Kawneer Helps University Go Green With BREEAM
30 April, 2008
Curtain walling, windows and doors by architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer have helped a showpiece for sustainability win an Excellent BREEAM rating.
AA®110 curtain walling and AA®601 top-hung casement windows, as well as four types of doors - 902 patios, AA®605 swing, 190 narrow-style and 1040 series sliding doors - from Kawneer, who use recycled aluminium billets 100% of the time in the production of coated aluminium, all feature on Northumbria University’s City Campus East.
Each transom of the curtain walling had to be individually cut, as the buildings were facetted-on-plan and included a 7.5-metre-tall lightwell that was not only facetted but inverted to 6º. The lightwell element was a joint exercise by Kawneer’s special projects team and project sub-contractors Charles Henshaw & Sons for main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, and architects Atkins.
The curtain walling was mullion-drained on the lightwell but zone-drained on the main facades of the first two storeys of the two main buildings. The curtain wall also integrates AA®601 top-hung casements while AA®605 doors were used as balcony, ground floor and exhibition access as well as fire exits.
The £47 million development has transformed the seven-acre site of a former cinema to the east of Newcastle City Centre and won several awards in the process including Building magazine’s Low Carbon Building of the Year, the RICS’ Sustainability, Design and Innovation and overall Building of the Year awards, and the Newcastle Journal’s North East Landmark of the Year. It has also been shortlisted for several categories in the Constructing Excellence Awards.
Sustainability was high on the university’s agenda and Atkins’ brief was not only to provide two landmark buildings on budget and in time for the start of the 2007/8 academic year but also buildings that would achieve an Excellent BREEAM rating and the requirements of Part L 2 of the Building Regulations before they came into force.
The Law and Business School is at 16,000m² the larger of the two buildings and contains three Harvard lecture theatres, three main lecture rooms and a law court. In the centre, the Kawneer-clad lightwell penetrates all four floors, allowing natural daylight to flood down through the building to the ground-floor reception space. This is lit with featured coloured lighting at night.
The 8,000m² design school to the east contains several lecture theatres. As a pair, the steel frame buildings are capable of accommodating more than 9,000 students and staff – raising the university’s appeal on the international stage as well as making a striking statement about regeneration in the north east.
Other sustainable features include a solar tube hot water system, rainwater for flushing toilets and condensing boilers. The ground floor levels of the two buildings were raised to allow 95% of the rubble from the cinema to be recycled while waste construction materials were returned to the manufacturers for reprocessing. Where possible, unused materials were sold back to the suppliers, used on other sites or donated to local suppliers.
Natalie Sarabia-Johnston, associate principal architect at Atkins, said: “A lot of research into renewable and environmental fixtures and fittings was carried out and specified to ensure the building would comply with the brief to achieve more than the new Part L2 requirements.
“The lightwell allows natural light to penetrate into the middle of this deep plan building, providing a better environment for users and reducing the need for artificial lighting, thus saving energy.
“We specified the Kawneer systems because they were what we wanted to achieve in terms of the design and they are good products. They complied very well with the aesthetic and performance requirements of the project.
“Now officially recognised as a landmark, this iconic development plays a vital role in addressing our need for sustainable buildings and improved education environments.”
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Architectural Services Team