Case study

LOC Focus Academy

Focus Academy
Focus Academy
LOC Focus Academy
LOC Focus Academy - Guthrie Douglas
LOC Focus Academy Specialist Blinds



Building type



Royal HaskoningDHV

Delivery Partner

Polyned, Solar Control Design

Main contractor

Heerkens Van Bavel




Barendrecht, Netherlands

About LOC Focus Academy

Integrated shading for an ETFE roof structure

Located near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, The Academy is a comprehensive pre-vocational school and currently has about 700 students. The building consists of 11,000m2 of educational accommodation and a 2,000m2 large sports hall which meets the requirements of the Dutch National Olympic Committee. The building is extremely durable with energy storage, heat pumps and LED lighting.

The design by Royal Haskoning reflects on the latest trends in education. A learning environment has been chosen with few classrooms. The majority of education takes place outside of the classroom, in so-called ‘workplaces’ which encourage independent learning.  An atrium is a key feature of The Academy and the largest learning workplace. The space is also the used for events and meetings of large groups. The control of light, heat and glare into this space was part of the architect’s early considerations and Guthrie Douglas were invited to consult during the design process.

The original design specification featured an ETFE roof, but building physics modelling identified that despite ETFE’s solar control properties, this alone would not provide sufficient protection, to meet the exacting thermal comfort requirements of the large event space.

The challenge was to integrate shading systems into the exceptionally light support structure of the ETFE roof. We designed a bespoke ‘clamp’ bracket arrangement which was installed directly onto the steel support cables.

The result is a shading system which provides an effective solution for solar protection without compromising the design ethos.

Guthrie Douglas’ engineers relish the challenge that intricate building design brings. Read about a project where we used abseiling equipment to oversee the installation of our systems on a curved glass façade in Prague.

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