Specially-adapted façade solution from Wicona helps to create a new landmark


Specially-adapted façade systems from Wicona have been specified for a new £26m library – a magnificent and inspirational undergraduate facility for the University of Leeds, one of the largest universities in the UK.

The 6,500sqm state-of-the-art learning hub will help the University attract more students in an increasingly competitive higher education environment and provides a major cultural centre to enrich the student experience and the wider community.  It is a new gateway to the University, and its design is a bold and confident statement for the future of the institution.

Designed by ADP, the scheme occupies a sensitive location in a conservation area, surrounded by listed buildings including two churches and in a streetscape that has remained almost unchanged in 50 years.  It is the fourth building on a challenging teardrop-shaped site, and its design had to be developed with careful articulation and considered fenestration to the façades.

The four-storey library features stepped façades to the north and south elevations that unlock a series of generous public spaces. It was conceived as a ribbon of learning around a central circulation and internal study space.  Each floor plate steps up towards the south of the site and the internal atrium.

Portland stone cladding adds weight to the building and helps to present it as a place of importance to the University, complemented by extensive use of glass constructed from Wicona’s WICTEC 50SG structural glazing.

The curtain walling was designed to create an even distribution of light and an elegant appearance, as an alternative to punched openings or a grid across the building envelope. Large, flush picture windows were also formed using the Wicona WICTEC system, providing dramatic, panoramic views across the campus and the cityscape.

A ‘veil’ of anodised aluminium vertical fins floats in front of the glazing and the stone cladding for optimum solar shading to the east and west elevations, whilst allowing key and oblique views and unifying the façade elements.

The WICTEC 50SG structurally glazed system created a flush glass finish and was specially adapted for the project to anchor the solar shading fins.  It also had to meet stringent acoustic requirements and a rating of Rw DB 38 because of the building’s city centre location and the impact of high traffic levels.

Commenting on the project, Torsten Bauszus, Senior Architect at ADP, said, “This was a complex scheme located in a historic and urban context so the building envelope required very high quality, bespoke materials and design detailing.”

“The Wicona curtain walling had to meet a number of stringent specification criteria, including aesthetics, thermal and structural performance, and a high level of noise protection. It was also critical that the glazing was sufficiently robust to support the vertical blades for solar shading and that the connections could be integrated and carefully engineered. We are really pleased with how the glazing is performing.  Wicona’s systems delivered our expectations and we will be specifying them for future projects.”

The curtain walling was finished in bronze anodising externally and light champagne internally.

Wicona’s WICLINE 90SG opening vents were inserted into the curtain walling to naturally ventilate the stair core, and WICSTYLE 75 aluminium doors were used for two entrances on the ground floor and for access to the roof where there are 50,000 bees living in hives.

This is a sustainable building which is constructed to a BREEAM ‘excellent’ standard with low energy passive design and renewable energy generation. There was also robust thermal detailing to the envelope to deliver energy efficiency, as well as a sharp and contemporary appearance that reflects the ambition, vision and values of the University.

The four-storey building on the city centre campus accommodates more than 1,000 individual study places; 5km of linear space for 150,000 books; facilities for collaborative group learning; community classrooms to host outreach work with local schools and colleges; a café, courtyard and galleries for artwork and collections on public display.

Engineered in Germany, Wicona’s WICTEC curtain walling suite has been used extensively for complex façade projects in both the UK and across the world.  It has a wide range of structural aluminium profiles to accommodate vertical, angled, sloped and faceted glazing for optimum creative freedom and performance.  There are options for structural and unitised glazing, and enhanced security, fire protection and bullet resistance for visual consistency across a building envelope.

For more information about Wicona’s range of door, window and curtain walling systems for complex and challenging projects, and its bespoke façade solutions, visit www.wicona.co.uk, email info.wiconauk@wicona.com or call 0845 602 8799.


Allegion strive to redefine how door hardware is sold

Specialist security manufacturer, Allegion, is launching a new programme that will hopefully redefine door hardware sales. Allegion’s new first-of-its-kind Try Me Product Programme, gives end users the option to try door closer products on a single door before committing to fitting them throughout their buildings.

The Try Me Product Programme is launching especially for the commercial, healthcare and education sectors, where young people and those needing specialised accommodations are more likely to be negatively affected by doors and door sets that have been incorrectly specified in the past.

Paul Barrows, demand creation leader at Allegion UK, commented: “We’re always creating and innovating new products, and decided that it’s important to reflect this ethos in the way our products are being sold. We knew that problem doors in commercial buildings can be a burden for facilities managers, so we wanted to give them an easy way to fix it.

