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Gilberts’ louvres go sky high

Liverpool’s iconic Echo Building- formerly home of Britain’s fifth biggest regional daily newspaper- has been reimagined, with the 16 floors of offices being transformed into retail, offices and a hotel. The crown of the Echo Place project is a new, two-storey high rooftop skybar with 360° panoramic views of the cityscape.

The challenge for the skybar constructor, Glassrooms Architectural Glazing, was to ensure adequate airflow out of the structure to maintain a relaxing and pleasant experience for all occupants- diners and staff- whilst keeping the clean aesthetics.

The answer was Gilberts’ WHZ high performance louvres, which Glassrooms installed in a continuous 24m long screen around the top of the 6m high glazing. Insulated panels have been integrated into the screen to match the U value of the overall building envelope. A slimline aluminium bird guard has also been included at the rear of the louvre blades.

Gilberts WHZ louvre system is 99.5% effective in screening and exhaust applications, achieving extraction via its 40% nett free ventilation area with outstanding weather protection- critical at the high altitude: with the addition of the skybar, the building is 73m tall and subject to average wind speeds of up to 40kph.

Keith Nethercott, Director/Partner @ Glassrooms, explained, “We needed high performance, but, as the louvres are integrated into the glass façade, we needed a slimline solution, rather than the conventional technique of using double- or even triple- banks of louvres. We have used Gilberts before: they understand the work and considerations and give us great technical support.”

Gilberts has developed its own louvre product range over the years to provide a comprehensive package to keep pace with the evolution of building design and structural interfaces, initially and as/if the building structure is altered. Thus it now has ranges of standard, high performance, site assembled and acoustic louvres, available in a range of ratings for weight, ventilation, weather, insects and bird ingress. Even fixings can be tailored to individual site preferences.

Innovatively, with its in-house design expertise, Gilberts has the capability to create bespoke configurations which can be both CFD modelled, and tested within its own laboratory to give customers complete ‘fit for purpose’ peace of mind.

Gilberts also offers a comprehensive range of PPC,PVF and PVF2 coatings across its louvres, available in any RAL colour, applied to louvres of almost any size.

Founded 60 years ago, and still family-owned, Gilberts is the UK’s leading independent air movement engineer. It is unique in its ability to design, manufacture and test all products- including bespoke fabrications- in-house, to the extent it even designs and manufactures its own tools at its 140,000 sq ft head office and production facility.

3 July 2023


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