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Southwell’s Minster School, Nottinghamshire


  • Southwell School
  • Lamp efficacy

    Lamp efficacy

    Ensuring the lamp efficiently converts electricity into light (lm/W).

  • Ballast classification

    Ballast classification

    Controlling the electricity supply to the lamp (Energy Efficiency Index).

  • Luminaire distribution

    Luminaire distribution

    Controlling light emission using optics which bend and shape the light to the correct location.

  • System efficacy

    System efficacy

    Combining optical and thermal control within the luminaire (luminaire lm/W).

  • Presence/absence detection

    Presence/absence detection

    Presence: Lights automatically turn on/off with movement. Absence: Lights automatically turn off and must be manually switched on.

  • Daylight detection

    Daylight detection

    Artificial lighting which responds to the natural light conditions.

  • Constant illuminance

    Constant illuminance

    A function designed to produce correct light levels for the duration of the maintenance period.

  • Task-scene setting

    Task-scene setting

    Allowing the user to set scenes and adapt the lighting to different tasks.

  • Timed off

    Timed off

    Automatic cut-off can be installed to turn all lights off during unoccupied hours.

  • Task lighting

    Task lighting

    Lighting task areas with the correct amount of light.

  • Zoning of lighting

    Zoning of lighting

    Lighting is zoned according to area use.

  • Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance schedule

    Maintenance must be performed in response to product age, performance and environment.

  • Waste light

    Waste light

    Eliminating waste light which does not hit the intended target.

  • Reflectance


    Taking advantage of light which is reflected from the surface within the space.

  • Visible smart metering

    Visible smart metering

    Results of actions can be quickly seen as increased or decreased energy use to encourage responsible energy consumption.

Thorn, through its relationships with architects Penoyre & Prasad, consultants Buro Happold and electrical contractors, J.M. Morris, has played a major part in lighting the college, which specialises in Music and Humanities and shares its facilities with the local community outside of school hours.

"I think the new school looks amazing..." That’s how Year 10 pupil Liz, describes Southwell’s new £34 million Minster School. The lighting team has achieved a flexible design to match the functions, and their particular moods, taking place in the school – lectures, studying and socialising, as well as the shared theatre, recital room, main hall, café and sports halls.

Outstanding feature of the scheme is the central covered "street”, which supports areas for independent learning, as well as gatherings of the whole school community (its dimensions are taken from the width of the nave in Southwell Minster, where the school was founded over 1,000 years ago).

Lighting of the double height space is by triple clusters of cylindrical surface downlights, combined with lines of digital dimmable fluorescents with asymmetric reflectors, set above the perimeter walls. The lighting is pleasantly subdued with no glare and supplements the skylights.

Lighting is controlled by a Thorn SensaLink system, designed on the old adage "rely on occupants to turn lights on, but not to turn them off". It comprises of recessed mounted presence detectors addressing groups of digitally enabled luminaires, controlled via local two button wall plates.

The beauty of the system is twofold. The staff are able to adjust their own personal lighting to suit the conditions, and if any of them leaves the lights on, the system detects absence and switches them off. No central controller or complicated operating system is required.

The result is a new generation of educational building. Imaginative use of the latest lighting equipment has created an extremely pleasant environment in which to study and play, while the lighting design is both aesthetically pleasing and energy conscious.