Tag Archives: building envelope

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 .


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.


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.


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.


“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


ROCKWOOL helps deliver energy efficient homes at Silken Park


Residents of a new housing development in Dublin are enjoying increased levels of thermal comfort, and reduced heat loss after ROCKWOOL® insulation was installed on the external envelope. Showcasing the latest design features and a high standard of specification, the development will provide attractive low-energy housing for its residents.

Silken Park, a Durkan Residential housing development, features a combination of two, three and four bed houses. Every part of the development was carefully considered to reduce energy use and to make the houses comfortable and healthy to live in. The construction and the design teams were tasked with creating a cost effective building envelope that delivered efficient fabric performance and excellent overall thermal performance.

As the main contractor on this project, Ecofix Ltd adopted the ‘fabric-first’ approach to the construction to build a well-insulated and airtight building.  Key to this approach is the use of an external wall insulation system that completely wraps the houses and therefore minimises thermal bridging.

Specifically designed to meet high thermal standards, ROCKWOOL® External Wall DD Slab, ROCKWOOL’s BrickShield® and ROCKWOOL REDArt® Silicone render systems were the perfect solution for this project.

Developed in a partnership between ROCKWOOL and Ibstock, the BrickShield® system was used to provide a real brick finish on the external wall insulation. ROCKWOOL insulation boards were fixed using an adhesive around the perimeter of each piece of insulation as well as mechanically fixed with thermally-broken Insulating wall anchors.

Offering triple value, the ROCKWOOL REDArt® Silicone EWI System is renowned for its thermal performance, fire protection and provides an attractive exterior for projects. The REDArt® rendering solution has been developed to be installed on a wide range of substrates and wall construction types. This has provided Silken Park with an efficient thermal solution to minimise the resident’s heating requirements and provide high standards of thermal comfort.

“ROCKWOOL is our first choice of insulation because it is breathable and fire proof” says Jay Stuart, Technical Director, Ecofix UK and Ireland. “The particular product that ROCKWOOL provided us with to build these houses is dual density. This means it is impact resistant on the outside, and slightly softer on the inside where it is fitted against the masonry wall. This means that the slab compresses and fills all the unevenness on the masonry wall achieving a perfect fit of insulation. In addition, the technical support ROCKWOOL provided was second to none which helped in the delivery of the project on time.”

ROCKWOOL’s thermally engineered and environmentally-friendly solution has helped to provide energy efficiency and reduced heating consumption.  The building fabric has exceptionally low heat loss which is in line with design predictions and will provide the residents with increased levels of thermal comfort in a cost-effective manner.

“Durkan Residential is seeing savings of approximately 10% in the external walls themselves” said Andrew Kinnear, Commercial Director at Durkan Residential. “We are seeing a faster build, which is reducing our time on site.”

For more information and to view the Silken Park video, visit www.rockwool.co.uk or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxdZirkiBJ0 for YouTube.

Student housing fixed by Kladfix

Deaconess House1

Kladfix, the rainscreen cladding support system specialist has supplied its KX01 fittings for a new £14.5 million development project transforming the historic Deaconess House on Edinburgh’s Pleasance into 315 student apartments for the University of Edinburgh.

Deaconess House opened in 1894 and ran as a hospital for just under a century, at which time it was renovated into office accommodation.  Twenty four years later and the site is transformed into three blocks of student residence. Situated in the heart of the University of Edinburgh city centre campus, the four and five storey buildings will be centred around a courtyard which includes an amphitheatre. Lakesmere, the building envelope specialist specified Kladfix’s KX01 vertical cladding support system for this project.

“The KX01 system is extremely cost effective” said Morton Anderson, Lakesmere’s Business Development Manager. “We were under extreme cost pressure with this project and required a product which would fit within the tight budget.  Kladfix offers affordable yet high quality solutions, so the KX01 system was the ideal product for this project.”

Kladfix KX01 fittings have been used to fix approximately 1000m² of stone cladding and 300m² of aluminium cladding on the three student apartment blocks. These fittings are suitable for use as a back frame system and are the basis to all of Kladfix’s systems. KX01 fittings are also used for face and rivet fixing for fibre cement, high-pressure laminate, ACM and metal rainscreen cladding panels.

Deaconess House PR Shot

Kladfix holds extensive stock to ensure orders can always be met and where necessary, immediate delivery can be provided. All Kladfix cladding systems can be engineered to project specific requirements thanks to the expertise of its technical design support service. This provides architects and specifiers freedom with an almost infinite range of façade appearance and layout options.

For further information on Kladfix Rainscreen Systems, visit www.kladfix.com or call the company direct on +44 (0)1707 333 396.

