Zumtobel and its sister brand Thorn, both lighting brands of the Zumtobel Group, worked with The University of Leeds Estates team, BAM, Arup, and Silcock Leedham to devise a cutting-edge lighting scheme, supported by cleverly integrated emergency lighting powered by its CPS Central Battery to ease maintenance.

Named after Sir William Henry Bragg, a former professor at the University of Leeds, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1915, the Sir William Henry Bragg Building will play a key role in the design of new materials research, nanotechnology, pharmaceutical manufacturing, low energy electronics, and robotics.

The £96m new facility is the largest single investment in the University of Leeds’ history. It brings the Faculty of Engineering and Schools of Physics and Chemistry into a single building – creating a truly world-class collaborative research centre.

Located on the northeast quarter of the campus, the 15,700m2 Bragg Building is fully equipped to support cutting-edge science research now and into the future. This is thanks to an impressive range of research environments – from clean rooms and low vibration facilities to spaces that allow for studies into radiation, optics, low temperatures, and bio-nano chemistry.

Encouraging a collaborative working environment

This investment will foster a culture of inter-disciplinary working in the development of novel materials to address 21st Century challenges in many areas, including energy efficient computing, telecommunications, sustainable magnetic materials, sensors for use in biological systems and extreme or remote environments, pharmaceutical formulations, ‘smart foods and medical technologies.

BAM, the successful property development partner, appointed Silcock Leedham to organise the final design and worked with Zumtobel and its sister brand Thorn, both lighting brands of the Zumtobel Group to select the luminaires for the optimum lighting solution.

The overall aim: to encourage collaboration wherever possible and create a cutting-edge educational facility.

Meeting more than just the requirements

The backbone of the lighting project was the emergency lighting, powered by Zumtobel’s CPS Central battery system.

Emergency lighting is more than just a legal requirement in a tertiary education setting. Providing reliable assistance in an emergency demonstrates a clear sense of responsibility – towards employees, students, property, and the environment. In everyday life, discreet design and creative integration guarantee lighting that is pleasing to the eye.

Grant Cunningham, Key Account Manager at Zumtobel Group, explains, “We engaged early with the university estates’ team and presented our controls and EMG best practices. We reviewed the systems currently in place on other parts of the campus and then put together a comprehensive package for controls and EMG central battery.”

Continued safety, whatever the emergency

The CPS central battery system adapts to suit both the project and the customer requirements – as and when necessary. The system communicates via DALI across the building, with minimum maintenance outlay, fail-safe data communication with no need for additional communication modules in the luminaires. Furthermore, the central monitoring helps the estate’s team quickly identify faulty luminaires, ensuring continued safe lighting conditions for students and staff.

The emergency lighting scheme consists of the award-winning PURESIGN exit signage, fusing clear functionality with an elegant design. Its state-of-the-art LED lighting technology provides perfect and extremely uniform backlighting of the pictogram, a reassuring beacon in emergencies.

RESCLITE PRO guides occupants in an emergency safer and smarter than ever before. Its innovative optics help the university meet all emergency lighting requirements, combining minimalist design with the highest technical standards.

Keeping energy costs to a minimum

In addition to the emergency lighting, Zumtobel’s MIREL evo, LINCOR DI, AMPHIBIA, PANOS evo, and SLOTLIGHT Infinity light the complete facility from the laboratories and teaching rooms to the bathrooms and circulation areas. The Thorn portfolio illuminates the back-of-house areas, including Glacier II, Force LED, Novaline, and Omega Pro.

The complete lighting solution is controlled via the DALI protocol with LITENET Lighting Controls. Daylight dimming is implemented using Skyscanner, increasing efficiency and keeping energy costs to the minimum.

The finished building is a stunning addition to the University’s campus, complementing the historic architecture and the landscapes surrounding it, providing an outstanding student experience whilst also enhancing its research power and strengthening collaboration with industry.

David Oldroyd, Interim Deputy Director of Development, University of Leeds said:

“The Bragg Building required lighting for a very diverse range of spaces and to meet a variety of needs. As we work towards our campus being Net Zero by 2030, we also needed a low energy solution. Zumtobel were able to meet all of these criteria as well as providing great design.”

Location: International Centre for Engineering & Physical Science (ICEPS) University of Leeds.

Project team: University of Leeds, BAM, Arups, Silcock Leedham.

Photograph accreditation: ALEX STYLES | PHOTOGRAPHY.

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February 2023 issue

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