Category Archives: Architecture

Neaco glass balustrade maximizes view

The unobstructed outlook enabled by Neaco’s toughened glass panels makes them a popular balustrade specification for developments which enjoy impressive views. The latest example is a stunning collection of luxury apartments overlooking the River Trent in Nottinghamshire.

Handrails and balustrade have been precision-engineered in aluminium featuring a powder coated finish in one of Neaco’s standard metallic colours which combines superbly with tinted glass infills to bring a stylish modern aesthetic to balconies and communal terraces enjoying panoramic views across the river. The development features a total of 58 highly specified properties planned across a four-storey complex.

Neaco’s Spectrum range of handrails, balustrade, balconies and structural glass offers a comprehensive choice of modular components with the versatility to suit virtually any design requirement and all types of built environment.  Available in powder coated aluminium or stainless steel – or a combination of both – Spectrum is characterized by smooth, clean lines offering a high architectural aesthetic which is maintenance-free. In addition to glass the range includes a comprehensive choice of alternative infills, including rails, mesh, tension wire and perforated panels. Structural glass balustrade is free-standing and requires no supporting uprights. Modular assembly is achieved with internal fixtures requiring no welding or hot works.

Aluminium Spectrum is available in a wide variety of solid, metallic and detailed wood-effect finishes which are warm to the touch. For industrial environments the mill-finished Spectrum Genesis is extremely durable, fully recyclable and corrosion-free. Neaco’s diverse product range also includes a wide choice of glass-panelled Juliet balconies, railed Juliet balconies, glass-panelled step-out balconies, adaptive bathing facilities and aluminium open grilles for flooring, screening and shading applications.

Further information is available at www.neaco.co.uk

Bespoke ceiling adds unique touch to university refurbishment

The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading Russell Group universities, featuring in the top 15 of the University League Tables 2017.

The leafy Edgbaston campus is undergoing a series of major building projects and Hunter Douglas, the international leader in architectural building products, played its role in the refurbishment of a lecture theatre in the Avon Room.

Hunter Douglas

Designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, the overhaul included Hunter Douglas wall and ceiling panels in real Cherry wood veneer, plus motorised blinds for the room.

What made this scheme stand out was that the panels, which were manufactured from engineered solid wood (ESW), differed from the usual ceiling system.

Typically, these panels would come in sizes 600x600mm, 1200x600mm or 1200x300mm. However, to meet the design brief of the architect, Hunter Douglas produced six “wings”, each of which were 4x2m, made up of four 1x2m panels.

These were produced with 9mm “dummy” circular perforations, which allowed the panels to be invisibly fixed to the suspension system, says David Harris, General Manager of Hunter Douglas Architectural. “The ‘wings’ within the central ceiling are a very unusual feature and they also incorporate some linear light fittings,” he said.

Hunter Douglas

“We worked closely with the ceiling contractor, Elmsmere Engineering, as the installation of both the ceiling and wall panelling was very challenging and needed a great deal of care to ensure a perfect finish.

“The project demonstrates clearly that Hunter Douglas has the technical expertise to create tailored solutions for architects and specifiers, ensuring that every finished look is fresh and new.”

Hunter Douglas also provided 158m2 of wall panels for the front and rear of the theatre, made of the same MDF core with a real Cherry veneer.

Approximately 105m2 of the wall panels were non perforated, while the remaining 53m2 were produced with 7mm x 97mm slot pattern that helps to maximise acoustic absorption.

The panels were produced in a variety of dimensions, from 650mm x 800mm to 2240mm x 740mm, and were installed using invisible fixing clips around the perimeter of the panels. They also have a small bevel where they meet, offering a neat design detail.

Hunter Douglas also supplied 15 240v motorised blinds to the two side elevations of the lecture room. Each pewter-coloured blind is made from Star fabric, which has a 3% openness factor, and measures approximately 2.5m wide with a 2.5m drop.

https://www.hunterdouglas.com

First FiT show appearance for Reynaers

Reynaers FiT Show

Leading aluminium systems company Reynaers is planning on making a big splash for its first appearance at this year’s FiT Show.

