Monthly Email News for the Architectural Aluminium Industry

Menai Science Park
December 2018

TOTAL GLASS supplied and installed the Sapa aluminium glazing façade at the £20 million Menai Science Park (M-Sparc) building on Anglesey, said to be Wales’ first dedicated science park.

The 5000m² building comprises laboratories, office and workshop space, meeting rooms and a café. Its front elevation is characterised by a continuous flowing ‘ribbon’ cladding system that forms the floor, wall and roof surfaces, wrapping around the glazed façade.

Working with FaulknerBrowns Architects and main contractor Willmott Dixon, Total says its team was involved at an early stage due to the complexity of the structure’s curved design.

The company installed a total of 1,650m² of Sapa Elegance 52 curtain walling and roof glazing in the building with a front elevation spanning 74 metres by 11 metres. All the façade systems were finished in a grey RAL 7031 marine powder-coat finish with two glass solar control specifications used to deliver the external reflective effect.

The project presented some technical challenges, as technical manager Total Glass Chris Valentine explained: “As the façade forms the building’s main waterproof line, it was crucial to get the interfacing detailing right between the curves of the cladding and the curtain walling, especially regarding drainage. This required the aluminium curtain walling to be curved to follow the flowing shape of the cladding.”

Another challenging design feature was the 6-metre-long glazed walkway that connects the two-storey entrance area to the brick-built main building. Here the curtain walling follows the contours across the double-pitched roof at an angle. Chris continued: “Accommodating the difficult compound angles required a lot of calculations and modelling to achieve the architectural vision.”

Total also fabricated and installed three types of doors throughout the building, including Sapa’s high-performance Stormframe ST II Aluminium Door system for access to an enclosed central courtyard. These were specified at 2.8m high to allow access for mobile work platforms for window cleaning purposes.

Proving access from the cafeteria to the courtyard is a thermally-insulated aluminium sliding door using Sapa’s C125 Aluminium Sliding Door system. Balcony doors above ground floor level use the Sapa Dualframe 75 HP Aluminium Hinged Door.

Total installed altogether 132 Sapa DF 75 Si casement windows, some within the curtain wall façade and others overlooking the courtyard. The double-height internal glazing to the boardroom also features the Sapa Elegance 52 curtain wall, incorporating a high glass specification for extra privacy and improved acoustic performance.

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