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Glidevale Sunscoop Tubular Rooflights Provide Natural Light To School

Over a thousand pupils in Wales are being given optimum learning conditions inside and an aesthetically pleasing building externally through advanced technology from Glidevale Ltd.

Newport City Council needed to add a stand-alone two-storey classroom block to provide additional teaching space and dedicated IT suites at Caerleon Comprehensive School. Architectural team leader Alun Beale wanted to design a facility that optimised natural daylight inside- proven to improve learning- and that was quick to build yet complemented the existing buildings on campus. This led to the choice of an insulated metal 15° pitched roof, in blue to match the established blue felted roof of the main school building.

Some 16 x Glidevale 250mm dia Sunscoop tubular rooflights are to provide natural daylight into the first floor corridor, which otherwise would have artificial light only. The Glidevale universal top roof flashings for the double glazed Sunscoops were specially colour-matched to BS 16C 37 to blend in with the blue roof.

Mr Beale observed, "It is the first time we have used Sunscoops. Even with the special colour matched flashings, they proved a more economic measure than in-plane rooflights."

Research shows learning is improved when natural light is maximised with the school environment. Rooflights themselves allow up to three times more natural daylight in than an equivalent sized vertical window. The roof-mounted Sunscoop dome "catches" natural daylight, reflecting it down the specular silvered aluminium tube into the room below. Sunscoop claims 95% reflectivity into the building, with a softer, more natural light against the blues and greys produced by some aluminium tubes. The tube includes an "LSD" (low sun deflector) that intercepts light even when the sun is low in the sky and would normally miss the Sunscoop's mirror tube, helping reduce the need for supplementary artificial lighting and subsequent increased energy cost. It is available in 250mm, 350mm and 530mm diameter,with a range of purpose designed roof flashings to ensure correct and weathertight fitting. Adjustable elbows further optimise system flexibility and adjustability. Glidevale claims Sunscoop is the first tubular rooflight of its type to meet the new Building Regulations Part L for thermal performance.

Manufactured in the UK, its wide range of roof interface flashing has been purpose-designed to fit properly into traditional British roof coverings. Flashings are manufactured from fire retardant ABS in a choice of five colours. The Sunscoop dome itself is manufactured from UV stabilised polycarbonate which offers impact resistance up to 200 times that of glass making it virtually unbreakable, and which carries an AA fire rating, enabling use of Sunscoops without restriction on number or spacing. Glidevale is part of the Building Product Design Group, which specialises in roofing and ventilation products for the construction industry.

The company undertakes a continuous research and development programme, to bring to market innovative yet practical products in line with changing requirements.

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