Whitesales rooflights save time and energy

A total of 24 bespoke Whitesales em.glaze rooflights have been installed in the roof of the 14m, triple-height atrium, which forms the centrepiece of the newly opened Creative Centre at York St John University.

They fit within square apertures punched through soffits in the glulam timber roof grid and bring additional light into the atrium designed by Tate+Co Architects as an exhibition, teaching and theatre space, as well as somewhere for students to mix and relax.

The Whitesales rooflights were designed and specified complete with preformed 300mm PVC splayed upstands, which enabled them to be fitted directly into the glulam grid. These are estimated to have saved the roofing team at least two weeks on site because they didn’t have to construct the upstands themselves and the integrated splay made waterproofing the roof a lot easier.

Tate+Co are said to have chosen Whitesales’ em.glaze rooflights for the contract because of their sleek, minimalistic aesthetic, and because they offered flexible options like the upstands and matching concealed actuator smoke vents via Whitesales’ affiliate business, Sertus.

Tate+Co director, Andy Baker-Falkner, explained: “The internal look of the rooflights was important for the overall design intent of the atrium, which is lean and crisp with services hidden wherever possible. We liked the design of the Whitesales em.glaze units, particularly with the clean white reveal and option for fully concealed vent actuators.”

The Whitesales em.glaze rooflight is a flush-glazed, glass-to-edge design with flat sealed glass units fitted within a fully welded, thermally broken aluminium frame. There are 14 stocked square and rectangular sizes, from 600mm to 2,500mm, but bespoke options can be up to 3,200mm. em.glaze is double glazed and Part L compliant as standard, but rooflights can be specified with triple glazing if preferred and in any RAL colour as required.

The Creative Centre was designed from the outset as a low energy building and has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating, based upon the use of low embodied carbon materials including glulam and CLT, as well as triple glazing in places and mixed mode ventilation. In the atrium, there was a requirement for a degree of solar gain to minimise the requirement for heating, so the em.glaze rooflights were specified with bespoke glass to allow for that.

Glenn Knight, business development manager at Whitesales, commented: “The design of the atrium was intended to frame the views of the city and the timber columns reference the detailing in the nearby York Minster.

“It was key to the architects’ vision for the whole building, so it was a privilege to be able to play our part in helping to realise that. Our technical team advised on the design modifications we could make to the rooflights and upstands to fit into the glulam grid without adding significantly to the cost and we also recommended the splayed upstands which delivered many times over in terms of time saved on site.”