Type of works: specified Pilkington Planar.
Pilkington Planar has been specified in a new generator hall building at Rånåsfoss, a Norwegian hydro power station. The extension was required to house the new turbines, due to be replaced after 80 years of service.
Built in 1923, Rånåsfoss is considered a historical industrial landmark due to the high quality of neo-classical architecture in the original building. The project demanded that the new generator hall fitted seamlessly with the original structure, giving the architects and specifier, LPO and KVAMS Glass, a real challenge. The stakes of the project were raised even higher as the new building was due to be erected with the power station remaining operational; creating a potentially dangerous construction site with limited space and the added pressure of a very tight deadline.
The Rånåsfoss extension consists of a large glazed structure incorporated into the existing building and the station also features an embedded Glass Box framework in the lower brickwork. This allows additional light into the station and opens it up to picturesque views across the surrounding river and landscape. The complete extension utilised over one hundred and twenty Pilkington Planar panels, and cost around thirty two million Norwegian Krone (over three and a half million pounds sterling).
Just as the original construction was built for longevity, the addition to the Rånåsfoss site is expected to be operative for the next one hundred years, requiring a structural solution of extremely high quality to meet the challenging demands of the power station. The existing architecture and narrow site meant there is little light available, calling for a highly transparent construction and Pilkington Planar succeeded in accomplishing the challenge to achieve maximum transparency, whilst avoiding any visually disturbing mullions. Pilkington Planar was specified due to the aesthetic quality of the product and strength combined with the impressive durability which underpins a 12 year product and performance warranty.
Oystein Kartvedt, LPO Architects, said Rånåsfoss is an industrial landmark for Norway, making it crucial to preserve the historical aspects of this neo-classical building, whilst complementing and securing its future with a modern integrated refurbishment. The major challenge came in trying to keep up with the tight time schedule on the construction site. The flush glass surface provided by the structural glazing system of Pilkington Planar enabled easy installation of the glass on the main façade of the site where space was particularly tight. Pilkington Planar was the perfect structural solution, allowing for a bold and historically sympathetic design to be applied.
It is qualities such as these which ensure that Pilkington Planar remains world market leader in the cutting edge market of bolted glass systems. The Pilkington Planar structural glazing system provides a flush glass surface by utilising stainless steel fittings housed in countersunk holes to fix the glass façade back to the structure instead of using the more conventional framed systems. The result is a fully engineered system with the minimum amount of support structure and the maximum possible visual clarity. A silicone seal between adjacent panels provides weatherproofing.