project consisted of the refurbishment of two buildings at Heathrow with the main feature being the Flight Simulator Training Hall where 16 state-of-the-art simulators are housed alongside extensive training facilities.

Requirements and Technology

The Flight Simulator Training Hall is located within a Grade II listed structure which boasts an impressive architectural pedigree and a stunning arched concrete roof on canted trusses.   During the refurbishment it became apparent the existing Georgian wired and glass rooflights did not meet the thermal requirements and were leaking into the hall. The water ingress along with the thermal inequalities could have caused a major problem to the simulators due to the specific temperature range they operate within, this resulted in a total replacement.  A company with an exceptional pedigree for providing high quality rooflights and bespoke solutions was required and Xtralite chosen to deliver.

Considerations as to what weight the roof structure could support plus the aesthetics, being housed within a Grade II listed building, were key elements that resulted in Xtralite developing a bespoke polycarbonate light weight system.  Other considerations included the project’s own environmental heating and lighting strategy and ensuring energy efficiencies were taken into account.  Plus, there were no record drawings advising of the existing roof’s structural integrity and therefore the new roof could not exceed that of the original.

Cambell Lean Project Manager for ISG commented: “There were many considerations for the construction of the new rooflight.  Obviously light was a key element but because of the area covered and with the heat emitted from the simulators, thermal qualities and heat efficiency were of huge importance.”

The unique aluminium framed polycarbonate glazing system designed by Xtralite incorporated Lumira® technology which offers excellent light transmission and diffusion for shadow less light quality.  Additional to this the system offers substantial insulation performance due to the limited heat conduction of the Lumira® translucent aerogel granules.  Overall with this system a typical Ud value as low as 0.91 W/m2k can be achieved.

Jim Lowther Sales Director for Xtralite commented: “This was a particularly interesting project, mainly due to the intricate installation requirements.  We were working at heights of up to 14 metres above the place where the simulators were to be housed.  The polycarbonate system was the perfect solution for the BA building it made installation easier, offered the credentials essential for the build requirements and looked great in place of the old Georgian glazing system.”

Customer Comment

Cambell Lean concluded: “The Xtralite team worked well.  The rooflight replacement was not originally part of the initial plans however the team managed to work easily into the schedule and provide a rooflight structure that fitted well providing excellent daylight and efficiency requirements.”

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