Launch of Schueco’s Parametric Façade System offers architects new level of design freedom

03 Ansicht Stockwerk_1

The launch of Schueco’s Parametric Façade System by sustainable building envelope specialist, Schueco UK Ltd, offers architects a new level of dynamic design freedom. For the first time ever, geometrically complicated 3D façades can be designed as straightforward system solutions whose cost can be calculated with the certainty of a series product.

Like all Schueco systems, the Parametric Façade is highly insulated, with Uf values up to 0.5 W/m2K, and surface elements that can be transparent or opaque. Sunlight and shading, guided views and daylight optimisation can all be employed as active design factors. The system can also accommodate BIPV panels for solar energy generation.

Central to the Schueco Parametric solution is the continuous, closed digital process chain that operates in all phases of design, planning and fabrication. The result is that commonly encountered interface problems are eliminated and a uniform, consistent data model for every individual involved in the process is guaranteed.

Schueco parametric planning tools include a library of ‘intelligent’ façade modules for CAD programs that can be freely combined and incorporated into a parametric façade during the design phase.

Their use allows complex shapes to be progressively simplified, establishing rules and connections between individual design elements that can lead to extraordinary reductions in detailing time: for example, instead of the current norm of 24 hours per unit, use of SchüCAD Inventor slashes the per-unit time to a scarcely believable 8 minutes.

With the Parametric System, Schueco has made customer-specific, individualised mass production for free-form façades an affordable reality, combining in one package the economic benefits of industrial series production with clients’ desire for individual and exclusive products and solutions.

The system has won Schueco an Honourable Mention in the Red Dot Awards: Product Design 2015.

For further information on the Schueco Parametric Façade System, please email mkinfobox@schueco.com or visit www.schueco.co.uk

New addition to Schueco range of Passive House certified systems


Newly available from leading sustainable building envelope specialist, Schueco UK Limited, is the Schueco AWS 90.SI+ window, one of a growing number of Schueco window, door and façade systems to have received full Passive House Certification.

The window’s outstanding thermal performance – it delivers a U value of 0.8 W/m2K with 0.7 W/m2K triple glazing – is the result of advanced insulation technology and enables it to make a positive contribution to the overall energy efficiency of a building.

In addition to its attractive appearance, Schueco AvanTec concealed fittings impart an impressive degree of security, helping the Schueco AWS 90.SI+ system to deliver either RC 2 or RC 3 levels of burglar resistance to EN 1627.

Two other windows in the AWS 90 window range, the Schueco AWS 90.SI+ Green and the Schueco AWS 90 BS.SI+, have thermal insulation to Passive House levels. Like the Schueco AWS 90.SI+, they are able to satisfy exacting structural requirements while delivering the greatest possible architectural freedom.

The Schueco AWS 90.SI+ Green is part of Schueco’s new generation of ecologically friendly window systems. It incorporates polyamide insulating bars, which together with its foam and gaskets, include significant proportions of renewable raw materials in their composition.

The Schueco AWS 90 BS.SI+ offers a complete and elegant solution for concealed vent windows in single- and now double-vent designs. It features slender 77 mm face widths and has a basic frame depth of 95 mm.

For further details on Schueco’s range of innovative window systems, please email mkinfobox@schueco.com.


Protecting the Building Envelope

Front Cover 2015 Product Guide

The 2015 edition of ‘Protecting the Building Envelope’ (volume 27) is a full colour A5 manual of 147 pages containing the latest best practice building details.

This latest edition includes more than 168 enhancements plus additional construction solutions and numerous upgraded products.

Published by Cavity Trays Ltd of Yeovil, here are some application examples:

Type GBOT Type G Balcony Opening Tray

The Type GBOT is a Type G compatible cavitray for use at door openings where water penetrating in and around the reveal / closer must be prevented from continuing its usual gravitational path.

Appropriate for use where a doorway opens onto a balcony or deck area under which is a continuation of the building/enclosed area.

Type BWVC Bay Window Vertical Cavitray

Prevents lateral transference experienced when wind-driven rain saturates the external masonry skin around a bay window or similar where the level of the bay-spanning lintel and the level at which the roof intersects are different.

Type X Gable Abutment Cavitray

Now manufactured to suit a wider range of cavity widths and available with synthetic flashing options as well as traditional lead flashing.

Timber Frame and SIPS DPC Profiles

An increased range of profiles offering protection extending three dimensionally.

The above are just a few of the new specification solutions detailed within this new publication from Cavity Trays Ltd of Yeovil, that is the longest established specialist within its field and also the only cavity tray manufacturer in the UK awarded European Technical Approval.

Readers might also wish to secure a copy of an accompanying handbook in the Best Practice series called:

The Latest Book of Wise Decisions’.

Both are essential reading for all industry disciplines.


