Ninety-four Fieger louvre windows installed at the Banbridge Health and Care Centre in Northern Ireland allow natural light and ventilation to permeate and provide visual connection with landscaped courtyards and gardens.
The building has been recognised by RIBA with national and regional awards for a design that engages with the surrounding landscape. Architects, Kennedy FitzGerald, in association with Avanti Architects, faced a challenging brief which required the new centre to provide facilities for community outpatients’ clinics, daycare accommodation for adults with disabilities, and administrative offices for the Southern Health and Social Care Trust, all under one roof.
The new centre is constructed on the site of the old Banbridge Hospital and Workhouse. Enabling works were required to clear the site of existing buildings and contamination. Significant level changes were viewed as an exciting opportunity to realise the brief by stepping the accommodation.
Giving good levels of natural light, the Fieger louvre windows ensure high visibility, creating a strong connection between interior and exterior. Although allowing ventilation, the double-glazed windows also promote energy conservation, achieving a U value of 2.1 to 2.3 W/m2K, and having a certified air infiltration rate of 0.4 m3/hour/m2, so that heat is conserved during winter months.
The ventilated louvres use Cool-Lite SKN165 glazing from Saint-Gobain, delivering a 65 per cent reduction in solar heat gain. Electrical actuation of the louvres, by compact D&H linear motors built unobtrusively into the side frames, is operated under the control of the building management system.