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Offsite sustainability

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES) has completed the delivery of a major mechanical and electrical (M&E) scheme at Crown Woods College, in Greenwich, demonstrating the multitude of advantages that offsite prefabrication can bring to enable a more sustainable, safer and efficient way of delivering building services solutions.

Designed by Nicholas Hare Architects and built by main contractor Balfour Beatty, the new £48 million secondary school, part of the Phase One £100 million Greenwich Council ‘Building Schools for the Future’ (BSF) scheme, features nine buildings linked by external covered walkways. The facility has been organised into three colleges or ‘schools within a school’ with 450 pupils each. In addition there is a post 16 college that will also accommodate 450 students.

At Crown Woods College, BBES’s Modular Systems + division has designed and supplied multi-service 3D corridor modules that incorporate full M&E services as well as operating as air conditioning ducts for the classrooms. Lined with acoustic foam, the air path fulfils the design noise criteria to create an ideal learning environment for this new facility. Using the latest lean construction methods and off-site fabrication techniques, BBES has delivered the completed 3D modules and modular risers installed on site for an efficient and safe installation. Manufactured by BBES at its Modular Systems + facility, this allowed site construction to run concurrently, making significant savings on the project timeframe.

Using the methods of the Modular Systems + facility in Wednesbury, BBES is able to maximise project efficiency while ensuring quality management is maintained throughout each process. The modular arrangement also eliminates material wastage, helping to maintain projects sustainable targets and provide significant cost and time benefits compared to traditional installations.

Mark Hammonds of BBES’s Modular Systems + said: “By using an offsite prefabrication approach we have been able to deliver components in a much more efficient, sustainable and safer way.”

BBES’s project manager Simon Stothard said: “We are continuously improving and developing ideas from previous projects and the team is currently discussing further use of modularisation at further Greenwich Building Schools for the Future projects, including Plumstead Manor and Eltham Hill Schools. Despite being a mix of new build and refurbishment, the plan is to maximise modularisation on these schemes to help achieve Zero Harm strategy.”

Fit for an academy

A dedicated sixth form centre is now in use at Wymondham High – a new academy in Norfolk. The scheme has been constructed using a highly sustainable recycled modular building from Foremans Relocatable Building Systems. It was completed ahead of schedule, reducing the programme from receipt of order to less than three months.

The purpose-designed facility was craned into position in just one day during the school holidays to minimise disruption to staff and students. The single-storey building accommodates five seminar rooms for students studying social sciences, and sixth form facilities, including a break-out area, toilets and administration office. The main contractor was Farrans (Construction).

Victoria Musgrave, principal at Wymondham High Academy said: “This project has definitely exceeded our expectations and both staff and students are genuinely thrilled with it. They like the ambience it has created, the flexibility of the space, and the fact that we now have a dedicated facility for our sixth form.

“The Foremans team was very helpful, personable and efficient throughout and the modular solution has given us the very best scheme for our available budget. It was also sufficiently flexible to meet our project-specific requirements and has provided us with a high quality teaching environment, which symbolises the start of a new era for the school.”

Louise Robinson, project architect at NPS South East, said: “This scheme has changed our perception of modular building. It feels robust and secure and has good sound quality – you would never know it is a modular structure. We are impressed with the finish, particularly externally, and the cladding is crisp and well executed.”

A collaborative approach was taken to the design of the new building. The most appropriate aesthetic solution for the exterior was discussed at workshops with sixth form design students. Students were keen to use timber from a sustainable source and to introduce colour into the project. The architects worked with Foremans to develop a cladding solution using natural larch with vertical ‘windows’ cut out to reveal the modular steel structure finished in three colours – jade, heritage green and wedgewood blue.

All Foremans’ recycled modular buildings are fully refurbished with new windows, wall linings, partitions, mechanical and electrical services, doors, flooring, and cladding, to create high quality accommodation for a wide variety of education applications.


Insulation improvements

The versatility of the weber.therm External Wall Insulation (EWI) system has been demonstrated at a major housing development at Colchester Barracks in Essex.

Substantial areas of the Ministry of Defence garrison land-holding have been released for development including large numbers of redundant domestic quarters which have remained un-occupied since staff numbers have been reduced.

The Oakapple Close site, being developed by Lovell on behalf of Iceni Homes, features existing properties requiring renovation to modern standards, as well as new-build dwellings, all designed to meet the Code for Sustainable Homes standards.