Unique landmark academy uses Reynaers systems throughout

Appleton Academy 67a

Becoming something of a local landmark because of its prominent location, Appleton Academy in Wyke, West Yorkshire, with its circular design and sloping green roof is the first through-age academy in the region linking three phases of learning in a single building.

Appleton Academy 28a

Appleton Academy 59a

Designed by BDP Architects and using Reynaers aluminium systems throughout the £24 million project combines lower, middle and upper schools within a single circular building around a naturally landscaped garden. Named after a local Nobel Prize winning scientist, Sir Edward Appleton, the academy building covers 12,000 m2 and can accommodate 1,400 pupils.

Appleton Academy 51a

Developed on behalf of Bradford College the academy incorporates two former schools offering education from nursery through to sixth form in a unique concept with the building stepping up in scale as pupils’ progress through key learning phases. An important part of the development included a new community library and primary school facilities funded by Bradford Council.

While separate entrances are maintained for lower, middle and upper schools, who maintain individual identities, all share in the combined facilities of the academy including the extensive community library, collaboration spaces and theatre. The refectory, cafe and staff hub form a portal in the outer circle of the academy with panoramic views across the Pennines.

Appleton Academy 48a

Growing from its single storey the academy progresses through its circular form to four levels with its light and bright interior aided by the use of Reynaers CW 50 curtain wall with insert vents throughout. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the upper development where a floor to ceiling curtain wall system, interspersed with the building’s classic and striking cedar rain screen finish, was fabricated and installed by leading building envelope specialist Prater. Reynaers aluminium window systems feature on every aspect of the academy adding to the high levels of internal natural light and in many locations also include opening vents. High performance door system ES 50 installed on the high usage entrance and external doors combine aesthetic design with energy efficiency and maintenance free operation. Prater also installed a render system and expansive flat roof areas, including an aluminium standing seam.

“Our continued specification on ground breaking educational projects such as Appleton Academy demonstrates the level of understanding and knowledge we have acquired to help realise and deliver creative design”, said Paul Duffy, Reynaers Sales Director. “The academy is designed to provide the best possible environment for learning as well as serve the local community for a long time to come.”

Appleton Academy was a full interdisciplinary project utilising Building Information Modelling and was highly commended at the SCALA Civic Building of the Year Awards 2013. Main contractor on the project was H&J Martin.

For full details contact: Reynaers Limited, Tel: 0121 421 1999, Fax: 0121 421 9797 or email: reynaersltd@reynaers.com.

Website: www.reynaers.co.uk

Schöck prevents thermal bridging in major new Irish distillery


Marketing and distribution across Ireland of the major Pernod Ricard premium wine and spirit brands, such as Malibu; Jacob’s Creek; Brancott Estate and Mumm; is big business for Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard.  However, the company’s real heritage is in its whiskey brands, particularly Jameson Irish Whiskey, which is produced at the main distillery in Midleton, County Cork.  The site has a production capacity of 33 million litres of alcohol a year, but even this is still insufficient to meet increasing international demand. As a result, €100 million is being invested in new plant to double the capacity.    When complete, Midleton will be one of the most modern distilleries in the world, boasting three 75,000 litre pot stills, and three column stills, which are used in combinations of three to produce the different types of whiskey.

Sustainability has always played a significant part in Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard’s development programmes and the current expansion is no exception. “Sustainability was a pre-requisite from the outset, from the design stage. Every element was examined from a sustainability perspective”, says Tommy Keane, head of distilling operations at Irish Distillers.   A challenge taken up by the architect John Morehead, of Wain Morehead Architects, who comments: “We were able to incorporate all the tools and techniques we used from doing passivhaus buildings and apply it to this building”.

The 21.5m high pot still hall building envelope is designed to a very high level of thermal performance and one of the design factors that had to be taken into account was the prevention of thermal bridging.  There is of course a regulatory need to reduce local heat loss and CO2 emissions. But in addition, condensation can be a potential problem too, frequently resulting in structural integrity problems – and even mould growth, which brings its own set of health risks to personnel.   The pot still hall has an overhanging roof element and this is insulated to the top, leading edge and underside on the north elevation and part return on the east and west elevations over a glazed wall.   To prevent any risk of thermal bridging at these roof overhang connectivity points, the structural elements to the primary steel are isolated from the interior environment using Isokorb structural thermal break units from Schöck.

The Isokorb is one of the most sophisticated solutions on the market, for the prevention of thermal bridging in connective situations; and has been supplied for the project by Contech Accessories, of Tullow, County Carlow, the Schöck sales partner and sole distributor for Ireland.