It will be showcasing its range of aluminium window and door products at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in May and has some big, brand new systems that will feature on its stand, N10.

Marketing Manager Rebecca Cope said: “We will be making our mark at this year’s show with new products, which have been developed by our highly-regarded design team.

“Trade visitors will be able to find out about our comprehensive range of systems, and also how we can help provide the tools to market and sell them too.

“The show is taking place not far from our brand new HQ in Birmingham and we will have big products, a big stand and innovative products that have never been seen before. Watch this space for more news!”

Reynaers has helped to shape the urban landscape for more than 50 years and its products feature in some of the world’s most beautiful buildings. Find out more at www.reynaers.co.uk.

FiT 2017 takes place in Halls 6-8 at the NEC from 23-25 May. Further details are available from: Reynaers Limited on 0121 421 1999 or reynaersltd@reynaers.com.

The Accoya® cladding that’s exciting architects

As the UKs biggest independent distributor of timber and panel products, James Latham has announced the latest addition to its portfolio, a new range of charred Accoya® cladding.

Accoya cladding

James Latham has been a leading distributor of Accoya wood in the UK for more than six years and has seen its popularity grow significantly, to the point where it is now becoming the material of choice for exterior applications as it can be used for virtually anything, from windows to doors, decking to cladding and siding.

This latest innovative use of Accoya – developed by Exterior Solutions Limited – pays homage to the traditional Japanese technique of “Shou-Sugi-Ban” in which timber is burned to provide a beautiful, distinctive, unique and long lasting wood cladding and it has already made a big impact with architects.

Accoya cladding

Richard Mosson, Group Cladding and Decking Manager, James Latham, explained, “The reaction so far from the market and our customers who have seen Shou-Sugi-Ban is astonishing, it really does have the wow factor and the enquiries we are receiving are growing by the day.

“And because it has been developed using the most durable and stable timber available and has the credibility of a product that is the result of decades of research and development which brought together a long-established, extensively proven wood modification technique and leading-edge patented technology, I have no doubt in my mind that it will be a big success for us.”

Richard continued, “Charred timber cladding is becoming increasingly popular in the specification market and this is a modern application of the ancient Japanese art of burning timber to provide a beautiful and long lasting wood cladding. Traditional techniques are used to give uniqueness to each individual project and there are lots of finishes and textures available for both interior and exterior projects – from the traditional, highly charred, heavily textured looking cladding to the sleek and contemporary finish.”

Shou-Sugi-Ban Accoya Cladding is available across Lathams nationwide network of depots in finished dimensions of 19mm x 145mm (planed tongue and groove profile) and in three charring stylesShosai, Shizen and Tenki. Other section sizes and profiles are available on request.

For more information on Lathams full range of materials: phone 0116 257 3415, e-mail marketing@lathams.co.uk  or visit

www.lathamtimber.co.uk

Make sure you choose low maintenance timber windows and doors

Any homeowners considering buying timber windows and doors will know that there is always a high level of maintenance and upkeep required. External facings on timber windows and doors need regular coatings to ensure they do not rot, as well as making sure they look good for aesthetic reasons.

Accoya Wood

Traditional exterior windows and doors, in oak or other hardwoods, need to be checked several times a year, to ensure there are no cracks in paintwork or varnish. Wear and tear in exterior coatings means that damp and moisture can creep in, which can see the onset of rot if not seen to straight away. The movement in oak timber, particularly, can cause cracks within the wood and coatings.

The majority of homeowners don’t actually realise that they have the option to choose the appearance of timber windows but without the high maintenance aspect. This choice – Accoya wood – is hugely growing in popularity and is already well-known within the joinery industry.

Accoya Wood

Accoya is a modified sustainable wood product which is highly durable and therefore, very low maintenance compared to traditional timber windows and doors. The non-toxic Accoya process prevents any water bonding with the wood, greatly reducing the chance of rot and creating a highly stable product.

In fact, the Accoya wood is so durable it comes with a 50 year guarantee against rot above the ground. Its improved durability and coatings performance means Accoya offers significantly lower maintenance and upkeep costs over the lifetime of the product.