“Doors can cause inconvenience through draughts or loss of privacy, but incorrect specification can jeopardise the security and fire safety of the building. We’re encouraging building owners to address the issue of problematic doors and ensure they are putting the best possible solution in place the first time.”

The new programme also allows Allegion to deliver technical advice and consultation to support product selection, alongside demonstrations by trained installers, as well as before and after product comparisons.

For further information or to take advantage of the Try Me Product Programme, contact the Allegion Customer Care Team on 01922 707400 or visit www.allegion.com/uk.


10 Cork Street has an internal make-over fit for the 21st Century

Situated in Mayfair, 10 Cork Street is in one of London’s most sought after areas; built in 1924-1925 to a design by John Belcher and J.J Joass. Pollen House is a prominent stone clad building with a distinctive blueprint, it has a central internal courtyard bringing together two structures to create one building.

When it was built, the area was associated with tailors, today the street is now known the world over for its many commercial art galleries. Sitting close to the Royal Academy and surrounded by the likes of Burlington Arcade and other high-end retail establishments, who wouldn’t want to work in this vibrant area in offices that have had a 21st century internal make-over?

A high specification design by Ben Adams Architects has created a very attractive environment but one that needed significant attention to the existing steel windows in order to minimise the problem of traffic noise. Selectaglaze, a leading designer of secondary glazing systems with considerable experience in acoustics was approached for advice. Noise reduction of about 45dB has been achieved through the treatment of each window with a single hinged casement glazed with 6.8mm acoustic laminated glass.

The minimal frames with flush hinges and locks provide clean lines which complement the existing windows and the new interiors. An additional benefit of the secondary glazing is an approximate halving of heat loss and near elimination of draughts that ensures a more comfortable working environment.

Founded in 1966, and Royal Warrant holders since 2004, Selectaglaze has a wealth of experience working in buildings of all styles, including listed properties.

For further information contact the marketing department on 01727 837271; email: enquries@selectaglaze.co.uk; or visit the company’s website: www.selectaglaze.co.uk


Surrey Academy featuring Technal façade products is ‘world’s best school’

The acclaimed Pegasus Academy at Whitehorse Manor in Croydon has been named the best school in the world. The scheme, which has already won a number of awards for architecture and design excellence, features a series of architectural aluminium glazing systems from Technal.

The AR School Awards celebrate ‘the most exciting places of learning in the world’. The global search included submissions from as far afield as Portugal, China and Afghanistan. The judges, who included dRMM co-founder Sadie Morgan, praised the project’s ‘material beauty’ and ‘its spatial configuration’. They also commented, ‘The interventions have transformed a Victorian school into something that feels incredibly contemporary and incredibly liberating’.

Whitehorse Manor Junior and Infant Schools were extensively remodelled and expanded to create an inspiring academy in a £4.5m project. An innovative design by architects Hayhurst & Co brought together a fragmented site with a series of extensions to a complex fabric of 20th century school buildings. The new facilities included a nursery, six classrooms, a larger hall, and an entrance and office areas that link two existing buildings.

Fabricated and installed by Everglade Windows, a range of Technal’s façade systems were specified for both phases of the project:

  • Fixed light windows in varying sizes were installed into the building’s striking gold shingle cladding and into the pitched roof for the nursery.
  • Ribbon windows wrap around the nursery, set into curtain walling, to maximise natural light.
  • Sloped glazing was constructed from GEODE-MX curtain walling for the stairwells with complex detailing to the corner edges to meet the architects’ design criteria.
  • GEODE-MX grid curtain walling was used on all elevations and to provide roof glazing above the new entrance, with casement window inserts for natural ventilation.
  • Casement door systems in both manual and automatic configurations were supplied for the main entrance into curtain walling, and for access to the courtyard, nursery and upper floor play deck.

Commenting on the façade systems, Nick Hayhurst, Director at architects Hayhurst & Co said, “This was a complex façade project with some challenging geometry. We used a combination of floor-to-ceiling glazing and individual windows to bridge the ground and first floors. We are very happy with the finished building and would definitely use Technal again for future projects.”

James Wilson, recently appointed Head of Marketing for Technal, said, “We are absolutely delighted to be associated with a project that has achieved such national and international acclaim. This is a wonderful place of learning for young people and we offer our sincerest congratulations to the architectural team for their outstanding design.”

The Whitehorse Manor project has also been recognised with a Civic Trust Award, an RIBA Award (London category), the Schools Award in the AJ Retrofit Awards, and Best Public Sector Interior at the FX International Interior Design Awards.

