Construction Industry Today

Kawneer does the business at Brunel

Brunel University's new entrance building features glazing systems from Kawneer.
Published 05 February 2013

The entire range of architectural aluminium systems from Kawneer feature on the new £32million flagship entrance to Brunel University.

The supplier's AA®100 curtain walling was used as a mullion-drained picture-frame system at either end of the atrium and the main entrance as well as the stair cores, while the same system, but capped, was used as rooflights either side of the top of the atrium. The curtain walling was complemented by AA®541 top-hung casement windows, and series 190 heavy-duty and 350 severe-duty commercial entrance doors and AA®605 low/medium-duty swing doors.

The striking Eastern Gateway Building is now home to the previously disparate elements of Brunel's Business School for 2,000 students but also features an art gallery and café as part of its additional role as the main entrance/reception to the university campus in Uxbridge, Middlesex. Initially designed by YRM Architects, it was taken from detailed design stage by Architeknic Architects as architects for the main contractor. The 7,000m² building over four floors was built over 20 months.

The main office areas are precast concrete frame, walls and plank flooring, finished with a render system on insulation. The auditorium is zinc-faced on a structural framed system retained in place by a steel frame. Architeknic's Chris Tebbutt said: "The glazed Kawneer elements helped to create the aesthetic. The windows are punched through the render system while the main entrance is one imposing glazed wall which emphasises the centre of the building. The walls separate visually the rendered office and teaching spaces from the zinc-cladded auditorium.

"The main contractor introduced DFMA [Design For Manufacturing and Assembly] into the project which allowed for the off-site manufacturing of many elements of the building in factory-controlled environments." Mark Boyd of Architeknic added: "The building achieves a BREEAM "Excellent" rating with heating provided by a wood pelleting boiler and much of the building using natural ventilation.

The auditorium is designed to provide a mixture of natural ventilation using the stack effect together with controlled ventilation/heating systems when required." Architeknic has worked with Kawneer systems before and Chris commented: "Kawneer is well known and the sales service, together with the choice of sub-contractor [Leay], made the process straightforward."

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