TECHNAL Fabricator responds to engineering innovation centre challenges

TECHNAL Fabricator responds to engineering innovation centre challenges

A leading member of TECHNAL’s fabricator base has made full use of the SPINAL MY 62 curtain walling system’s performance and aesthetic capabilities in meeting the challenges of a landmark university building, located in the centre of Preston.

Designed by SimpsonHaugh & Partners architectural practice, the Engineering Innovation Centre is being built for the University of Central Lancashire by BAM Construction, a major player in the education sector. Dortech is the architectural glazing specialist providing a design, manufacture and installation package for all of the curtain walling on the five-storey structure.

As a key part of the masterplan for the Preston campus, the £30 million Engineering Innovation Centre is due to open next year, providing the university and Lancashire based manufacturers with state-of-the-art teaching and research facilities. It is expected to help train an extra 500 graduates, including an increased number of female students, gaining degrees in subjects such as mechanical, energy technologies and aerospace engineering.

Throughout the project Dortech faced a number of technical challenges including; the building’s proximity to a very busy roundabout, the floor to floor heights, physical security, and the expected levels of solar gain; as well as design detailing requirements.

Having a total glazed area of 3,100 m2, the MY 62 curtain wall carries over 40 different types of IG units, measuring up to 1050mm wide by 4450mm high, and weighing 260 kg; without requiring additional frame reinforcement. As well as standard cappings and accessories, the design solution includes the use of 200mm extended square cappings to the vertical frame elements and soffit.

High density foam inserts were utilised along with decoupling joints in the mullion sections to achieve 50 Dnfw flanking sound reduction, as well as 37 dB sound reduction for noise from outside the building. The IG units vary in thickness from 31.8 mm up to 38.8mm, with the latter containing a 10mm CoolLite SKN toughened outer leaf, and 12.8mm clear laminated glass for the inner leaf, separated by a 16mm argon filled cavity.

In addition to achieving high levels of thermal insulation, being fabricated from aluminium, the SPINAL MY curtain wall is a fully recyclable system, helping the building to achieve a BREEAM rating of Excellent.

The Project Manager for BAM Construction, Simon Atkinson, commented: “We proposed the use of the Technal curtain wall system as part of our value engineering proposal for the project. It offers the best value for money in terms of its cost and performance while meeting the aesthetic requirements. This is in fact a continuation of the successful partnership established with Dortech, Technal and the cladders at the University of Liverpool Materials Innovation Facility, helping to build our reputation in delivering education sector projects.”

Partner in charge of the project for SimpsonHaugh, Ben Simpson, added: “This has been a demanding project, but the Technal system along with Dortech’s experience has enabled us to meet all of our design aspirations for the elevations. We are on site regularly and the building is looking very good.”

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Imagination makes the world go around. At TECHNAL, it’s a driving force and way of doing things – allowing them to move forward, innovate and inspire. Where others see just a window, TECHNAL see cutting-edge technology that benefits users and the...
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