Technal has now launched its latest and most innovative casement window system to offer exceptional security, thermal, acoustic and weather performance, and unparalleled aesthetics. The SOLEAL window is available in numerous configurations and uses a single system with a 65mm deep profile and common components to give architects and contractors an extensive choice of construction options combined with ease of specification and maximum efficiency in manufacturing.

For further information about the new SOLEAL casement window and other Technal façade products, call 01924 232323, email info.uk@technal.com or visit www.technal.co.uk.


Fight condensation on windows in winter with Guardian ClimaGuard® Dry glass

 Water condensation on windows is a problem that inevitably affects many modern houses and apartments in autumn. Condensing water not only looks unappealing, but also can affect visibility. The choice of ClimaGuard® Dry by Guardian’s Glass Group in Europe is a way to get rid of “steamy windows” while maintaining excellent insulating properties.

Until recently, it was commonly believed that the phenomenon of condensation was typical for windows with high thermal performance glazing. Moreover, external condensation was widely considered the signature of a well-insulated, energy-efficient window. How did this belief come to be?

Good thermal insulation glass does not allow the heat to “escape” from inside the house, so the outer pane usually stays cold and allows the deposition of water droplets from humid air. This, however, is not the case with the anti-condensation Guardian ClimaGuard Dry glass.

The product’s advantage lies in its innovative coating that allows it to effectively fight the phenomenon of “steamy windows”. Field tests conducted by Guardian in real weather conditions show that the average duration of water condensation on ClimaGuard Dry glass is just one hour. By comparison, for self-cleaning glass it is 7 hours, and for regular float glass it can be up to 8 hours. The all-new coating provides excellent transparency without compromising insulation or energy-efficiency of modern windows. The coating is extremely durable and requires no special maintenance. Guardian ClimaGuard Dry can be successfully used both in new buildings and in those undergoing a retrofit. This innovative glass not only effectively eliminates condensation, but it also improves the energy efficiency of buildings and helps to meet the highest standards of sustainable construction. ClimaGuard Dry glass can be used in double- and triple-glazed windows. The product must be tempered to activate the coating.

About Guardian Industries Corp.:

Guardian is a diversified global manufacturing company headquartered in Auburn Hills, Michigan, with leading positions in float glass and fabricated glass products for commercial, residential and transportation applications; automotive trim; and the distribution of building products. Through its research and development centers (Science & Technology Center for glass and Advanced Development Center for automotive), Guardian is at the forefront of innovation. Its automotive trim group, SRG Global, is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of advanced, high value coatings on plastics. Guardian, its subsidiaries and affiliates employ 17,000 people and operate facilities throughout North America, Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Visit www.guardian.com.


New retail centre opens the door to thermal efficiency


The Bishop Centre in Buckinghamshire has recently undergone a complete renovation. The site’s complex series of ageing retail units were demolished and transformed into 101,500sq ft. of contemporary commercial space. Creating large, welcoming entrances that could also deliver excellent thermal performance was vital to the sustainable ethos of the project. As such, DORMA was appointed to supply a comprehensive door package including the ST FLEX Green energy saving automatic sliding doors – specially manufactured in Germany and some of the largest installed in the UK.

Located on the A4 between Maidenhead and Slough, the Bishop Centre is anchored by a 55,000sq ft. Tesco store and features ten additional retailers. Designed by 3D Reid Architects and from developer Land Securities, the Bishop Centre features a high-end structural glazing system, which forms a key part of the external building envelope.

 Consistency of quality and aesthetics was of paramount importance throughout the new development. As such, the team behind the project partnered with DORMA and within the wide range of door solutions selected, a key product was the ST FLEX Green energy saving automatic sliding door.

The door package was installed by architectural glazing contractor Vitrine Systems Ltd, and complemented the Bishop Centre’s extensive Pilkington Planar™ glazed frontage to create a large, expanse of contemporary façade. This was key to establish a bright and welcoming retail unit.

“Large, thermally broken automatic sliding doors would provide more light and a greater feeling of space whilst enhancing the cutting edge aesthetic,” said Tony Williams, Contracts Manager at Vitrine Systems Ltd. “Utilising steel goalposts to support their size, the sleek design of the DORMA ST FLEX Green proved a perfect match to the all-glass facade.”

To meet the performance requirements of the architects’ specification, and with entrances key to achieving energy efficiency, it was also important to select a range of thermally efficient door systems.

