Aardman Animations, Bristol

Aardman Animations, Bristol

Client: Aardman Animations
Contractor: Leadbitters
Type of works: supply of Isokorb® to prevent cold bridging.

Oscar-winning Aardman Animations is known for the endearing and carefully developed characters Wallace and Gromit. Recently, the Bristol-based studio has been involved in another careful development, the construction of a brand new three-storey £10m headquarters which provides office and studio space. It is designed to be highly sustainable in both its materials and use of energy and externally features a brise soleil to prevent solar gain inside the building.

Because of its weight, the brise soleil is structurally connected to the floor slab by steel beams, and as a result has to meet the requirements of Part L of the Building Regulations 2006, which demands a thermal break to prevent cold bridging. The solution on this occasion is the type KS14 Isokorb® from Schöck – a module positioned between the outer and inner structural connection points that blocks the outflow of heat through the use of high-quality polystyrene insulation foam. This polystyrene core sits inside a compression module that has stainless-steel bars passing through it. These in turn take the tension and shear forces between the building frame and the brise soleil, which runs along the whole of one side of the new building. The Isokorb® thereby enables a thermally insulated, loadbearing connection to be made between reinforced concrete and steel construction components, and at the same time provides a clean and unobtrusive connection detail.

Leadbitter’s, who are fast establishing themselves as one of the leading contractors in the UK, were the main contractors and their Project Manager, Paul Nash, comments: “It was absolutely critical with this particular application that each Isokorb® was installed in precisely the right position. We had to work to tolerances of only one or two millimetres when installing the modules, and their ease of installation really helped. They are relatively light and can be fitted easily by one man in a matter of minutes and it is also possible to adjust and fine-tune on site to optimise the fitting tolerance.”

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Schöck provides a market-leading range of load-bearing thermal break modules known as the Isokorb. It is unique in that it allows connections to be made between concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel and steel-to-steel – and also provides BBA...
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