The weber.therm EWI system has been employed for both applications. Essex Insulation of Basildon, Essex, is the selected multi-disciplined specialist-approved contractor for the Weber EWI installation. Essex Insulation is also involved in several other insulation applications on this project.

The first phase of the development features 73 existing properties which are to be brought up to standard along with a further 61 new-build units. These homes will be offered with affordable rent to local families through Colchester Borough Council’s choice-based lettings scheme.

Structural additions and modifications to the refurbishment properties include rear extensions to expand the kitchen areas, new front porches and full insulation of the dwellings. The weber.therm XM EWI system has used 100mm of expanded polystyrene and an additional 130mm of phenolic insulation around raised window openings, installed onto the existing walling using mechanical fixings and weber.rend LAC. Meshcloth reinforcing has been applied using further weber.rendLAC, which when dry is finished with weber.plast TF, an acrylic based composite to achieve a textured, decorative and highly protective surface.

On the 60 new-build units, cavity wall insulation has been built into the properties and the weber.plast TF thin-coat, factory mixed decorative finish is applied direct to the outer walling substrate.

Iceni Homes is running a trial within this development where additional insulation has been added to two properties and the thermal performance will be monitored for future specification details. Robert Frost, project manager for Iceni Homes, is eager to see the results. “The additional insulation includes installing the weber.therm XP below DPC to minimise thermal loss at ground level. Our calculations show an overall improvement in thermal ratings and it will be interesting to monitor the real live results.”

For this application the 100mm expanded polystyrene insulation is installed with stainless steel fixings and metal lath is used in addition to the lightweight meshcloth to give stronger impact protection support to the weber.therm L2 render covering. This is a one-coat, lightweight, polymer-modified cementitious render for use below DPC. This is applied at 15mm nominal thickness and then finished withweber.sil P silicon resin emulsion paint.


Sustainably best

The stunning new headquarters building for KfW Bank in Frankfurt, which features extensive use of Wicona unitised curtain walling, has won a major global architectural award.

The prestigious accolade for the World’s Best Tall Building has been awarded to the KfW project by the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) – the leading international authority on the design, construction and development of tall buildings.

This is the second time the CTBUH has recognised a Wicona project. In 2009 the Tornado Tower in Doha, another application of Wicona unitised curtain walling, was presented with the award for the Best Tall Building in the Middle East.

The CTBUH awards highlight projects from across the world that have made ‘extraordinary contributions to the advancement of tall buildings and the urban environment, and that achieve sustainability at the highest and broadest level’.

Described as a ‘remarkable building’, the $85m KfW scheme was designed by architects Sauerbruch Hutton to combine form, colour and sustainability. With a primary energy consumption of just 98kWh/m2, it is also one of the world’s most sustainable office buildings.

The building, known as Westarkade, provides office space for 700 staff and a conference centre. Its base is a curved four-storey podium connected to the bank’s adjacent buildings on several levels. A 10-storey tower rises above the podium in a ‘flowing’ form that responds to the prevailing wind direction and orientation of the sun, maximising natural day light and achieving the best possible views for the occupants of the neighbouring KfW buildings.

The scheme’s most distinctive feature is its bespoke double skin facade constructed using Wicona’s aluminium unitised curtain walling.

The envelope consists of an encircling ‘sawtooth-shaped cavity’ which encloses automated blinds to reduce solar gain and control glare. The exterior is defined by a skin of fixed tempered glass panels and colourful ventilation ‘flaps’ in red, blue and green, helping to create a striking aesthetic. The internal facade has alternating opening and fixed glazed units.

This dynamic facade solution negates the effect of variable pressures around the building, allowing natural ventilation all year round and for the occupiers to open the windows on the inner skin while avoiding both draughts and heat loss.

A roof-mounted weather station linked to the building management system monitors wind speed and direction, and controls the facade’s outer ventilation flaps. This solution introduces fresh air when required and creates a zone of constant pressure surrounding the inner skin of curtain walling. Air can then be drawn into the offices via floor vents or the occupier-controlled windows.

Peter Murray, one of the CTBUH judges, said: “The streamlined form of the building integrates itself into its surrounding context, while simultaneously standing out through the playful use of colour. Whereas many buildings use colour as a way to mask an otherwise unremarkable building, here it contributes an additional rich layer to what is already a remarkable building.”


Moving beyond prehistoric

On Dorset’s spectacular Jurassic Coast, The Freshwater Holiday Park near Bridport is proving to be no dinosaur and is setting itself apart from other campsites with a brand new £3.5 million leisure complex.