The DORMA ST FLEX Green automatic sliding door combines its slender profile and fine frame with outstanding thermal insulation – achieving a very low U-values of 1.4 – 1.8W/m2K to considerably reduce energy costs and CO2 emissions. Designed to closely resemble the company’s standard ST FLEX systems, the ST FLEX Green offers outstanding insulation to meet the thermal requirements of Approved Document L.

The Tesco store located in unit 1, used the DORMA ST Flex Green automatic sliding door to complete the building envelope, whilst the large glass entrance lobby used for additional retail space has two entrance options using DORMA frameless glass automatic sliding doors to maintain the light and airy feel. For the entrances to a coffee shop and wine warehouse, DORMA’s ED250A automatic swing doors were specified to deliver smooth and reliable access into units 10 and 11.

Door packages for retail spaces have to create aesthetically pleasing frontage to welcome potential customers as well as provide a durable solution that can withstand a constant flow of traffic. Adding to this the need to achieve excellent thermal efficiency and for large retail parks it can seem like a challenging specification.

However, for the new Bishop Centre in Buckinghamshire – DORMA provided the ideal solution that met the aesthetic, performance and environmental needs of the project.

For more information please visit www.dorma.com or follow @DORMAUK



EN 16005 compliance is a click away thanks to logbooqr from GEZE UK

There’s no need to worry about lost or damaged log books again thanks to a new innovation from automatic door and window control systems manufacturer GEZE UK.

The company has developed logbooqr, a new online logbook for automatic doors which can be accessed via a QR code using a smartphone or tablet.

Since the introduction of EN 16005 in April 2013, all automatic doors must have a logbook to keep a detailed record of any servicing and maintenance work that has been undertaken. Currently, an asset tag, detailing a unique reference code, is fitted to the door itself and a physical logbook is issued. This is then completed by service and maintenance engineers as soon as any work is carried out. The problem is that logbooks, that need to be kept with the automatic door, are frequently lost or misplaced.

logbooqr allows this information to be recorded on a secure website which is accessed via a QR code printed on the asset tag. This allows an engineer to record the work that has been done, while the end user can check the log and see when the next service is due.   In the event of an accident or random spot check, Health and Safety Inspectors can easily access this information to confirm that servicing and maintenance schedules are up to date.

Speaking about the launch of logbooqr , Steve Marshall, service director of GEZE UK said: “Compliance with EN 16005 means that a log book must be kept for every automatic door, but we frequently find these are lost or mislaid or may not even have been passed on to the end-user who is responsible for the door.

“While losing a log book may seem like a small oversight, in the case of an accident, the health and safety investigator may assume that essential maintenance and servicing has not been carried out. As a formal maintenance record a log book may be called upon in a court of law to prove or disprove liability.

“logbooqr has been designed to provide an easy to access and maintain record of an automatic door’s history. An engineer simply scans the QR code and updates the log, creating an accurate record that can be accessed at any time. And because it’s all recorded online, it can never get lost again!”

For more information about GEZE UK’s comprehensive range of automatic and manual door closers or for servicing enquiries call 01543 443000 or visit www.geze.co.uk.


Powerturn from GEZE makes access for all a breeze

Even the largest of doors can be opened with ease providing access to all thanks to the launch of the new Powerturn drive by GEZE UK.

Powerturn is an automatic swing door drive that can be used manually thanks to GEZE’s new Smart swing function so that even children and people with restricted mobility can easily open large or heavy doors.

Designed with the end user in mind, Powerturn provides architects with a truly flexible design and accessibility solution. It is ideal for use on internal and external doors and is suitable for single or double leaf doors. At just 7cm high, the drive can be mounted on the door or transom and be used to open large or heavy doors, with a leaf weight of up to 600kg (300kg on fire doors) or leaf width up to 1600mm. It can be integrated with other door control systems including heat and smoke ventilation systems or complex security systems with interlocking doors.

The Smart swing function is key to its power. This innovative new operation pre-loads the spring during the first cycle to reduce the energy required during normal operation, in the event of a fire the spring releases closing the door safely. Powerturn also includes an adjustable push and go function and ensures barrier free access, enabling compliance to the Equality Act and BS 8300.

Andy Howland, sales director of GEZE UK said: “Powerturn can be integrated flexibly in to a wide range of different systems giving the architect the freedom to design whilst still meeting all safety and accessibility requirements.

“This versatile operator provides full functionality from low energy operation to fully automatic opening and closing of large or heavy doors, which can   assist in locations encountering adverse conditions.

For more information about Powerturn or GEZE UK’s comprehensive range of automatic and manual door closers call 01543 443000 or visit www.geze.co.uk.




