Library Doubles Down on Daylight

Jan. 17, 2019

Innovative fabric interlayer allowed extensive glazing without a need for exterior or interior shading.

Birmingham, UK
Associated Architects

Officials at the University of Birmingham Library in Birmingham, England, wanted a lot of daylight for their new library, but wanted alternative options for dealing with the accompanying solar heat gain. The new library is one of the key features of the university’s £300 million campus regeneration.


Birmingham-based Associated Architects, in turn, specified SEFAR’s PR 260/55B Gold SEFAR VISION fabric for glass vertical fins to provide a modern take on functionality. Visually, the interlayer gives a contemporary aesthetic to the library. The high level of laminated glazing maximizes views both into and out of the building while achieving optimum daylighting and creating a quiet perimeter study area. Functionally, the fabric interlayers improve thermal performance by reducing heat load, and will save expenses on HVAC. The laminated fabric mesh will also reduce glare by mitigating visual light transmission, eliminating the need for exterior louvers and interior shading systems. SEFAR VISION utilizes the three-dimensional effects of the fabric, to provide a unique depth to the glass façade, which is typically seen as a two dimensional system. The interlayers can also be printed with UV-stabilized inks to produce any Pantone or RAL color, customizable patterns, and other visual effects without the exterior facing design reading through to the interior.


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