Lighting up Aylesbury Centre

Lighting control system complete for first facility in area to offer degree-level study

A £13.5m development, set to be the first facility in Aylesbury to offer degree-level courses, has recently completed the installation of a full lighting control system from Hager in conjunction with main contractor Morgan Sindall and award winning electrical engineering company, Darke & Taylor.

The Aylesbury Centre is a joint venture between Aylesbury College and Buckinghamshire New University, known as BEST. It is a four-storey education hub situated next to the Waterside Theatre, which also contains two restaurants and a café due to be open to the public. With these ‘shell’ spaces currently un-let, Darke & Taylor were challenged with fitting out two different specifications of mechanical and electrical equipment. The areas available for rent and sale would only require a basic level of infrastructure while the college space needed a more intelligent approach to lighting in order to fulfill the highly functional requirements of the educational space.

As well as offering around 2,000 students in Aylesbury the chance to study at degree level, the centre will also offer a wide variety of professional and commercial courses available meaning the space needs to be truly versatile.

Designing a dual-purpose space meant that flexibility and control were integral to every phase of Buckinghamshire’s state-of-the art facility, The Aylesbury Centre (formerly known as the Waterside Academy), which is a current development set to boost the local economy. The scheme, overseen by Morgan Sindall, is due to complete in September. The company appointed Darke & Taylor to oversee all the mechanical and electrical installation on site. With recent European research showing that good lighting in education environments can have positive effects on performance, social behaviour and well-being, Darke & Taylor needed to ensure a controlled system that would optimise lighting while maintaining energy efficiency levels for the building.

Martin Davies, from Darke & Taylor, said: “We’ve always used Hager products due to their attention to detail and design. However, in such a significant contract as this we needed to ensure that we were using a supplier that could also advise as part of a winning partnership. The specification stages are extremely important in any sector, not least in education. We were very impressed with what Klik LCM could offer this particular project and we are confident that it will deliver excellent longevity to this state-of-the-art college in Aylesbury.”

For the Aylesbury Centre, it is important that the educational spaces are designed for a variety of uses. The Klik LCM system allows the lighting to be quickly and easily re-programmed dependant upon the requirements of the buildings facilities. Additionally, the occupancy sensors are integral for the use of rooms where many students are likely to pass quickly in and out, such as the toilet areas.

Klik LCM is programmed using Bluetooth through the KlikLink iPad app for ease of lighting set-up. A key selling point for Darke & Taylor was the simplicity in the functionality behind the system making it easy to install and commission, as well as use.

Klik LCM combines state-of-the-art plug-in presence detectors and photocell technology to provide a range of energy-saving aspects – a big focus for organisations in the public sector. Other energy-saving aspects include:

  • Presence and absence sensing – which means that lighting is minimised or switched off when the area is not in use
  • Sensor with integral lux sensor – allows daylight dimming and switching, which maximises the use of natural light and minimises the use of additional lighting
  • Dimming capabilities – so the least amount of energy required can be used
  • Partition switch function – so that lighting can be adjusted according to the proportion or area of the room that is in use
  • Corridor hold function – enabling corridor lighting to remain on if an associated office space is occupied
  • Three level timeout – allowing lights to gradually reduce in three stages, saving energy but maintaining some light level during the time out period

Phil O’Brien, Project Manager Morgan Sindall, added: “The team is making good progress on this ambitious and important scheme. Morgan Sindall is well versed in successfully delivering large scale mixed-use projects and the team is very pleased to be using partners and manufacturers that are innovative in their approach to service and products to make this a first-class facility for Aylesbury.”    

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