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Designed by world class architect Sir Norman Foster – lit by Zumtobel Lighting the prestigious Manor Road Building, The University of Oxford


Zumtobel Lighting has created individual solutions for a number of different areas of the state-of-the-art Manor Road Building, part of The University of Oxford. The client’s brief called for modern, highly efficient lighting with high performance and excellent aesthetics that would not compromise the original Norman Foster visual lighting effect, whilst providing a more sustainable higher education facility and a perfect environment for learning. Zumtobel was chosen for the project because of their market leading efficiencies combined with the required architectural aesthetic for every area of the building to meet the stringent requirements of The University of Oxford’s facilities management team and provide a full design service.

Originally designed by world class architect Sir Norman Foster, the Manor Road site is home to timetables and building information for staff, students and visitors who are based at and attend events in the building. The Manor Road Building is home to several units of the Social Sciences Division and also houses the unified Social Science Library.

To maintain as much of the original design aesthetic as possible, the majority of luminaires have been supplied in custom 4 metre lengths and finished in black. For the offices MIREL Evolution, with its clean, minimalist design, was the ideal solution, as it is in keeping with the existing fittings and the light source is not visible when looking across the room. This luminaire is particularly suitable for offices, classrooms and any space where discomfort glare needs to be controlled. The unique LED optics combine directional light distribution while maintaining an unmatched value of UGR < 16. Light guided via Zumtobel’s advanced Quadrification Lens Optic (QLO) allows for high lighting quality, perfect glare control and batwing light distribution.

LIGHT FIELDS, with its minimalist, unobtrusive design has been installed in the lecture theatres to provide the perfect lighting quality thanks to a micro-pyramidal optic, which is precisely tuned to suit the distribution characteristics of the LED lighting points. This guarantees glare-free light (UGR < 16 and L65 < 1,500 cd/m2) with a highly diffuse light distribution. With a luminaire efficiency factor in excess of 120 lm/W at 4,000 K, this LED luminaire also makes a significant contribution towards energy efficiency. Minimalist luminaire RESCLITE provides flexible, programmable and efficient emergency lighting throughout the facility. This smart emergency luminaire utilises new lenses to provide enhanced flexibility and combines an unobtrusive look with the highest function-driven performance with less points to maintain.

To complete the suite of products supplied by Zumtobel, LITECOM lighting management system is being used to optimise the lighting solution with regard to visual comfort and energy efficiency throughout the project. From control of individual rooms to several floors or whole buildings, the functions and dimensions of the LITECOM system can be configured to suit the user. It can be controlled via conventional switches and Zumtobel control units, smartphones, tablets or other computers. LITECOM lighting management system is being used in conjunction with a 360° Skyscanner on the roof of the building to deliver optimised visual comfort and energy efficiency. The Skyscanner sends environmental information to the software enabling the setting of specifically designed brightness scenes by room or area to create defined atmospheres based on the purpose of that space.

Robert Gregg, Principal Electrical Engineer, University of Oxford commented “It was important for the University to look at the replacement of the existing lighting system which was problematic with large scale failures and had become a burden on the maintenance budget.  It was essential that the lighting system was fit for purpose and the lit environment was of upmost importance to the University, The ethos behind the project was to deliver a sustainable solution through design and use of appropriate luminaires and controls whilst also complementing the original design from Sir Norman Foster.

The building has exceptional daylight qualities so it was important to use nature’s gift and reduce the need for artificial light as much as possible.  After a long selection process, we chose products that were in-keeping with the original design concept and selected a control system that could maximise the potential of daylight harvesting.

With over 2000 luminaires to be installed, the installation is still ongoing and is approximately 75% completed. We look forward to seeing the project completed towards the end of 2019”.

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