In a building which is subjected to the best and worst of British weather, the design had to incorporate insulation versatile enough to withstand the dramatically changing weather and climate conditions. High performance floor and wall insulation from Celotex met the challenge by helping to create a thermally efficient building envelope which was unaffected by temperature cycles.

Designed by HPW architects and built by Vear Construction, the 2000m² multi-use leisure facility forms a welcome addition to this popular holiday park. Close to Freshwater Beach, the leisure building includes an indoor swimming pool with slides, a water play area, hot tub, steam room, gym, treatment room, six lanes of full size American ten pin bowling, roof terrace, and bar.

The steel framed building has been designed to combat the extremities of the coastal climate and offer high levels of energy efficiency, keeping fuel bills low and minimising wasted carbon emissions. Sub contractor, Woodmace Civil Engineering installed 600m² of 100mm thick CW4000 within the cavity walls and 1500m² of 50mm thick Celotex GA4000 beneath the concrete floors.

Made from PIR (polyisocyanurate) with foil facers for improved emissivity, Celotex CW4000 achieves a lambda of 0.022W/mK, helping the project meet the desired U-values.

Meeting strict levels of energy efficiency, the CW4000 boards have been independently assessed by BRE Global and confirmed as achieving a low environmental impact, through its BRE Approved Environmental Profile. The insulation has been awarded an A+ rating when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008. Celotex CW4000 is also the first ever polyisocyanurate (PIR) product to receive approval from the Energy Saving Trust (EST) – the UK’s leading impartial organisation helping people to save energy and reduce carbon emissions

Celotex provided 100mm thick CW4000 for the cavity block walls of the steel framed building. These durable and lightweight boards, available in a range of thicknesses from 25mm to 100mm and a standard board size of 1200mm x 450mm, are easy to cut to fit using hand tools. In conveniently sized boards for installation between cavity wall ties, once clipped into place, the block walls were built and the exterior of the building was clad to create a weather tight envelope.

To insulate the floor and to avoid loss of heat, 50mm thick Celotex GA4000 was laid on the structural base then covered in poured concrete. Suitable for use in a number of applications including roof, wall and floor systems, Celotex GA4000 has also achieved an A+ rating when compared to the BRE Green Guide 2008, and is available in a board size of 1200mm x 2400mm and a range of thicknesses from 50mm to 100mm.


Modern mortar technology

Mortar from CPI EuroMix has been specified for the extensive facing brickwork at Norwich’s new City Academy.

Designed by architects Sheppard Robson and being built by main contractor Kier, the three-storey, 11,000m2 Academy is being constructed in the grounds of the old Earlham High School. A back-to-back crescent formation, with the main teaching wall facing out across the school fields, the building has been constructed with a central steel spine and cross-laminated timber external walls, floor and roof panels.

The external walls, all of which gently curve, are being clad with facing brickwork, for which a reliable supply of mortar was required. For the main academy walls, mortar was required that would match the yellow brickwork whilst for the building’s wings, which are faced with stone, a contrasting mortar was required. To achieve the desired aesthetics, CPI EuroMix is providing two colours of mortar – straw yellow to blend with the yellow brickwork and black for the areas to be faced in stone.

Working with specialist brickwork contractor Osborn Brickwork, CPI EuroMix is providing the mortar in its innovative silo mixing stations. Capable of holding up to 35 tonnes of dry mortar, the silo mixing station is delivered to site where it is plugged into water and power. As required, at the simple touch of a button, the silo produces a perfectly mixed mortar. As well as maintaining mix and colours, particularly important on a project where colour is a key element of the design, the system also minimises waste.

All of CPI EuroMix’s products, which include mortars, renders, screed, grouts and concretes, are manufactured to BS EN ISO 9001:2000.

Once complete the Academy will feature a new sports hall, for Academy and out of hours community use, Faraday science, art and design technology workshops, along with a full complement of traditional teaching spaces. As part of the school’s commitment to creating a sustainable facility, the Academy will incorporate a district heating system linked to the University of East Anglia, as well an extensive range of photovoltaic cells on the roof and a limited system for rainwater harvesting which will also be used as an educational tool.

Learning resource

A new low carbon public exhibition centre at Longstanton park and ride in Cambridgeshire is the first major application of Lime Technology’s thermally efficient Hembuild, a pre-cast wall system incorporating Tradical Hemcrete, a renewable material made with hemp with a lime binder.

