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Xtralite Provides Feature Rooflight for National Space Centre


The National Space Centre UK opened its doors to visitors in the summer of 2001. Since then it has gone on to increase its visitor numbers year on year, now recording in excess of 300,000 visitors each year.


In 2018, work was undertaken to build and open the ‘Launch Pad’; a new visitor area which was to incorporate a bright and welcoming entrance hall and ticketing area along with an exhibition and education space to allow more STEM teaching facilities. The 850m2 project was designed by architects Pick Everard.


The investment of over £7m saw the creation of a striking entrance hall capped with a new oval feature illuminated VELUX Xtralite rooflight which gives a stunning view upwards to the Rocket Tower; the identifiable feature of this iconic visitor attraction, and allows plenty of natural light to penetrate into the hall making it an airy and pleasant space to be.


The thermally enhanced Xtralite X-Span self-supporting bespoke shaped oval monopitch rooflight was pitched at a minimum 5°. An overall size of 6m x 3.6m resulted in an internal span size of 5.7m x 3.3m which was manufactured in 6 separate facetted bays and was installed in builder’s upstands pitched at 5°.


The striking rooflight was completed with 31.5mm double glazed units which comprised of an 6mm outer leaf with Guardian Sunguard SN 70/35 toughened glass, a cavity of 16mm argon filled with black spacer bar, and an inner leaf measuring 9.5mm of clear laminated glass with a 1.52mm pvb interlayer.


The glazing specification was particularly enhanced with the inclusion of Guardian Sunguard, a neutral blue glass which allows high levels of natural light penetration whilst achieving a low solar heat gain and reducing the need for additional artificial light.


This helps with visitor comfort levels and also makes the building more energy efficient, negating the need for excessive additional heating and cooling.

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