The Isokorb offers outstanding thermal efficiency and unrivalled application options, allowing connections to be made between concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel and steel-to-steel. One of the modular connection types even allows the retro-fitting of balconies in certain situations.  At Midleton, it is the KST-QST module for steel-to-steel applications that has been specified.  The KST modules are unique in being able to withstand extremely demanding loads and incorporate stainless steel components to ensure corrosion protection and minimise thermal conductivity.  Due to their thermal insulation properties, the Isokorb modules dramatically reduce energy loss in connective areas by guaranteeing that there is uniformity between cantilever structures and the internal structure at the thermal envelope. They also transfer load and maintain full structural integrity, while at the same time enabling inner surface area temperatures to remain well in excess of those likely to cause mould formation and condensation. The units are easy to fit with regular end-plate connections and all available steel profiles can be bolted on.

The entire Schöck Isokorb range provides BBA Certification and LABC Registration, and comfortably exceeds the requirements of BRE IP1/06 and Part L of the UK and Irish Building Regulations.  These state that the temperature factor used to indicate condensation risk (fRSI), must be greater than, or equal to, 0.50 for commercial buildings, a requirement comfortably exceeded by incorporating the Isokorb into the design.

There is also compliance with the Government Standard Assessment Procedure, SAP 2009, concerning CO2 emissions from buildings, and respectively heat losses through non-repeating thermal bridges. Here, the lambda values of the Schöck Isokorb® enables energy loss through balconies, canopies and other cantilever parts of the building to be reduced by as much as 84% to 91%.

There are hundreds of standard solutions available in the Schöck range and modules can be tailored to suit practically any application, with different types enabling the transmission of shear, bending moment and tension, as well as compression.

A ‘Specifiers Handbook‘ is available which provides an overview and introduction to the Schöck Isokorb®., and there is a thoroughly comprehensive 236 page ‘Technical Guide’ which displays in detail the complete range of thermal break applications for all construction types – concrete-to-concrete, concrete-to-steel, steel-to-steel and concrete-to-timber.

For further information about services from Schöck, or to request a free copy of the Specifiers Guide and / or Technical Guide; contact Contech Accessories on:

00353 (0) 59 915   email: sales@contech-accessories.ie  or visit www.schoeck.co.uk

Enhanced by Zemanta

Tread Carefully Using the BS 8215 DPC Staircase

Various British Standards have been withdrawn in the past few years but one that remains is BS 8215. If you pick up the latest PD 6697 it currently refers back to BS 8215 as a source for competent construction. Unfortunately, BS 8215 contains errors, and adherence to it will result in a structure suffering dampness. British Standards has in the past confirmed such errors exist which prompts the question of how and why this situation has arisen? A good example concerns stepped and staggered gable abutments and the manner in which abutting sloping roofs should integrate.

At this point it is probably a good time to suggest in your imagination you consider standing at the foot of a staircase with a bucket of water in your hand! Throw the entire bucket of water into the staircase and watch it cascade down from one tread to the next. Now imagine repeating the exercise but this time throwing the water into an open plan staircase. The water hits the treads but continues inwardly between them. With no connecting risers, it travels through, beyond and under the staircase slope.

Protecting a sloping abutment correctly requires a DPC staircase with connecting DPC treads and connecting DPC risers. BS 8215 does the opposite, directing construction every three courses so the arrangement is discontinuous, with a gap between the DPC treads.

Regardless of whether one is building in brick, block or stone, the failure to provide a continuous DPC staircase to arrest damp permits penetrating water to soak inwardly, via the masonry and mortar. Dampness does not discriminate. For instance, omitting a vertical DPC to a window opening within a cavity wall will result in inward absorption and damp reveals. Gable abutments are no different.

Exposed to the elements they require thorough attention. Adherence to the BS 8215 stepped arrangement will not prevent damp ingress.

The NHBC suggests the use of cavity trays to protect gable abutments as a preformed way of achieving regulation compliance.

Type X cavitrays manufactured by Cavity Trays of Yeovil are specifically designed for use on stepped and staggered intersections. Trays are available to suit all masonry styles, dimensions and thicknesses. Each tray has anti-capillary features and two integral upstands, one at the tray end and one that rises in the cavity.  The rigid end upstand features a top edge flex-link to provide positive integration with the tray above it.

Tread Carefully

The upstand in the cavity differs in having an integral hinge so it can adjust to suit the as-built cavity width. Compatibility with the cavity width is maintained regardless of whether the construction is traditional, timber or metal framed. Type X cavitrays also have attached flashings already shaped to suit the roof pitch. Once the trays have been built-in, the flashing requires dressing only when the roof finish is in place.


Further reading: 

Gable Abutments Product Guide volume 21.

Protecting the Building Envelope volume 22.

(Both publications available upon request)

Enhanced by Zemanta