Designed by Rees Pryor Architects for client Cambridgeshire County Council and built by contractor SEH French, the project involved the creation of a waiting room and associated facilities for park and ride users, as well as an exhibition space which showcases renewable and low carbon technologies.

This innovative and thermally efficient new building will become a learning resource that will showcase green technologies and is targeted to achieve an excellent BREEAM rating, the first in Cambridgeshire.

The high level of thermal efficiency is testament to the technologies used in the construction and operation of this building which include photovoltaics, a ground source heat pump, green roof and 220m2 of Hembuild.

Hembuild is a factory produced system that consists of a timber cassette filled with Tradical Hemcrete. The timber cassette forms the buildings structural frame, for low rise (up to three-storey) buildings to be created.

Hembuild can be supplied in a range of U-values from 0.10 to 0.22 W/m2K to provide a thermally efficient building envelope. Its unique thermal inertia means that the building has a very stable internal environment and greatly reduces the energy use. Its offsite production process and use of renewable materials also has minimal environmental impact making the system ideal for the new low carbon public exhibition centre at Longstanton park and ride.

By using Hembuild customers get the best of both worlds – modern methods of construction and inherent sustainability – with a quick build and a predictable programme at all times of the year, giving the thermal advantages of solid wall construction in a build time of lightweight timber frame.

“The controlled factory production environment of Hembuild enabled us to stay in line with the restricted timescales of the project but also retain the sustainable low carbon design approach,” said Chris Wilkie of Rees Pryor. “Working with Lime Technology in the development of this project has been a very positive experience.” www.limetechnology.co.uk

Centre stage?

A new low energy housing development in Swindon, built from Lime Technology’s Tradical Hemcrete, is set to feature on a two-part Channel 4 series, which started on December 8.

The series, Kevin’s Grand Design follows broadcaster and designer Kevin McCloud as he sets out to prove that it’s possible to create beautiful, contemporary and sustainable homes that are also affordable.

The Triangle, a high quality sustainable 42 home development from Hab Oakus – the partnership between Kevin McCloud’s company Hab and GreenSquare – is set to achieve Level 4 of the Code for Sustainable Homes, but with the potential for upgrading to higher levels.

The development demonstrates Hab Oakus’s aim to produce innovative (but not experimental) schemes that will achieve very high standards of design and sustainability.

Lime Technology’s Ian Pritchett said: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to get involved in this project, not least because it gives us the chance to show off the fantastic properties of the building material and to show that Tradical Hemcrete really is a viable alternative to traditional building materials.

Tradical Hemcrete, is a mixture of hemp and a lime binder, which together create a material that combines sustainability with performance. A highly thermally efficient material, Tradical Hemcrete locks up CO2 and when used with lime based renders and plasters, creates a breathable walling system for healthy living. Able to be mixed on site for fast track construction it provided Hab Oakus with an innovative, sustainable and efficient way of creating the structure of the homes at The Triangle.

Designed by Glenn Howells Architects and built by Wilmott Dixon Housing, The Triangle has been built on the site of a former caravan park and plant nursery, just off Swindon’s Northern Road. Hab Oakus hopes to ensure the sustainable development acts as a springboard to introduce green initiatives locally.

A mixed tenure scheme, consisting of homes for sale, shared ownership and affordable renting, The Triangle is being used as a prototype for Hab Oakus’s proposed larger second scheme which will see the delivery of around 200 homes at Pickard’s Small Field, Gorse Hill, Swindon.


Window to fuel efficiency

Veka customer Glaze4trade and Network Veka member Delta Plastics have won the contract to supply and install the windows on a new-build housing estate in Dorset, which is claimed to be the largest 'passive housing' estate in the UK.

Delta's MD Philip Chick said: “Passive houses are a German concept just becoming popular in Britain; these houses use your body heat and that of your possessions to warm the whole building without the need for central heating. A big part of the insulation process these houses require is triple glazing, which we were able to install with the help of our supplier Glaze4trade.

“We have worked with Lomand Homes, the developer, on several smaller jobs in the past and they were always pleased with the quality of our materials and workmanship. It was on this basis that they asked us to tender for the project.

“The development is still in progress and, to date, we have fitted approximately 150 triple glazed windows, a dozen French Doors and several composite doors. Upon completion, we will have fitted in excess of 600 windows.

“Delta Plastics has a long-standing relationship with Glaze4trade and we were glad to work closely with them on a project of this scale. The high-spec Veka windows they produce were very important to us obtaining the contract.”

