VELUX HQ, GLENROTHES, SCOTLAND
When planning the impressive VELUX HQ extension, architect Iain Mitchell, of Sinclair Watt Architects, was free to choose the best products for the project, and especially for the innovative glazed screens installed on all four facades: ‘Maximum daylight was one of the most important objectives for VELUX,’ he says, ‘and so the slim VELFAC system – with a frame width of only 54mm - was the ideal solution. The clean design was another important benefit, given the amount of glazing installed,’ he adds. ‘The combination of thin frame profiles and uniform sightlines greatly reduce frame impact across the curtain walls installed on every façade. Externally, every VELFAC unit looks identical, whether opening or fixed, with fitted trickle vents also invisible from the outside, as are the motorised window openers linked to the BMS-controlled natural ventilation system.’
The £7m HQ extension houses a Customer Interaction Centre, training facilities, office space, a meeting suite and a staff restaurant. The building provides a showcase for VELUX Modular Skylights, VELUX Flat Roof Windows and VELUX Sun Tunnels and also highlights the style and performance of VELFAC composite glazing. Multiple VELFAC windows and doors create the impressive, full height glazed screens installed on every facade of the two-storey glulam-framed building, and around the separate, sedum-roofed reception area. This extensive curtain walling helps maximise natural light across the open plan interior while adding contemporary style, excellent insulation, and impressive durability.
The fact that VELFAC and VELUX are sister companies is also an advantage, as the VELFAC composite frame is identical in construction to the VELUX system, bringing further design continuity, comments Iain: ‘The inner VELFAC timber frame gives an attractive finish while external aluminium results in a low maintenance façade. Internally we opted for white painted VELFAC timber frames to complement white VELUX units, while external frames feature a dark grey ‘granite’ finish. This provides a reflective texture which complements the different materials used across the building, including natural stone, timber cladding and the curved aluminium standing seam roof.’
VELFAC low U-values were also a benefit: ‘Despite the amount of glass installed, we could meet our U-value target of 1.5W/m2K with standard VELFAC double glazing,’ says Iain, who also specified VELFAC SUN solar control glazing for the south facing façade, installed behind a slatted screen to help minimise solar gain. The building was finished in 2020 and will be occupied by 150 staff.
Client: VELUX Group
Architect: Sinclair Watt Architects