Healthy Daylighting

One of Europe’s latest projects to use Cabot’s aerogel insulation (Nanogel) technology is in Dublin. Designed by Irish architects A&D Wejchert & Partners, the Pearse Street Primary Care Centre provides general practice care including physiotherapy, occupational therapy and nursing clinics for the local community. The three storey building, on an extremely restricted and dusty city centre site, has rooms ranged around a central courtyard.

Significant is the extensive use of the airtight Kalwall+ Nanogel daylighting system which diffuses natural daylight and casts it evenly and deeply across the interior, without the presence of shadows or glare or the need for solar control. By using aerogel within the panels, a dramatic insulation U value of 0.28 is obtained - equivalent to a solid wall - thereby increasing the energy-saving performance and reducing lifecycle running costs. The insulation is based on translucent silica aerogel, the world’s most insulating solid which comprises up to 90% air. For Dublin, the system incorporates the new highly efficient Kalwall Eurowindow vision panels designed to facilitate external views and optional ventilation. It also provides the added benefit of privacy which is not possible with conventional glazing.

Another good example is the Thetford Health Centre. Designed by LA Architects, this community hospital combines consulting rooms with a variety of different treatment facilities, from general practice to chiropractor, from exercise to child care. Kalwall was specifically chosen because of its unique ability to diffuse daylight and create museum quality light which would provide an enhancing and uplifting ambience for patients. Unlike conventional glazing, the translucent cladding eliminates shadows and glare, and the stark contrasts of light and shade, and overcomes the need for blinds or curtains. Even on cloudy days, the interior is flooded with natural daylight, which means less artificial lighting and, because Kalwall is highly insulating, energy costs are also reduced. LA Architects have also married the 300sqm Kalwall envelope with some clear vision panels and opening lights to provide a therapeutic view of the landscaping, while maintaining essential privacy. At night, artificial lighting makes the building glow.

Project information and dedicated publications, showing how Kalwall provides translucent cladding and roofing solutions for many different private and public sector buildings, are available from Stoakes Systems Ltd Tel 020 8660 7667 or visit the website

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