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21 August 2008

Natural lighting and ventilation specialist Monodraught has been awarded an annual contract to supply and install its SunPipe natural lighting systems and controls throughout buildings in the Environment Agency's Southern Region, which includes Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.


Natural lighting and ventilation specialist Monodraught has been awarded an annual contract to supply and install its SunPipe natural lighting systems and controls throughout buildings in the Environment Agency's Southern Region, which includes Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

The contract, which was won in an open tender based on price, performance and value for money, will involve fitting SunPipes and Monodraught related products to a variety of buildings ranging from offices to operational depots. Construction styles also vary from traditional single-story brick buildings with pitched concrete roofs, to modern, steel-roofed industrial units.

Commenting for the Environment Agency, Southern Region environment management advisor Nick Berry says: "We are one of eight regions throughout England and Wales which, in line with government policy, have targets to reduce carbon emissions by 30% by 2011/2012. Monodraught was awarded the contract as part of our commitment as champions of the environment to reducing energy use and our carbon footprint." He adds that where practical, Environment Agency offices in the region will be fitted with SunPipes.

The first of four installations planned for 2008 has already been completed. The office building in Tonbridge, which accommodates around 50 people, is brick built with a concrete tiled pitched roof. It features a number of offices, fed by a corridor that had no natural daylight. In the offices, sunlight coming through the windows often caused serious reflections on computer screens, which meant window blinds had to be closed, making the rooms quite gloomy. The building is now fitted with more than forty SunPipes.

Explaining the significant improvements made by the SunPipes, Nick Berry says:
"After Monodraught fitted 450mm diameter SunPipes in each office, staff reported that the rooms were flooded with natural light and computer screen reflections were eliminated. Similarly, SunPipes introduced huge amounts of daylight to transform the gloomy corridor."

As well as the SunPipes, Monodraught also provided daylight linking controls using light and movement sensors, which ensure that the electric lighting is automatically switched off when the SunPipes achieve a preset lux level.

Summing up, Nick Berry says: "We are very pleased with these first installations. The SunPipes certainly exceeded our expectations in terms of performance and the amount of light they introduced to the rooms and corridors."

Commenting for Monodraught, managing director Professor Terry Payne says: "Where SunPipes are used to replace electric lighting during daylight hours, at least 75% of electricity costs used for lighting can be saved during daytime. We estimate that cost savings can result in a 5 to 6 year pay-back period. In addition, considerable environmental and health benefits are experienced due to the much improved working environment."

With government and industry committed to reducing energy consumption and CO2 emissions over the next five years and the climate change levy estimated to increase the cost of electricity by up to 20%, it's no surprise that natural and sustainable alternatives are being sought to replace energy-hungry services in almost every area of our daily lives.

SunPipes are designed to bring natural daylight into just about any building. When mounted on the roof the highly reflective SunPipe tube reflects and intensifies sunlight and normal daylight into the space below. It spreads light evenly using a patented prismatic diffuser; lighting rooms without glare and eliminating heat transfer. The design of the diamond shaped dome ensures that dust and dirt is washed off naturally and no maintenance is required outside or inside the building. SunPipes can even be mounted horizontally to pipe light deep into interiors and can be used in basements.

There is virtually no limit to the length or size of SunPipes that can be installed and, using a combination of elbows and connections, natural daylight can be reflected horizontally or vertically with an incremental loss of intensity of approximately 3% per metre length. This enables SunPipes to take light wherever it is required, even into basements. The wide range of models is fully supported by the Monodraught design and installation service

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