Back to school for SolaLighting
A windowless staff room in a Victorian school building near Norwich has been transformed into a bright, attractive environment thanks to two Solatube Daylighting Systems from SolaLighting Limited. Brooke VC Primary School recently installed the Solatube systems that pipe natural light from roof-mounted domes into the room below. The staff are delighted – not only is the room now reclaimed as effective, usable space, but the Solatubes allow significant energy cost savings – ideal for schools on tight budgets.
Despite the fact that Solatube (a rigid tube system) had been specified, contractors had initially installed flexible tube daylighting systems but they had produced a very disappointing result which failed to impress the head teacher. A site survey showed that light entering the ribbed flexible tube system was being scattered in all directions, rather than down into the room, and was being diluted by the poor reflectivity of the inner surface. The manufacturers of flexible tube systems claim the reflectivity of their flexible tube material is around 86%. Solatube uses rigid tube material with a reflectivity of 99.7%. It was calculated that a rigid Solatube Daylighting System from SolaLighting would be able to bounce up to ten times more light into the room below. As a result, the head teacher instructed the contractor to remove the ineffective flexible duct systems and install Solatube Daylighting Systems in their place.
The staff room now benefits from two Solatube 290DS systems (350mm diameter tube) each of which can illuminate up to 22 m² of floor area and significantly reduce the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. The Solatube Brighten Up series sets performance standards never seen before. It features the new, patented Raybender 3000 Fresnel roof-mounted dome which directs maximum light down the tube, and the mirror-finish Spectralight Infinity tube with 99.7% reflectivity which ensures minimum light loss as daylight is bounced down to the room below – and once installed it’s maintenance free and costs nothing to run.
Head teacher Clare Cook commented: “As we look at improving areas of the school, we intend to put in Solatubes wherever it is appropriate. I am so impressed at the results they achieve that I am recommending them to other head teachers for their schools too.”