Bangor Uni

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.

The Brief

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.