With a solid track record in managing large scale projects for Telford Homes, aluminium building systems supplier TECHNAL and installer Ravenworth have completed a two-million pound systems package to provide high performance windows, doors and curtain walling for its latest East London residential development, The Forge, which includes a clever public surveillance solution.
Built on the site of the former East London Bus Garage, the new development creates 192 residential apartments clustered around communal courtyards, accessed off a new public street.
Designed by RMA Architects for Telford Homes, the light buff brick buildings range from three to five storeys with a contrasting white brick 14-storey focal building. This forms the gateway to the development together with a row of interestingly designed townhouses. Each block’s façade displays frequent openings with contrasting areas of glazing and cladding, softened with balconies.
RMA Architects Director, Mark McGechan, explains how the TECHNAL Dualframe Si TBT windows, Dualframe 75 HP, C160S Lift & Slide patio and STII doors as well as Elegance 52 curtain walling helped to bring the concept to life, he said: “We used a range of tested products from TECHNAL that work together giving a consistent look across the development. All of the systems have been manufactured in a durable olive grey powder coat finish, internally and externally, to complement the brick selection and the development’s contemporary architectural style.
“However, whilst aesthetics are of course important, this project has been about balancing regulatory requirements in terms of performance and security.
“The Forge meets a raft of requirements including National House Building Council (NHBC), Lifetime Homes (LTH), Secured by Design and Building Regulations. To achieve all of these, the project involved a close working relationship between us as the architect, client, fabricator and the systems supplier. We also worked alongside the Secured by Design officer to identify exactly which windows and doors at ground floor required a higher-rated specification.”
Mark highlighted a particularly interesting aspect of the development featuring TECHNAL systems, the row of townhouses. The townhouses are sited opposite the apartment blocks with a new public link created between them through the site.
“A two-sided street helps promote successful public realm, though the activity generated by multiple communal and private front doors and passive surveillance from frequent windows, reduces opportunities for anti-social behaviour.
“However, on a tight urban site accommodating this double-sided street presented its own challenges, as standard privacy distances between opposing windows could not be achieved. The townhouses are positioned tight up against an existing two-storey blank boundary wall to adjacent gardens, which prevented any west facing windows. The only clear windows that could be achieved face south onto private first floor terraces and provide oblique views down the street from projecting bays. Additional east facing windows directly onto the street have obscured glazing to ensure good internal daylight levels are achieved without compromising the privacy of apartments opposite.”
Telford Homes Senior Technical Co-ordinator Rodney Jack added: “On a scheme like The Forge, where you’ve got 1,000 windows, 170 patio doors and 20 commercial doors to be detailed, working alongside our supply chain is key. They’re the ones with the materiality expertise and are invaluable when it comes to manufacturing and installation knowledge. The one aspect of this job where TECHNAL and Ravenworth especially made a difference was when it came to technical sign off for the proposed glazing. They went above and beyond to provide, not just a cost-effective solution, but also the detailed technical information required for statutory sign off.”
“The typical u and g values that feed into the overall performance of the building fabric were provided but also an in-depth knowledge of glazing deflection analysis and Construction Fixings Association (CFA) approved construction fixings.”
“The close working relationship that the two companies have established with Telford Homes plc. over the last decade of construction projects has really been of benefit on this project.”
Reiterating the importance of adding value to a project’s success in terms of cost and for example, future maintenance and replacement strategy, Oscar Webb, Director at Barking-based fabricator Ravenworth Ltd, explained: “It’s a big part of what we do. The patio door specification is a good example on this project. We used TECHNAL C160S Lift & Slide patio doors, which had been specified with fixed panes over five metres squared. In the context of this development, the balcony situation made future maintenance difficult and so we recommended splitting the span into three equal sections. This not only reduced installation costs but will ease future maintenance too.”
“Likewise, in terms of thermal performance, this project had a particularly low U-value requirement of 1.1 W/m²k for the windows. Rather than using triple glazed units, it was more efficient to glaze using Crystal Units’ CUin - a special thermally-rated glass, which incorporates a thermal interlayer.”
Another façade feature to note is the particularly large fixed window spans to the main south elevation of up to 2.25 metres high by 2.485 metres wide.
Combining ventilation with easy cleaning facilities, the Dualframe 75 Si TBT windows provide a unique operating action that minimises the risk of damage to the product or injury to the user. The handle is key operated and the key must be inserted to access the turn mode. Once the window is closed, it automatically defaults to the tilt-only mode.
Concealed hinges within the frame, remove colour matching issues and prevent a clash with plaster lines, whilst flush vents and flat profiles combine to create a simple and streamlined appearance with an 88 millimetre sightline that maximises the viewing area without compromising the U-value of the window.
Other TECHNAL products featured on the project include the Confort C160S Lift & Slide patio doors in a monorail configuration. These were specially tested and certified to meet PAS24 for this project’s requirements and supplied as ‘kits’ for easier fabrication.
Further helping to achieve Secured by Design standards and ensure residents feel secure in their homes, TECHNAL’s Dualframe 75 Dualsecure Doors were installed throughout the development. This system has also been tested to meet PAS certification criteria.
The company’s Elegance 52 curtain walling was also installed to shopfronts at ground floor level, together with TECHNAL’s Stormframe STII High Traffic Aluminium Door to the main entrances.
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