Wicona launches software tool to support façade design


Aluminium façade specialist, Wicona, has developed a software tool to radically reduce the time required for the production of 2D and 3D drawings and 3D renders.

 WIC3D is a digital drawing platform which is useful from the earliest stages of schematic design, allowing designers to be both creative and productive, and explore alternative façade solutions. It supports the description, analysis and visualisation of architecture and gives project stakeholders the opportunity to assess the impact of different façade choices and changes.

The easy-to-use tool enables architects, engineers and fabricators to sketch out initial design concepts and ideas, quickly and effectively, and incorporate Wicona’s highly engineered curtain walling, window, door and solar shading systems.

Developed in conjunction with leading architects, WIC3D is user-friendly modelling software that is an invaluable tool for designing, visualising, documenting, and communicating façade solutions.

WIC3D can produce true-to-scale drawings, whilst improving accuracy and saving time. The façade designs can be viewed both internally and externally allowing proportions, configurations and options to be assessed and developed.

The modelling tool is designed to interface with widely-used CAD systems so users can import and export 2D and 3D design drawings. Its functions include:

  • 3D visualisations created in Google SketchUp can be imported into WIC3D to produce and show 3D renders featuring WICONA façade systems where required in the 3D construction.
  • 2D elevation drawings can be brought into WIC3D for use as a template to create 3D renders. These can then be exported for use with all major CAD software including AutoCAD®, Bentley®, ArchiCAD and ADT.
  • There is the option to export 3D renders for use with Google SketchUp or in 3ds format for use with AutoDesk 3ds Studio Max.

WIC3D is available via the Wicona WIC3D website for a free 30-day trial and there is a demonstration video to view.

In addition to its comprehensive technical support for architects and building designers, Wicona provides a range of technology-based specification tools to assist with façade design, including BIM components for its product portfolio, downloadable technical information, an ‘ideas’ app, and Wicona Finder – an architectural database and invaluable source of innovative design solutions for curtain walling, windows and doors.

Wicona offers both bespoke façade solutions and a range of technically-advanced aluminium curtain walling, window and door systems for a comprehensive range of applications. The systems deliver high specification performance for complex projects and are engineered to push the boundaries of aluminium façades, whilst balancing cost efficiency with the latest advances in façade technology.

Developed in Germany, this standardised range of systems has already been widely used internationally to realise the most ambitious building designs and includes WICTEC curtain walling, WICLINE windows, WICSTYLE heavy duty doors, and safety and security options for fire protection and burglar and bullet resistance.

For more information about Wicona’s facade solutions for complex and challenging projects and its standardised range of glazing products, visit www.wicona.co.uk, email info.wiconauk@wicona.com or call 0845 602 8799.


Dorma targets new levels of security with new ST FLEX Secure


DORMA’s new ST FLEX Secure automatic sliding door combines contemporary aesthetics with maximum security, to provide a stylish sliding door with the latest in anti-intruder and anti-vandalism protection.

Tested to RC2 resistance standard, the automatic sliding doors feature burglar resistant laminated safety glass with a secure four-point locking device at the main closing edge; while a continuous floor guide rail and anti-tamper protection prevents the door from being levered out. In addition, the monitored battery back-up system makes the system suitable for emergency escape routes.

Ideal for projects where security is of paramount importance, the ST FLEX Secure also ensures that building entrances maintain a welcoming front of house setup. Compliant with disabled access legislation in the UK and Ireland, this fine-framed, transparent frontage can be fully integrated with DORMA access control, for a discreet access solution.

DORMA’s entire range of automatic doors is designed for full compatibility with its CODIC MasterCard and MATRIX Professional Electronic Access Control solutions.

In addition, early 2016 will see the introduction of the new Bluetooth SmartKey App. Compatible with all DORMA’s automatic doors, the App is a new, innovative approach to access control – with the traditional card or fob authentication being replaced with remote access via smartphone or watch. The need for wall readers is eliminated as the technology is integrated into the door system, avoiding potential tampering and abuse and adding to the solution’s minimalist appearance.

Phil Jones, Strategic Marketing Manager at DORMA UK said: “The ST Flex Secure automatic sliding door offers facilities managers a fantastic automatic door solution, which combines a stylish and welcoming appearance with industry leading security features. In combining this new product with our range of access control systems, we are delighted to be able to offer a holistic approach to access solutions, providing fully integrated systems to ensure the highest standards of consistency, convenience and quality.”

The ST FLEX Secure automatic sliding door is available now. For further information, please view the following video: https://youtu.be/WR6-184giRA.

For updates on the launch of the SmartKey App system please visit: www.dorma.com or follow @DORMAUK.