When seeking to realise their innovative design for the new UK headquarters of Cathelco Ltd, a world-class designer and manufacturer of marine corrosion-control equipment, Sheffield architects Beaumont & Cowling found that a combination of Schueco systems and Schueco's technical expertise was able to provide them with a complete, cost-effective solution.
The building in Chesterfield, which was completed in July 2009, includes a stunning glazed atrium with a curved central roof section, spanned by a Schueco ALB passive solar-shading system. Its purpose is threefold: to define the entrance, to prevent the build-up of excessive internal heat and to allow natural daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the building.
According to the architects this shading system was the primary reason for specifying Schueco: This feature was an architectural first for the UK and Schueco was the only manufacturer we spoke to who was willing to take on the design for the louvres across the curved roof glazing.
In addition to the ALB shading in the atrium, the building contains a number of other Schueco systems all installed by Schueco specialist-contractor, Deane & Amos Aluminium Systems. The curved roof glazing system beneath the blades is Schueco FW50+ SG, the vertical facade of the atrium is constructed using Schueco's tried and tested FW50+ system and there are also numerous AWS 65 windows and RS 65 doors.
Most striking of all is the Schueco ALB active motorised shading system mounted in front of the south-facing wall of the atrium. Its movable blades allow it to be adjusted to let in more or less daylight depending upon the position of the sun at different times of the year.
This means that in summer the louvre blades can be closed completely in order to provide full shading, but that over the winter months they can be gradually opened to allow increased light penetration and solar radiation, so helping to improve the building's overall energy balance.