Two hundred modules of the VELUX Modular Skylight system were installed as part of an innovative lighting and ventilation strategy led by BAM Construction and AHR Architects for the Ministry of Defence’s new UK Hydrographic Office. Modularised and prefabricated, the modular skylights simplified a complex specification for natural daylight, first-class ventilation, and modern aesthetics in a central atrium area at the heart of the new development.
BAM Construction were appointed as the main contractor for the UK Hydrographic Office back in 2016 and worked with AHR Architects to build this 11,000 square foot office space which would support the new, digital-first vision of the UK Hydrographic Office. The project incorporated the development of multiple office spaces with a central atrium area where employees can collaborate, relax, and communicate with one another.
The incorporation of natural daylight and ventilation were key design principles in creating a welcoming and pleasant environment for employees at the UK Hydrographic Office. Through the creative use of lighting, AHR Architects worked to instil a sense of ownership and pride in the those working at the office to afford clear benefits in terms of motivation, employee retention, and overall productivity in the workplace. Minimising the building’s energy use for both lighting and temperature regulation was also a key concern, which led to the VELUX Modular Skylight system being agreed as the most suitable product for this specification by both BAM Construction and AHR Architects.
Regulating Daylight, Noise, and Ventilation in Commercial Office Spaces
To offer a light and welcoming atmosphere, AHR Architects designed the central atrium using VELUX modular skylights alongside timber baffles to create something of a coffered ceiling effect. This was done to bring a steady degree of light into the building whilst mitigating glare caused by too much direct sunlight. This combination allows for the building to benefit from a steady and pleasant level of lighting throughout the day. In addition, the baffles also provided the added benefit of acoustic absorption which allowed for the creation of a vibrant space between busied offices without too much of the noise passing between these spaces.
In terms of ventilation, The UK Hydrographic Office was also designed so that air is strategically drawn in through the sides of the building wings and up into the atrium roof where the modular skylights sit. As both the openable and fixed units of the VELUX Modular Skylights system appear visually identical, AHR Architects were able to adopt a more long-term approach to strategic ventilation. A larger degree of openable units were specified for across the office roof which allows for a far greater amount of air to pass through and therefore improve the ventilation capacity of the building should the building’s needs change at any point in the future.
Saving Time and Money with Prefabricated Modular Skylights
As with all building projects, timing and scheduling were key. VELUX modular skylights were installed by Daylight Solutions, a specialist installer of roof lighting systems and a proud installation partner of VELUX. Having worked with VELUX since 2014, the organisation came equipped with a clear understanding of VELUX’s product range and how to install them efficiently. Indeed, thanks to both the expertise of Daylight Solutions and the simplicity of the VELUX Modular Skylight system, the project was able to progress quickly and efficiently without any real complications or costly delays. Delivered on time and to specification, the units were then lifted onto the roof and installed within a mere five days.
The UK Hydrographic Office project is a perfect example of how simple it can be for buildings to create a truly vibrant, light, and inviting atmosphere without all the traditional complications or costly delays that tend to come with that. This is possible only through the use of innovative, modularised and prefabricated systems such as VELUX Modular Skylights to take pressures off the contractor and installer and allow them to do what they do best.