Paul Curtis MD of Glaze4trade said: “We were delighted to be able to provide windows that met the demanding specification required for these energy-efficient houses. The triple glazing is a huge factor in keeping the heat in passive houses, and we were able to manufacture all the windows, with extremely low U-values, using high-spec Veka profile.”

The eco-friendly development is being referred to as Pennsylvania Heights, as the site is located directly opposite Pennsylvania Castle on the Isle of Portland.


Secure doors

Total Glass is supplying its high-security communal entrance doors to Salford’s City West Housing Trust as part of an on-going £multi-million homes investment programme.

Manufactured from heavy-gauge aluminium to the highest UK specifications, the Power Frame doors are being installed by main contractors Morrisons and Enterprise in dozens of low-rise housing blocks across the city.

Specifically designed to withstand the toughest environments, all doors feature robust hinges, fully tamper-proof fixings and secure electronic solenoid bolt locks linking to video and entry phone systems; providing the highest levels of security to protect occupants.

Laminated and toughened glass in the large glazed panel delivers high impact resistance and safety, while also achieving low U-values depending on glass specification. This greatly improves heat retention within communal areas, reducing heating bills and carbon emissions. Glass can be customised with corporate designs and logos if required.

Enhancing buildings with their contemporary and welcoming appearance, the doors let more light into communal areas and give residents an immediate, reassuring view of visitors outside. Greater visibility helps to reduce the potential for anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Holding PAS 23, PAS 24 and Secured by Design accreditations, the Total Glass Communal Entrance Door won Product Innovation of the Year in the 2010 Builder & Engineer Awards.

City West director of asset management, Colette McKune said: “Having considered the whole-life costs, the Total Glass communal doors met our specification for robust, future-proofed and high-security products that offer long-term performance.

“By allowing more light into properties, residents can see who is outside and the doors also look very good. Aesthetics are so important in making tenants’ homes attractive and fostering pride in where they live, while also providing the necessary safety and security.”


Golden touch?

Building a new development called The Shires in Yeovil, Midas Homes looked to provide superb energy efficiency, achieved in part by specifying insulation from Celotex.

Built on the site of an old garden nursery, The Shires comprises 33 homes, split between larger four bedroom properties and two bedroom coach houses.

3,500m2 of 50mm Celotex CW4000 was used in the cavity walling of The Shires’ houses because it offers impressive low lambda values along with moisture resistance, ease of use on site, low global warming potential and zero ozone depletion potential.

The boards were easily installed in the masonry wall cavities of the houses at The Shires development. Though hard wearing, Celotex is exceptionally lightweight and can be easily cut to requirements on site with a saw. Held in place with wall ties and clips, the low emissivity of the boards and their dimensional stability ensure that they will provide long lasting insulation.


Improved access

Houghton’s new £21m Primary Care Centre is now open to the public. The fourth centre of its kind to be built in Sunderland, has been developed by NHS South of Tyne and Wear, working on behalf of Sunderland Teaching Primary Care Trust (PCT) and will improve access to health services for local communities.

Gloucestershire based Ecovision was commissioned to design and install a renewable energy solution. After an initial consultation period it was decided that the most efficient system to provide both the heating and cooling to the building was to install two Ecovision 245kW Ground Source Heat Pumps.

A motorised valve control strategy enables the non-reversible heat pumps to provide cooling as well as heating. The ground source heat pumps are used to generate the low temperature heating water for the space and air heating systems throughout the winter, with a capacity of approximately 450kW. During very cold days a gas boiler system is used to top up the heat pump output on the secondary side of the heat pump buffer vessel.

The heat pumps are also used for pre-heating the mains hot water. The initial pre-heat is undertaken by the solar thermal array on the roof and where the performance of the solar thermal array is not sufficient to preheat the incoming cold water, the ground source heat pumps heat the water to the required temperature within the pre-heat vessel.

During the summer the heat pumps will provide chilled water for the mechanical ventilation system. The heat pump system is designed to provide the full cooling load of 510kW, with the heat pumps being connected to the borehole field outside the building under the car park. In total there are 104 boreholes, which are 110 meters deep. The boreholes are headered-up via four manifold chambers, which are linked together inside the plant room.

“Ecovision worked closely with Wilmot Dixon, the principal contractors, to design a system that would supply precisely what the Care Home required. It was a complex and highly technical installation which needed to provide heating and cooling at different times of the year. As a result of the heat pumps the NHS will make significant savings on running costs as well as significantly reduce their carbon emissions.” Julian Sowerbutts, managing director of Ecovision said.