An additional benefit of using Accoya is it is a 40% better insulator than hardwoods, so using Accoya external doors and windows can offer significant savings in energy costs for homeowners.

Accoya is a non-toxic product and has won many sustainability awards for its environmental credentials.

You can find your nearest Accoya supplier by clicking here.

Inspired by design? Visit Accoya’s new blog to view a selection of project stories.

 

 

New range of sun-shading systems launched by Schueco UK

Schueco sun-shading systemsLeading sustainable building envelope specialist, Schueco UK, is updating its sun-shading offering by launching in the UK three new high-quality systems: two are large louvre blade ALB systems and the third utilises C-shaped and Z-shaped blades, a new departure in blade design.

The first Schueco ALB system for 2017 – designated as ‘hi-tech’ – provides highly effective sun-shading unaffected by wind. It incorporates large louvre blades in a variety of different geometries, colours and arrangements, thus allowing architects maximum design freedom. When mounted vertically, the blades may be specified in an active configuration.

All the blades in this ‘hi-tech’ system are made from formed sheet metal profiles mounted on a carrier tube; the latter is a crucial component because it has a flat top side that allows blades of differing contours to be attached.

The second Schueco ALB system has new rectangular and parallelogram shaped blades: again, these may be installed vertically or horizontally and may be passive or active, so architects and planners can tailor the system to a building. Particular benefits include maximum light penetration, increased internal comfort and reduced thermal loading.

The louvre blades themselves are available in different widths – 250 mm, 300 mm or 400 mm – with a further option of 300 mm parallelogram blades. The system is wind-proof and can be seamlessly attached to Schueco windows and façades by means of standard interfaces.

Schueco’s third new sun-shading system employs C-shaped and Z-shaped louvre blades. In addition to providing a perfect shading solution, the system provides buildings with year-round weather protection that is unaffected by wind or rain.

The blades, which may be configured as either horizontal or cantilevered shading, are available in a wide range of geometries and widths, making it simple to plan and install a system on large areas of wall or façade. The system can also be used to protect a building against birds and insects.

The distances between the blades can be modified to take account of local conditions and the position of the sun, making it easy to significantly reduce thermal loads throughout the day. ‘Stacking’ and a variety of fixing options mean that installation is easy and straightforward.

For further information on the full range of Schueco sun-shading solutions, please email: mkinfobox@schueco.com .

www.schueco.co.uk

Accoya® windows take in first-class views at split level Hastings home

  • Accoya specified for windows in specially designed split level house
  • Windows chosen for eco-friendly properties and high levels of durability and stability
  • Accoya window applications require little maintenance and will remain durable against variable weather conditions

Accoya, the world-leading modified wood manufactured by Accsys Technologies, has been used to construct windows and doors for a specially designed split level home located in Hastings.

Designed by London-based architecture firm Alma-nac, the property, which is called the Split House, replaces a 1950’s bungalow and run-down barn in the village of Fairlight, on the southern coast of England. The owners wanted to create a highly sustainable home which took advantage of its hilltop location. As a result, architect firm Alma-nac designed the property to extend out in three different directions, providing stunning views of the sea and nearby Dungeness headland.

Accoya architecture

The architects specified Accoya to construct the external windows, window reveals and doors for the stylish property. 38 Accoya fixed and opening windows were installed, as well as 22 glazed door leafs. The doors and windows will require little maintenance over their lifetime due to the process in which the wood is made. The acetylation process, which is used to toughen the wood, delivers outstanding levels of performance, stability and durability.

timber windows and doors

Caspar Rodgers from Alma-nac commented: “We chose Accoya because we wanted to build using eco-friendly materials that could withstand the variable weather conditions that are characteristic of England’s southern coast. Accoya is well-respected within the industry as a highly sustainable product that has high levels of durability and stability so we knew it would be the ideal material for the job.”

Laura Ladd, head of marketing for Accsys Technologies said: “The Split House in Hastings is a uniquely engineered home that is very visually impressive. Accoya windows have undergone extensive testing, and have outperformed many other window applications. Not only do the windows complement the look and style of the property but Accoya windows will also withstand the harsh winds and wet weather conditions that Hastings can experience. With its impressive durability and low maintenance requirements, Accoya makes the ideal construction material for window applications such as these.”

