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Article Date: 16th October 2017

Gilberts (Blackpool) - ‘Outside the Box’ Thinking Helps Deliver Premier Development

Air Movement - Louvre Screen - Louvre System - Natural Ventilation

Gilberts - Premier Inn

The challenge of satisfying a "challenging" planning regime to minimise a new build’s impact has in part been met by out of the box thinking by supply partners.

One of the issues facing developer Quora (Lewes) with its 3,600m², three-storey, mixed use development in the heart of Lewes’ historic town centre was to balance airflow for the large amount of plant needed for the project’s building services alongside aesthetics.

Leading air movement specialist Gilberts devised an innovative solution for Quora’s contractor Jessops Construction: the design and manufacture of a site-assembled louvre screen, 19m long x 1.8m high, fixed in place using a BigFoot innovative, non-penetrative support, on the single ply flat roof below .

"It was a sensitive project from the outset," explained Gilberts’ John Hanger. "It involved demolishing the 25 years-old Magistrates Court, and creating in its stead ground floor retail units with a 61 bedroomed Premier Inn above, in an area known for its profusion of vernacular architecture. Every effort was therefore taken to create a building that blended with the surrounding area.

"Using our WGK75 inverted, mitred blades, with cranked ends, set at a 75mm pitch and 45 degree angle, protects the plant from excessive weather ingress whilst ensuring an adequate flow of fresh air for ventilation. Using the BigFoot system further played a part in creating a careful solution: it meant we didn’t need a substantial supporting framework, and minimised penetrations through the single ply flat roof."

Added Jessops’ Martin Hind, "We had to balance tight budget constraints with high specification requirements to satisfy all parties involved. We specifically chose materials that would help create a scheme that looked impressive but would still sit comfortably with the surrounding area. Gilberts’ louvre system gave us a creative, quality solution."

Gilberts’ WGK75 integrated louvre system is purpose-designed for site assembly, to address complex structural interfaces; it features as standard 1.6mm clip-on blades that deliver a 50% free ventilation area to the plant behind.

Gilberts’ louvre screens are just part of the company’s range of grilles, louvres and diffusers for natural and mechanical ventilation. Founded 55 years ago, Gilberts Blackpool is Britain’s leading independent air movement specialist, and is unique in its ability to develop components. Be it ‘mainstream’ or bespoke - entirely in-house, from initial design through tooling, production, testing and supply, at its 85,000 ft² manufacturing facility. Its state of the art test centre, designed and built in-house, is one of the most technically advanced in the country.

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