Client: Cambridge University

Project: Specialist clean area lighting package for new build research centre 

Date: Q3 2017


Astra were recently selected to provide a range of specialist cleanroom lighting to a new build laboratory/research building for the University of Cambridge. This 18,000m2 biomedical research building will house all the resources and space necessary to bring together various research groups across the city in a new centre of excellence that will pride itself on building a foundation for the development of new medical treatments.

For the lighting we recommended luminaires from our cleanroom range to suit the variant requirements of the controlled laboratories, and our extreme luminaire to suit the more stringent environments.

The Victor LED IP65/64 luminaire was manufactured for flush integration into two ceiling types, non-modular (paneled) and T-Grid. Fitted with concealed front frame fixings and minimal crevices, the Victor luminaire blends seamlessly into the ceiling with screw caps colour-matched to the paint of the luminaire, improving the aesthetics and integrity of the facility whilst also fully maintaining it IP rating. The flush finish also enables the luminaire to be easily cleaned, with no jutted edges, an essential for areas with risk of contamination. This fitting was also manufactured from corrosion resistant steel with durable Ral 9003 epoxy powder coated finish so it lasts in the laboratories which are required to be sterilised with harsh cleaning chemicals.

Unified integration and ease of installation was also an important requirement. Utilising side arm suspension brackets which are fully adjustable from within the sealed luminaire, our unique self-tensioning bracket automatically swings into position and provides a secure, mechanical fixing that once adjusted, its fixing hole is sealed and tightly capped to insure full compliance to the strict workings of the cleanroom.

An ease of maintenance is essential in all the clean areas, manufactured with an access panel with quick release fasteners means the Victor provides hassle-free access to the ceiling void, avoiding the need for additional access hatches in the ceiling. With a hinged gear tray, it is both quick and simple to gain access to the ceiling void. With the access panel removing to the room side, the required void clearances are kept to a minimum.

For the access areas between the personal airlocks and main laboratories a surface mounted alternative from our clean range was chosen. These areas were not classified as cleanrooms on the spec but still had to maintain the sterile integrity of the rest of the facility. The Senator luminaire is a low profile 35mm surface mounted LED luminaire with a chamfered edge design, a smooth easy-to-clean front and a removable gear tray for ease of maintenance.

For use in the containment rooms, to provide maximum protection, the Extreme luminaire was recommended. With a fully welded construction it is designed to surpass the stringent requirements of negative pressure containment rooms. Dual IP rated, IP65 with the front frame in position and IP65 with the front frame removed, it is suitable for all containment laboratories as categorised by the ADCP (Advisory Committee on Dangerous Pathogens) into four levels CL1-4 (1 being the lowest, 4 being the highest risk).

All luminaires were also fitted with integral dimmable control gear and 3hr emergency to be linked by a central intelligent LCM system. The system assigns an individual address to each luminaire, i.e. 001, 002, 003 etc., allowing control of the luminaires separately or as a group. All luminaires are controlled from a central desktop which can be manually over-ridden at a wall switch or used in conjunction with a daylight or occupancy sensor. A two-way communication between the luminaire and the PC will provide valuable information and reports, such as, operating status of individual luminaires, EM testing and monitoring. Different types of tests will automatically run every month, six months and annually. On detection of fault a visual warning will occur to indicate the type of error found, reducing the maintenance costs for necessary emergency checks.

With over 35 years’ experience in the industry, Astra is perfectly equipped to manage a fast paced and technical project such as this and still ensure that delivery is always on time and the products are as easily installed and maintained on site as possible. We believe the client should always receive the best products and services and that includes always keeping our deadline promises.

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