Part of the solution was the construction of the sunspace – a dramatic glass structure that dominates the rear face of the college. However, a double-glazed wall of around 500 sqm inevitably has a huge effect on the temperature of the adjacent spaces. The major challenge for our building services team was to integrate the sunspace into our heating strategy. The engineers needed to ensure it worked like a conservatory, not a greenhouse – a task that needed the specialist skills of architects and engineers, working collectively.
The quantity and quality of the natural light that streams into the college helps to reduce the total energy costs of the building. The sunspace brings daylight and warmth directly to the heart of the building, transforming what could be bland circulation areas and stairwells into bright, uplifting sunlit spaces.