Inspired by design? Visit Accoya’s new blog to view a selection of project stories.

Accoya Celebrates a Decade of Durability

World-leading Modified Wood Stands the Test of Time

The world’s first home to be clad in Accoya last year celebrated its 10th anniversary, coinciding with the publication of an influential trade report proving the wood’s resilience following 10 years’ uninterrupted exposure to natural weathering.

Accoya’s ‘decade of durability’ was initially marked with a successful review in 2016 of the home of architectural designer Gordon Aitken, located near Glenrothes in Fife, Scotland.

Gordon’s was the first UK home to use Accoya cladding coated with a translucent Sikkens translucent protective coating system, using 30 m2 of Accoya wood profile cladding for both north and south facing facades. And the results after 10 years of combating the harsh Scottish climate have been remarkable.

Accoya

The 10-year anniversary of the Fife Accoya house coincides with the publication of a report published by the Timber Research and Development Association (TRADA) showing the test-rig results of 10 years’ uninterrupted exposure to natural weathering.

The data was obtained from a natural test exposure facility at TRADA’s HQ, with Accoya used as vertical cladding and coated in a Sikkens high-build opaque and medium-build semi-translucent coating system.

Observational evidence showed that both the Accoya rigs irrespective of whether they were coated with either woodstain were found to be in an excellent condition after 10 years of natural weathering.

The report stated that: “Neither rig showed any evidence of any coating breakdown or substrate instability with the possible exception of the rig coated with the semi-translucent woodstain where slight fissuring around nail heads was seen to have developed on the north facing aspect…arguably the greatest significance of the findings resides in the fact that the Sikkens coating, in both cases, showed no requirement for maintenance after 10 years.”

TRADA’s report concluded that: “the results of test have shown that the use of Accoya as a substrate for exterior cladding systems can achieve significant benefits in terms of longer performance and reduced maintenance, compared to typical lifetime expectations when conventional softwoods are used.”

Manufactured by Accsys Technologies, Accoya has proven popular with architects and joiners across the world, especially where quality, stability and aesthetics are important. And for Laura Keily, Marketing Director at Accsys Technologies, both 10-year accolades are living proof of Accoya’s long term viability over the longer term – even in the harshest of weather conditions.

Offering exceptional durability and stability, Accoya is an attractive wood product which is perfect for a variety of uses from windows and doors to external cladding, structural projects and decking.  Accoya also boasts excellent environmental credentials by using wood sourced from FSC® certified, sustainable forests and Cradle to Cradle Gold certified.

Gordon Aitken, said: “I initially chose Accoya due to its exceptional Class 1 durability and 50-year above ground guarantee, as well as being impressed by its environmental credentials and aesthetic qualities,” explains Gordon.

“Since it was installed in 2006, we have experienced a lot of harsh weather conditions ranging from rain, sleet and snow and even some piercing sunshine, with the north façade being particularly exposed. But in the last 10 years, I have only maintained the cladding once by cleaning with a mild soapy water solution, restoring it to an ‘as new’ appearance.

“It is quite remarkable that the Accoya cladding and Sikkens coating is in such good condition after such a long time.  I had initially chosen Accoya as I had wanted a material that required minimal maintenance, but offered high aesthetic qualities to complement the design of the building, and after 10 years of tough living, this has definitely proved to be the case.”

Laura Keily, Head of Marketing at Accsys Technologies, said: “Once again, we can point to powerful evidence of Accoya’s extreme durability both in a domestic environment and in a tried and tested scientific site. The results speak for themselves, and demonstrate the huge potential of Accoya for durable home cladding projects, appealing directly to design experts and consumers alike.”

Inspired by design?  Visit Accoya’s new blog to view a selection of project stories.

