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Rivergreen, Durham, England

Issue 48 Apr / May 2009 : Commercial : Workplace

Lighting Design: JDDK / TRILUX Architect: JDDK

Trilux has provided lighting for a sustainable workplace environment.

A very pleasing, healthy and harmonious work place has been created at Rivergreen, Aykley Heads, UK, both meeting and exceeding the most stringent of environmental requirements.

The intention at every stage has been to minimise the effect on the environment, not just using natural products and sustainable sources or reducing air miles and CO2 emissions, but questioning whether air conditioning and mains water are essential.

The project is unusual in that Rivergreen Developments are promoter, financier, project manager, design team leader, builder, owner and occupant, so the vision is not diluted by conflicting requirements. Besides being Rivergreen’s headquarters, the building also provides managed offices for varying size organisations including Durham County Council and offers impressive facilities such as a 200-seat lecture hall and an in-house coffee-bar.

Peter Chandler, Rivergreen’s principal, worked very closely with David Kendal of architects JDDK, and Mike Rhead and Malcolm Armstrong of environmental consultants Armstrong R Head, a team that had worked together very successfully on previous Rivergreen projects. Five months research into alternative technologies was undertaken before any initial design concepts were considered.

The daylight is fully utilised as the electric lighting is operated by a light management system which will respond to the levels of daylight and whether there is anyone occupying the space. By also using low energy light sources in very efficient luminaires, the lighting, during peak occupancy, uses 3.5W/sqm in spring and 6W/sqm in winter, against a target of 8W/sqm.

The main office light specification was predominately determined to overcome problems with the hard concrete ceiling. Suspended luminiares by TRILUX from the T200 range contain all the wiring and have a variety of optics to suit differing uses. They incorporate the T5 fluorescent lamp and highly specular louvre to give optimum lighting on the desk whilst still providing some indirect light onto the ceiling. In corridor areas translucent diffusers 3331 are used to give good vertical illumination on the rammed earth wall. Once this lighting was specified it lent a theme to the rest of the lighting.  The same coloured finish, silver-grey titanium, was used throughout.

In the lecture theatre compact fluorescent lamps within a suspended high performance luminaire with specular reflector and refraction optic ROB gives a proportion of upward light, controllability and aesthetically it mirrored the simplicity of the architecture.

The cafeteria is the only space that is lit with tungsten halogen lamps. Used in spotlights mounted on track they give a flexible and dramatic effect, justified as it neighbours the reception area. The reception is a double height space with a glazed atrium, so the lighting had to be equal to this majestic volume. The PSH fitting with compact fluorescent lamps gives efficiency coupled with visual impact and smart appearance.

Outside, the lighting had to be functional, whilst respecting the wild life and the natural surroundings. An assymetrical pathway bollard 880 gives orientation and definition to the pond area which is quiet and encourages wild life. But the 883 bollards at the front of the building, in the carpark, had to give a good coverage of light and needed a taller, symmetrical distribution to overcome obstacles ie planting. The car park receives a very uniform illumination from the 98 series, a 150w metal halide on 8m columns, again these will respond to the changes in daylight hours and will only operate when needed. All of this has resulted in a visually impressive building, which is economical to run, has a very low impact on the environment and has achieved an ‘excellent’ rating under BREEAM.


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