Low carbon footprint

LouvreSol SP provided and installed the extensive brise soleil array around the South Cheshire college, constructed in the form of a crescent around a mature copse of oak trees.

Designed by Jefferson Sheard Architects, the building was designed to minimise its carbon footprint and achieves a ‘very good’ BREEAM rating.

The large and expansive use of glass has been designed to create a sense of continuity between the natural environment outside, the copse, and the human environment inside. The solar shading helps to reduce solar gain and solar glare within the communal area of the atrium.

In conjunction with the brise soleil, the build requirement was for a low carbon footprint for the project. This in turn required the architects to maximise use of natural ventilation and daylight penetration, to build in night cooling, include rainwater collection and re-use, and to use solar thermal collectors, ground source heat pumps, and motion sensor lighting. All these strategies have helped to reach the BREEAM rating.

To enable secure daytime ventilation and nigh time cooling of the atrium, LouvreSol SP supplied and installed its new LouvreWall system which is located at the bottom of the glazed crescent facade at ground level. The wide insulated louvre blades are opened by the Building Management System (BMS) when solar gain in the atrium is identified. In the evening the louvre blades open for a predetermined time to help flush warm air out to be replaced with cool fresh air for the following days occupancy.

LouvreWall is believed to be the largest spanning, motorised and insulated ventilation louvre system available on the market.


Solar contract

North East based renewable energy company Opus Green is underway with a £1.9m contract with Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) to install rooftop solar energy systems on over 30 of the housing blocks it manages.

The contract to design, supply, install and commission solar photovoltaic installations (solar panels) includes 30 buildings across Newcastle city centre, stretching across a number of housing estates in Elswick, Kenton, Shieldfield and Newburn.

The installation of solar panels will lower YHN’s carbon footprint and also generate revenue under the Government’s Feed In Tariff scheme (FITs).

Earlier this month Opus Green used an 80 Tonne crane to lift 260 solar panels onto the rooftops of the first three multi storey blocks of flats in Elswick. Managing director of Opus Green Chris Cassells who was on site to oversee the operations said. “Close collaboration with YHN and their residents has helped us meet the logistical challenges of installing approximately 260 solar panels and associated equipment onto the rooftops of three blocks of flats of up to 5 floors in Newcastle,” he said.

“Careful planning together with structural and electrical appraisals had to be undertaken to ensure the systems complimented rather than compromised the environment they were being installed in.

“This is a great example of a Council taking a proactive approach to reduce their Carbon footprint by installing renewable energy solutions. This is one of the first large commercial solar schemes in the region and we are confident tenants will notice the environmental benefits of installing Solar PV.”

John Lee, Chief Executive of Your Homes Newcastle, said: “FITs have made it cost effective for us to install solar photovoltaic (PV) panels onto the roofs of properties. We are looking to install them on about 1000 properties in the next two years. This will help to reduce our customers’ expenditure on energy, in turn reducing the number of tenants living in fuel poverty.”


College makeover

The Pilkington Planar system has been specified for the glass atrium in an extensive redevelopment project at St. Helens College.

The Pilkington Planar technical and design team worked closely with the client and its design team to develop a modern innovative building to reflect the forward looking ethos of the college. The College’s ageing town centre campus had to be demolished to make way for a new state of the art learning complex, while the existing Smith Kline Beecham buildings were refurbished.

The resulting Pilkington Planar facade maximises the natural light which adds an environmentally friendly dimension to the new build, and it incorporates energy-saving sustainable technologies through passive rather than engineered solutions.

Across all three phases of the development Pilkington Insulight high performance insulated glazing units were also supplied, totalling in excess of 3000m2. This glass was incorporated into the design of the building to assist the client in achieving their design goals.

In addition the Brook Street (east elevation) and Court Yard (west elevation) main entrances to the new development were glazed using the Pilkington Planar structural glazing system providing striking facades to the building while incorporating high performance energy-management glazing, ensuring that the building is aesthetically pleasing but also energy-efficient.


Summerfield contract

Roth UK has secured a series of ‘major contracts’.

Recent orders for the system, which includes Roth’s single panel in-roof kit, include major contracts placed by Summerfield Developments for its Cutcombe housing scheme on Exmoor plus sites at Williton and Bower Hinton.

