We’ve added more solar to London’s ever changing skyline, following the recent refurbishment of South Bank Tower to include 11 new floors.
The iconic 1970’s skyscraper has been redeveloped by CIT, the independent London real estate investor, together with Jadwa, the Saudi Arabian investment bank and is the latest London landmark to opt for renewable energy. The expansion, which sees more retail opportunities, restaurant spaces, office spaces, as well as more luxury apartments, increases the tower’s height to 155m, making it a dominant feature of the South Bank area.
In early February 2015, we collaborated with EvoEnergy Ltd on the initial design work for a solar PV mounting system that would be suitable for the tower’s new roofs. The 100 Solarworld 260wp modules were split evenly across the 41st Floor roof and 42nd Floor roof in mixed arrays of North-South and East-West orientations, allowing the building to fully capitalise on the system’s 26kWp output.
We developed a bespoke “up-stand” solution that would not only create the 10° module angle, but also keep the modules as low to the roof surface as possible. Produced from grade A2 stainless steel, the upstand is designed to fix into the structural concrete deck using 4 anchor rods with the remaining layers of the roof built up around them. Each upstand achieves in excess of 40kN uplift resistance, which comfortably safe guards the whole system against the heaviest wind loadings for a building of this height. This strong performance in uplift resistance means that fewer upstands were needed and therefore fewer connection points were made into the concrete deck.
The 10° module tilt was created by producing the front upstand slightly taller than the front one, together with a correctly aligned angle manufactured into each upstand. A length of mounting rail runs along to connect the front upstands together and similarly another set of mounting rails connects the back upstands together, which forms the base frame. To add stability to this, a second layer of mounting rail is used across the first layer, which then allows clamping of the modules on their long edge.
Even though this was a completely unique solution, our manufacturing capabilities allowed us to facilitate a fast turn-around with delivery to site within two weeks of the order. We now have a growing portfolio of innovative projects that we have delivered with many located in London and we are pleased to see that the city is becoming a hub for solar power, as more and more buildings are opting for a more sustainable energy source.