This new slate roof enhances the charm of the Renfrew Town Hall

If there is one thing especially remarkable in Scotland, that is its historical buildings, still retaining their original charm. The best evidence of this is the Renfrew Town Hall and Museum: a heritage building full of history that doesn’t go unnoticed for anyone visiting the area.

natural slate

Renfrew is a small Scottish town located 6 miles west of Glasgow, in a strategic area of Scotland, being therefore the scene of numerous military confrontations. That’s why its architecture oozes centuries of history.

Located downtown Renfrew, it is a truly architectural jewel, an impressive 19th-century building dominating the Renfrew skyline with its fairytale towers. The highest one rises to more than 100 feet and has become a symbol of the civic pride evident in town during its industrial heyday.

However, this is not the original Town Hall of Renfrew. The first one was originally built in 1670, and was used as a jail until 1839.  The current Town Hall was built in 1872.

After a £5.2m refurbishment programme, the building reopened in January 2012, having been fully restored and extended to house the new Renfrew Museum. As part of this renovation programme, the Renfrew Town Hall roof has been recently renewed with Heavy 3 natural slate. This slate has been the perfect choice to keep its original appeal of Scottish tradition and heritage.

natural slate

CUPA HEAVY 3™ slate is quarried from San Pedro de Trones in northern Spain. This quarry belonging to multinational company CUPA PIZARRAS, has been in operation since 1892. Actually it’s the oldest quarry in activity in the world and produces some 25,000 tons each year!

Heavy 3 is one of the key products of CUPA PIZARRAS, the world leader in natural slate. It’s a blue-black slate with a slightly gritty texture, perfect to withstand the high wind speeds and driving rain common throughout Scotland.

For further information about CUPA PIZARRAS’ products, visit its website: http://www.cupapizarras.com/uk/

Mecanoo Architects use Trimo’s bespoke panel solution for HOME, Manchester City Centre

HOME, a £25m, multi-disciplinary art centre, was designed by Mecanoo Architects, based in the Netherlands. HOME is part of the development of the creative quarter in Manchester, and is the largest arts centre in the UK outside the capital city of London. It boasts a 500-seat theatre, five cinema screens, a gallery and studio space and a café, bar and restaurant.

sustainable wall system

Project Requirements

Project architect Ernst ter Horst designed the building’s exterior to be stunning from all aspects. Its curved, triangular shape – made possible using Trimo’s Qbiss One façade solution – captures the eye, delivering a strong focal point for the area.

From a design perspective, the façade requirement was challenging and called for innovative thinking by Trimo; a leader provider of building envelope solutions. The project required a close working relationship between Trimo and Mecanoo, to ensure the aesthetic elements and performance targets of the specification could be reached.

The façade specification called for elements such as self-spanning slab-to-slab panels, the articulation of the panel joints, with integral vertical fins, integrated glazing, and a unique stainless steel dual colour front skin.

Solution

Trimo addressed Mecanoo’s requirements with its Qbiss One façade solution. Compared to alternative products which use a ‘cut and fold’ approach, with panels needing to be sealed manually then touched up with paint, Qbiss One provides a completely prefabricated solution. Its unique rounded corner provides a superior aesthetic appearance while also preventing any potential threat of corrosion.

sustainable wall system

Unlike conventional built up wall systems, Qbiss One is self-supporting. It eliminates the need for any additional support or substructure, reducing total building time. There is no need for a brick or concrete wall or any on-site cutting or post-production modification. Developed with sustainability in mind, Qbiss One is made of environmentally friendly materials, is 98% recyclable and has a low CO2 footprint of just 44kg/m2 during the lifetime of the building; enabling HOME to meet Manchester City Council’s policy for low carbon development, sustainable procurement and operation.

Results

The completed façade solution provides a stunning and unique addition to Manchester’s city centre skyline and adds to Mecanoo architect’s growing list of award winning buildings. The configuration of the building blends public and social to create a harmonised, well balanced structure. The building’s triangular shape, combined with Qbiss One’s curved façade sets it apart from adjacent developments and provide a welcoming yet contemporary exterior.

home_1

“Thanks to the commitment and expertise of the Trimo team, we collaboratively developed an innovative evolution in the Qbiss range in marine grade stainless steel, with spectacular results.” – Ernst ter Horst

www.trimo-group.com