Is this the most secure skylight in the UK?
Sunsquare was approached by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London for the installation of a new skylight that would shed some natural light on their impressive collection. Housing some of the world’s most famous works in art, fashion and architecture, the skylight needed some of the highest possible safety specifications, including loss protection from UV rays, gunfire and explosions.
The Victoria and Albert Museum is the world’s largest museum of applied arts, decorative arts, and design. It houses a permanent collection of over 2.8 million objects, books and archives that span over 5,000 years. The museum holds many of the UK’s national collections and houses some of the greatest resources for the study of architecture, furniture, fashion, textiles, photography, sculpture, painting, jewellery, glass, ceramics, book arts, Asian art and design, theatre and performance. Founded in 1852, the museum is named after Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.
Famous works at the V&A:
- Tippoo’s Tiger
- Raphael’s Cartoons
- Constable’s Landscape paintings
- The Three Graces by Antonio Canova
- The Ascension with Christ giving the Keys to St Peter by Donatello
The skylight for this project needed to achieve two things: provide natural light and meet high-security specifications to ensure the works are protected.The security specifications required for this particular skylight needed to achieve an LPS SR3 rating.
LPS – Loss Prevention Specification
SR3 – Security Risk 3, or a medium to high-security risk. This is out of four possible security risks, with SR1 being low risk and SR4 being the highest risk.
Setting out, we didn’t know that a skylight has ever or could ever achieve such a high rating. And we welcomed the challenge.
- Glass is certified to EN356 P8B.
- Outer leaf – 28mm Pilkington Optilam Low Iron EN356 P8B, with edges polished prior to lamination.
- Includes 1 x 0.38mm white diffused interlayer.
- Cavity – 16mm black spacer bar, stepped on all four edges, silicone sealed.
- Inner leaf – 8.8mm Pilkington Optilam™ K hard coat low E laminated, all edges polished.
Additional features included to the frame
- EXTERNAL 4mm ST/STEEL COVER
- BOLTED THROUGH THE UPSTAND
- TO THE INTERNAL RHS BEAM
- WITH M8 X 150mm BOLTS
- 6mm ST/STEEL BOTTOM COVER BOLTED WITH SKYVIEW
- FRAME AND UPSTAND WITH M8 x 100mm COACH SCREWS
- TOP RHS 60x60x5mm FULLY WELDED WITH STEEL
- ANGLE AND BOLTED TO THE UPSTAND AND
- FRME WITH M8 X 150mm BOLTS
The glass eventually achieved:
Light transmission 53%
G value 40%
U value 1.8 W/m2K
UV filter EN410:2011
At 320nm 0%
At 380nm 0%
At 400nm 26%
At 550nm 73%
So is this the most secure skylight in the UK?
We believe so.
In addition to producing enough light for the artefact rooms below, the skylight met the high standards for the specification of glass and the extra steel required to meet specifications for protection from UV, explosions, and gunfire. It was a first for our team at Sunsquare and a truly astonishing accomplishment.
Since 2004, Sunsquare Limited has been pioneering skylight designs, always aiming for the highest possible specification. With core offerings of fixed and opening skylights, rooflights and walk-on products for flat roofs, Sunsquare’s provides natural light and ventilation solutions for both domestic and commercial buildings. Based in Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, with 45 staff, Sunsquare is one of the country’s leading skylight manufacturers.