As an established property developer for the South West, Summerfield is committed to sourcing reliable suppliers with advanced systems and proven track records. The company is also keen to adopt state-of-the-art solutions to support its renewables programme. Commenting on the selection of Roth UK, Richard Nicol, divisional director of Summerfield Developments said: “Roth’s full service, including installation advice and technical assistance, was very important. Roth’s support reflects our client ethos, as they have been highly professional and proactive. The rising cost of heating homes makes this product a popular alternative to the traditional heat sources such as fossil fuels.”

Roth UK was pleased to host visits from Summerfield Developments at its UK centre, where kits were viewed and instruction was provided.

The Roth product range includes solar thermal solutions and interchangeable multilayer polymer pipe ranges for cold/hot water supply and heating/cooling pipework systems. Supported by nine manufacturing plants in Europe, and 1,100 employees worldwide, Roth’s expertise encompasses residential, commercial and industrial applications.


Unique development

Swish Window and Door Systems has been specified and supplied on a unique new property, built on the site of a former toilet block and featuring advanced levels of thermal and acoustic insulation.

The corner plot in a Bristol suburb has been transformed as the site of a modern sedum-roofed and cedar-clad three bedroom property.

Its position in close proximity to a dual carriageway meant the acoustic performance of the building envelope was a critical part of the design process.

Windows in dual-colour grey on white supplied by SG Windows and manufactured in Swish, were specified by developer Inglerock to provide an enhanced level of noise insulation, achieving a reduction of 39 decibels (RW39dB).

Neil Rogers, managing director and owner, Inglerock, said: “The acoustic insulation was very important to us. We’re not very far away from a dual carriage way and we didn’t want that to impact on the living space. For that reason we specified a high level of wall insulation – 120mm behind double thickness plasterboard – roof insulation, including a sedum roof and high performance windows.

“The other element to the window installation of course was the aesthetic side. These are dual colour, white on the inside to support the sense of light and space inside and grey on the outside to blend with grey render and cedar which will grey with age.”

A Swish-approved commercial manufacturer, SG Windows, manufactured and installed a total of 13 high performance windows to the project. Alongside the thermally efficient Swish frames, these featured specially developed acoustic DGU manufactured from an 8.8mm sheet of Standip Silent Glazing, 14mm cavity and 6mm low-e thermal glass.

Installation and manufacture were also made more challenging as SG Windows had to accommodate an 11º curve in windows installed at the front of the property.

Steve Rubotham, director, SG Windows said: “Part of the front of the building actually curves, including one window aperture. The large window at the front of the building is consequently manufactured from three separate products fitted on a pre-welded cill and then joined with coupling bars.

“Alongside this there was a demand for an exceptionally high level of acoustic performance which was achieved through the use of acoustic glass.”

The building also features a heat recovery and ventilation system. This meant that windows could be designed and installed without the inclusion of trickle vents which would have impacted on the effectiveness of sound proofing.


Affordable sustainability

Swish Window and Door Systems triple glazed system has been specified on a new social and affordable housing project in the North West of England.

New bead options mean Swish is able to offer a window system which can accommodate a 44mm triple-glazed unit, capable of achieving U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K, supporting specifiers in achieving Code Level 6 and beyond.

Appointed by Riverside Housing Association, lead contractor Story Construction, selected Swish fabricator World Group to supply 240 triple-glazed high performance windows to a 30 property development in Carlisle.

Delivered to a Code Level 4 standard the development of two and three bedroom properties, also included a Secured by Design specification.

Also supplying doors to the project, World Group managing director, Cliff Spooner, said that he expected to see growing demand from the commercial sector for high performance products.

He said: “We came on board with Swish 18-months ago because we saw value in the brand but also that we could deliver an exceptionally high level of thermal performance and achieve it affordably.

“We have recently completed a period of significant investment and believe that with it and particularly the investment we have made in our Secured-by-Design specification, we have a very attractive commercial offer that will allow us to support our customers effectively moving forward.”

Tested on an industry standard side hung fixed combination 1230mm by 1480mm window, the development of its triple-glazed option by Swish has included hardware trials and also full opening/closing cycle testing, to ensure performance.

Andrew Reid, commercial sales development director, Swish Window and Door Systems, said: “What’s also significant is that the product that we have tested is the industry standard window for the calculation of U and WER values. That’s to say it’s not an ‘artificial’ specification that’s been manipulated to achieve a low U-value and ‘headline claims’.”


Sustainable heating solution

Dachs mini-CHP from Baxi-SenerTec UK, part of Baxi Commercial Division, has been identified by Dundee City Council as a consistently cost-effective element of its drive to achieve energy efficiency.

