Back to School for Brett Martin

Rooflight installation at the school
Published on Monday, 14 January 2013 10:26
Posted by Scott Buckler

As a top ranking independent school, Ashford Friars Prep School in Kent needed just the right solution for a striking and technically complex rooflight in its new library

Having graduated with flying colours from a previous rooflight installation at the senior school, Brett Martin Daylight Systems was the natural choice for architect, Miller Bourne.

The Brett Martin Ritchlight Ultra skylight not only helped provide the ideal working environment in the library but also topped the league tables for thermal efficiency, insulation, acoustic performance and durability. It is the company's second visit to the school having previously installed a Marvault HF barrel vault rooflight over a courtyard to form an atrium in the senior school.

Ritchlight skylights are a popular and versatile glazing system ideal for flat roofs and ridge glazing. For this particular project, because of the size required over the library, the custom-built skylight was installed on a sloped roof.

Gary Steel, Technical Sales Manager for Brett Martin Daylight Systems said: "To meet the size requirements for the Prep School, we worked closely with Miller Bourne Architects to ensure that the Ritchlight Ultra could be successfully installed on a sloped roof. We conducted in-depth structural calculations and the installation has been a huge success. It has helped create an inviting, light and quiet space for the children."

The school's impressive track record of academic achievement recognises that the environment in which the students study can have a significant effect on their learning.

Natural daylight is recognised for its enormous physiological benefits, proven to reduce stress and improve health. Research shows that naturally daylit classroom environments contribute to better attention spans and promotes learning. At Ashford Friars, the rooflight has significantly increased the amount of natural daylight in the library, making the environment far more interesting and stimulating for both pupils and staff, whilst reducing the need for artificial lighting and ultimately running costs.

Christian Richard of Miller Bourne Architects comments, "Brett Martin Daylight Systems has provided an excellent service, consulting on all the technical aspects of the specification and installation with minimal disturbance to the school. The new rooflight has not only proved to have outstanding performance but, for both students and teachers it has had a significant effect on their learning and working environment."

The skylight was supplied in measurements of 5.9m long x 2.4m wide and, working with Miller Bourne and main contractor Baxall Construction, Brett Martin Daylight Systems was involved throughout the project, from design through to installation when the skylight was installed by their own specialist installers.

Acoustic performance was high on the agenda as it was paramount that heavy rain on the rooflight would not disturb the students' studies. With this in mind, a glass option was chosen to significantly reduce noise levels.

Thermal insulation was central to Ritchlight Ultra's design.  Achieving U-values as low as 1.1W/m²K, the skylight boasts a unique thermal break which splits the internal and external components preventing thermal bridging and eliminating cold spots. This fully thermally broken glazing system is extremely effective at preventing heat loss and minimising the risk of condensation while allowing maximum levels of natural daylight in.

Ritchlight Ultra skylights are available in a variety of shapes and sizes with glazing and frame colour options, making them ideal for schools, public buildings, commercial developments and homes - both new-build and refurbishment.

Christian Richard concludes: "Both Miller Bourne Architects and the school are extremely pleased with the installations and I am sure, if another rooflight were to be specified at the school, Brett Martin Daylight Systems would once again be our first choice rooflight supplier."

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