Trafalgar House, Croydon

Trafalgar House, Croydon

Trafalgar House, Croydon

Client: ING Real Estate
End-user: Land Registry
Architect: PRC Architects
Main Contractor: William Verry Ltd
M & E consultant: Watkins Payne Partnership
Structural consultant: R J Witt Associates
Roofing and cladding contractor: Prater Roofing Ltd
Type of works: supply of QuadroClad™ ventilated rainscreen facade panels and integrated sun control and glazing elements

A new £10m office building for the Land Registry has become a UK benchmark in sustainable building design.

Trafalgar House, in Croydon, has been described as the commercial version of an EcoHome.

Since its completion in 2007, the striking nine-storey development has received a maximum “excellent” rating by BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method.

Its real success though lies in the fact that the innovative combination of materials used to build Trafalgar House has allowed the architect complete design flexibility while still exceeding the strict sustainability brief.

The result was achieved largely thanks to the latest advances in ventilated (rainscreen) cladding, integrated window systems and combined sun-control systems from Hunter Douglas.

Hunter Douglas’s unique recessed windows enabled the simple integration of its aluminium QuadroClad™ ventilated (rainscreen) panels via the window perimeter, which allows the panels to simply hang off the window edge. This unique panel-supporting method limits the need for a bespoke panel support system. In those situations where a bespoke solution is necessary, a Hunter Douglas patented and fully adjustable bracket support system is used, which enables the simple integration of numerous components along with the panels, such as several varieties of the sun control systems supplied by Hunter Douglas.

The integrated system allowed the Trafalgar House architects to use the excellent thermal mass of a solid concrete structure behind the cladding to create a building with no air conditioning and only limited mechanical heating, helping to limit CO2 emissions.

Trafalgar House is naturally ventilated at each floor level, and solar shading helps to reduce heat gain during warmer months.

Andrew Lee, General Manager of Hunter Douglas Sun Control & Facades, said: “The sun control element of this project is a fairly standard application, but it’s the first time in a completely new building project on this scale that we’ve fully integrated sun control with both Hunter Douglas windows and rainscreen cladding.

“The combination has enabled the architects to achieve their sustainability goals without having to compromise on aesthetics.”

The firm of architects behind Trafalgar House, London-based PRC Architects, specified 2,500m2 of Hunter Douglas’s QuadroClad™ rainscreen for the project – a product developed using technology borrowed from the aircraft industry.

QuadroClad™, which has an ultra-flat panel surface and aluminium honeycomb composite technology, comes with an integrated track support system. It is also an open joint cladding system, which allows natural ventilation in the cavity between the panel and the insulation.

In addition to almost 850m2 of large, integrated recess windows, Hunter Douglas has supplied 920m2 of vertical 400mm Aerofoils, 150m2 of integrated 70S ventilation louvres, 125m2 of horizontal 110HC louvres and 326No venetian blinds.

The vertical Aerofoil blades are installed down almost the entire facade of the building and set at a 500mm pitch and an optimum angle of 45˚. The windows on the top storey, which contains a restaurant and gymnasium, remain uncovered, providing an uninterrupted view across London. This floor is protected from the sunlight by horizontal louvres which project 1,400mm from the top of the building.

Hunter Douglas has also provided the internal window coverings in the form of Luxaflex EOS 25mm metal venetian blinds. The blinds contribute to the overall efficiency of the building by enabling individual user control and providing state-of-the-art daylight regulation.

Hitesh Dhorajiwala, of PRC Architects, said: “The project ticks all the boxes as far as sustainability is concerned. Trafalgar House is a truly green commercial building.

“Potentially saving on energy bills was a primary factor behind the overall design. But we’ve also achieved some remarkable visual results with this building, particularly with the use of sun control, which will really make it stand out from the crowd in terms of architectural excellence.”

He added: “After considering several manufacturers, we opted to proceed with Hunter Douglas, as they manufactured the complete facade package, including the windows and the louvres. This gave us a complete integrated design in all aspects with all the various interfaces accounted for by one supplier.”

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