The state-of-the-art technological research centre is now open to new tenants in the low-carbon, energy and environmental sectors. Dextra Lighting’s precision-engineered luminaires and LEDExtra’s bespoke lighting solutions help fulfil the architect’s inspiring vision whilst allowing the building to achieve an excellent BREEAM rating for sustainability.
About the Client
March this year saw the proud unveiling of Bangor University’s Menai Science Park in Gaerwen, Anglesey. After five years of planning and development, the £20m state-of-the-art facility, funded by the European Regional Development Funding through the Welsh Government, was delivered on time and on budget and is now a thriving hub for hi-tech companies in sectors such as low-carbon, energy and environment and ICT.
M-SParc’s 30-year vision has been ambitious and far-reaching, aiming to propel the technology industry to new heights and forge new scientific research partnerships in North Wales that will have a global impact. As Neil Rowlands, chairman of Anglesey Enterprise Zone’s advisory board stated, the project has been “a fantastic example of government and academia working with the private sector to create a world-class facility.”
Bangor University has full ownership of the park making it a SME in its own right. With more than three-quarters of its research being “world-leading or internationally significant”, the university’s students and tenant companies will enter a mutually beneficial exchange of skills, research and knowledge that will boost economic growth, plug the skills gap in the region and provide post-graduate students with invaluable industry experience.
The science park was created to become an industry hub for tech companies in the low-carbon environmental sectors, and as such, sustainability was high on the agenda. The building, designed by award-winning Faulkner Browns Architects with input from various partnering companies and built by Wilmott-Dixon, was to set an example for sustainable practice, making use of cutting-edge technology such as the latest solar panels, BMS systems and Dextra Group’s energy-efficient LED lighting solutions.
Demand and interest in the building has been high and on the rise. Before handover, 37% occupancy was secured, comfortably beating its target of 15% thanks to Willmott-Dixon’s marketing campaign – allowing prospective tenants to view with virtual reality glass the facility before completion.
Dextra Lighting and LEDextra joined forces to ensure the new sensor-controlled LED lighting solution would satisfy the project’s high-specification and technological requirements whilst conforming to the building’s innovative architectural design. By combining its advanced manufacturing capabilities and access to the latest high-quality components, Dextra Group were able to help Bangor University to create a world-class facility to be leased to both local and global companies.
From its inception the vision for M-SParc has been to innovate, impress and inspire. The Science Park was to stand as an emblem of technological advancement and environmental sustainability, whilst demonstrating future-proof levels of operational efficiency and functionality. The lighting would have to reflect the bold and futuristic design of the landmark building; seamlessly integrating with the architecture.
Wales’ first dedicated science park spans over 31,200 sq ft of land and offers 45 office spaces ranging in size from 156 sq ft to 2,690 sq ft, 23 laboratories and two double-height workshops. Total capacity for the three storey building stands at 700 employees.
A wide selection of versatile lighting solutions were to be provided for each area – supporting a range of activities by offering flexible and automated lighting controls, task appropriate light levels and superb light quality. A stimulating and comfortable ambience would be achieved alongside safety and efficiency.
Luminaires selected would utilise the latest LM80-verified 3535 HE Lumileds LED sources offering 90% lumen maintenance for the first 60,000 hours of operation. The installation would thereby minimise maintenance compared to conventional lighting by eliminating the need to frequently change failed or rapidly depreciating lamps. These high-performance sources, paired with efficient optical designs, allow each luminaire to offer high light output ratios whilst consuming at least 70% less energy than fluorescent or HID equivalents.
The products in Dextra Lighting’s LED range, satisfy the criteria outlined by the Energy Technology List (ETL) for energy efficiency making them eligible for the governments Enhanced Capital Allowance scheme for 100% tax levy for the first year of purchase. The new LED system will therefore allow Bangor University to minimise its carbon footprint whilst enjoying the financial benefits of environmental tax incentives for further ROI.
Rubix Suspended – Meeting Rooms
Meeting rooms are about first impressions – convey a sense of trust as well as reflect the standards and values of a company to visiting business partners. A closer eye for detail and aesthetics in the design of these areas is crucial in order to impress whilst creating a comfortable and inviting atmosphere to facilitate negotiations.
The Rubix Suspended was selected for its stylish modern design and versatility, allowing it to harmonise with different décors, features and furnishings. In one meeting room for instance, the Rubix’s bi-directional light distribution produced brilliant reflectances on to an overhanging, lacquered copper ball whilst the uplight created an attractive glow for added illumination and a refreshing sense of space.
