The Project Concept

The Science and Technology Facilities Council’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire is recognised across the globe for its innovative research across a number of scientific fields.

The lab employs over 1600 scientists and, as its work has developed, it became clear there was a need for a new, flexible space for testing the latest equipment. Oxford Architects created an iconic, curved design for the R105 Facilities Support Building and, in a break from the standard metal-clad facades of the surrounding buildings, specified a colourful façade using Kingspan Day-Lite Klick wall lights.

Oxford Architects LLP
Main Contractor:
Willmott Dixon Construction Ltd
Sky Green
Products Used:
Kingspan Day-Lite Klick

The Challenge

The Facilities Support Building serves two distinct purposes: a testing area where new equipment can be constructed, commissioned and tested, and a handling facility where active components are processed prior to their disposal or recycling. The varied nature of the lab’s work made it essential that these spaces could be easily reconfigured to allow this.

Externally, the building has been set into an earth mound and responds to its location within an area of stunning natural beauty with a design featuring a gently curved roof. To limit lighting energy demand whilst also creating a memorable façade, Oxford Architects needed a cost effective cladding system, combining metal facades with large polycarbonate wall lights in blue variations.

The Solution

Two different Divisions of the Kingspan Group: Kingspan Light + Air and Kingspan Insulated Panels collaborated closely to provide the client with a high-quality, fully integrated wall system from a single supply point. Kingspan Day-Lite Klick wall lights function both as a double-wall daylight construction and as a decorative rainscreen installed over Benchmark by Kingspan Karrier Panels.

This dual functionality was fundamental to the building’s design as it allowed panels to be installed vertically in lengths up to 14.5 metres, necessary for some stair towers. In many areas the Klick polycarbonate panels run the full height of the building façade, maintaining a clean external appearance. These long lengths presented potential logistical challenges, such as transport difficulties and on site storage. Kingspan Light + Air worked closely with specialist installers, Sky Green, to ensure the products were installed to a clear schedule – maximising installation efficiency.

Kingspan Day-Lite Klick wall lights were supplied in five shades of blue following the design team’s specification. Kingspan supplied samples of the panels to Sky Green, Willmott Dixon and Oxford Architects to ensure their exacting standards were met.


The blue-coloured Kingspan Day-Lite Klick panels have a solar heat gain coefficient as low as 0.37. The product’s excellent light transmission rate (up to 55%) minimises the demand for artificial lighting within the building, whilst their strong thermal performance in combination within the Benchmark by Kingspan Karrier panels also reduced heat loss through the building envelope.

We have worked with both Kingspan Light + Air and Kingspan Insulated Panels on a number of projects in the past and knew we could rely on their products to perform as we expected. Being able to source the entire façade system from a single supply point from both Divisions helped to reduce the logistical complexity of the project and allowed our specialist installers to complete the site work quickly and efficiently.

Sky Green

Products used on this project

Kingspan Light + Air UK

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Lamby Industrial Park

Wentloog Avenue, Cardiff


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