Dundee is creating a sustainable energy infrastructure for the long-term. The City Council has trialled different renewable and low carbon alternative heating technologies and the Dachs mini-CHP combined heat and power solution is being variously deployed in the city, reducing carbon emissions and improving the energy efficiency of buildings of diverse use.

The Dachs mini-CHP solution is designed to run continuously in buildings with a large heat load and almost continuous operation. For example, in Brington Place, a home for elderly residents where the heat load was being met by three condensing boilers, the operation of a Dachs mini-CHP greatly reduced the call on the boilers to supply the heat load, while generating electrical power to meet the power load.

The CHP unit, running almost continuously, has delivered 66,000 kWh of electricity and 160,000 kWh of heating since being commissioned. Based on previous bills for electricity from the grid, the savings for the council run home amount to almost £2,500 per annum. These savings do not take into account the benefits that will be derived from the extended operating life of the boilers due to greatly reduced use, the consequential reduced maintenance costs and the reduced carbon emissions.

The cost-effectiveness of CHP has been confirmed by its use in the plantroom serving the council-run library, theatre and office areas in the Wellgate Shopping Centre in the heart of the city. Two Dachs mini-CHP units were deployed to support six boilers that were already in place to meet the heat load.

In an 11-month period following installation, the two units ran for more than 5,500 hours, generating almost 69,000 kWh of electricity and well over 100,000 kWh of heating. The dramatic reduction in boiler workload and the considerable lessening of the grid-supplied power demand, together led to a saving of over £4,000 in running costs. In addition, the two units have jointly avoided nearly 24,000 kg of carbon emissions.


Protection and sustainability balanced

The Netherlands Institute for Ecology is now housed in a purpose-built timber and glass building designed to the highest standards of sustainability, and Arch Timber Protection’s fire retardants are safely protecting the building and staff at the site.

Timber is a crucial and significant element in the new building and thermally-modified Plato Wood, produced from sustainable spruce, has been used for external beams and cladding. These components are protected using Arch’s NON-COM exterior, a polymer-based fire retardant to provide a proven and highly effective surface spread of flame protection. Interior Plato Wood spruce timbers used in the public areas of the building are also fire retardant-protected with Arch’s Dricon, a water-based fire retardant treatment. The timber and the Dricon treatment have been supplied by Foreco Dalfsen.

The timbers for NON-COM Exterior protection had to be accurately produced and then carefully shipped in segments to the UK, treated by Arch and then shipped back to the site for construction.

Arch Timber Protection BV general manager, Arno van Oosten, said: “NON-COM Exterior is the only leach resistant fire retardant pressure treatment available on the European market. This added an extra step to the building process because everything had to be mapped out in great detail and prepared before it could be sent over for treatment by Arch in the UK. However, we were able to work directly with the timber supplier and builder and make sure that all the steps were as cost-effective as possible.”

Claus & Kaan Architects designed the building according to the cradle-to-cradle (C2C) ecologically-sound building concept.

Environmental impact minimised

Balfour Beatty Engineering Services (BBES), is set to begin a £3.5 million mechanical and electrical (M&E) services contract for the new £9 million Beatson Translational Research Centre (TRC) in Glasgow.

Being constructed by Mansell, a Balfour Beatty Company, for the University of Glasgow, the project will see the creation of the new four-storey research laboratory, office building and car parking facilities.

The project’s M&E services have been designed by mechanical and electrical building services engineers, KJ Tait. The M&E services which are being delivered by Mansell, incorporate a number of sustainable elements including high efficiency turbo chiller and air handling units with Econet heat recovery packages. To further minimise the environmental impact of the project, BBES has incorporated offsite manufacturing for the modular risers and the plant room.

Using the latest lean construction methods and off-site manufacturing techniques, BBES will prefabricate the modular risers and plant skids, before delivering to site ready for a faster, more efficient and safer installation. Manufactured by BBES at its Modular Systems + facility, this will allow site construction to run concurrently with manufacturing. As well as reducing working hours on site, including hot works and working at height, this approach will also reduce material waste while ensuring quality control through manufacture in a controlled environment.

Other M&E services that BBES will supply and install on site comprise full air conditioning, BMS controls, fume and MSC exhaust systems, RO water, medical gas systems, UPS and generator standby systems, small power and lighting systems.

The project further demonstrates BBES’ commitment to delivering sustainable projects in terms of efficient and low environmental impact delivery as well as the creation of low energy in use buildings.

Work on the Beatson Translational Research Centre is expected to be complete in summer 2012.