In the executive conference rooms on the other hand, the Rubix was supplied in parallel continuous runs, using cut-to-size rigid suspension cords to adapt to the changes in ceiling heights and elegantly hang above the luxurious desk. This balanced two-point suspension is both discreet and quick to install saving money though a cost-effective fitting process without compromising aesthetic appeal.
With a range of output packages and cell-configurations to choose from, the luminaire was provided in both 3140llm and 5010llm versions to achieve the CIBSE recommended light level of 500Lux depending on the size of the room, ensuring all the desks and seating areas were uniformly lit. The luminaires were provided in both 1200mm and 1500mm lengths, accompanied by 6-pole through-wire blind units where required, offering easy wiring and full compatibility with a range of dimming controls. To match the interior’s colour scheme, the luminaires featured a clear cell surround which is also available in either blue, orange or red variants.
The Rubix Suspended’s optical design consists of either four or six light cells with semi-specular aluminium reflectors divided into two sets to offer precise optical control for a direct and controlled light distribution at wide luminaire spacings of up to 3 x 3m. Its 50% / 50% bi-directional distribution adds a dimension to the luminaire’s effectiveness, creating a balance between a focused downward light and a more open uplight. Paired with the latest Lumileds LEDs the luminaire offers a high LOR and operates at an outstanding efficiency of 127 Llm/w.
To support activities ranging from presentations, the use of monitors and projectors, product demonstration, conference calls and the usual meeting scenarios, luminaires were supplied with DALI dimming controls from a wide range of dimming variants. This will allow staff to easily and accurately adjust the light levels for each occasion from a user-friendly digital interface.
To add to this functionality and maximise energy savings, the Rubix Suspended is also compatible with integral and standalone sensors including the Reacta 24H minihead and Easy Air Wireless linking sensor for daylight regulation and presence detection.
The Runway Surface/Suspended – Offices, Laboratories & Circulation Areas
The Runway range of luminaires is designed to offer premium performance and integrate neatly into its surroundings. With a wide selection of customisable options, the luminaire gives designers the freedom to create installations for unique environments like M-SParc.
Available in output packages of between 871llm to 4244llm in two different lengths, continuous runs or standalone format, two diffuser options and bi-directional distribution, the Runway Suspended can be tailored to satisfy the lighting and architectural needs of each application with precision and style.
The Runway’s slimline white, anodised aluminium housing (also available in black) offers an elegant minimalist form – a perfect match for M-SParc’s architectural style. Its essential design will also make it adaptable to the aesthetic requirements of future tenants.
By incorporating the latest mid-output 3535 Lumileds LEDs, the Runway is able to deliver high levels of energy-efficiency with minimal maintenance whilst ensuring that light levels can be met without compromising on visual comfort. Combining these high-quality LED sources with high-transmission opal diffusers, the luminaire offers a high Light Output Ratio at an efficiency of up to 109Llm/w.
Over 500 luminaries were supplied to cover large open plan workspaces and smaller more personal offices. 1500mm standalone versions of the luminaire were suspended in rows which were partitioned by custom-built baffles. A 3990llm output was used, featuring an optional microprism insert achieved the recommended 400lux for office use whilst reducing glare to comfortable levels for staff using computers.
In various corridors, a higher output of 5586llm with bidirectional output was utilised, offering a higher light intensity and even coverage in higher ceiling areas. These luminaires were surface-mounted onto both the ceiling and the wall. In corridors where the luminaire was wall-mounted, the bi-directional effect produced an attractive wall-wash effect above the doorways, acting both as general and ambient lighting.
The Runway is designed to provide flexible control – whether manual or automated, analogue or digital. From a wide range of dimming options, the luminaire was supplied with DALI dimming functions that allow light levels to be programmed and adjusted from user-friendly digital interfaces.
The luminaire’s high-quality Philip’s DALI dimmable drivers can also be combine with a range of integral or standalone sensors for daylight regulation and presence detection, to maximise energy savings.
The fitting process was fast, simple and cost-effective, thanks to the luminaire’s practical gear trays with quick-release clips for ease of installation into the trunking system.
LEDextra Bespoke Lighting Solution / Ceiling Integration – Atrium
What makes M-Sparc such an impressive architectural achievement is not just the structure itself but the unique details that characterise it. Amongst these is the lighting design for the building’s open-plan main hall and large mezzanine level leading to the conference rooms and offices.<