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Change for ‘better cost point’
May 2019

Curtain walling and doors from Kawneer feature on a new £30 million exhibition and conference centre in Farnborough, said to be Hampshire’s biggest building.

The manufacturer’s AA100 zone-drained and facetted curtain walling and two types of entrance doors – the thermally superior AA720 and heavy-duty series 190 doors – have been used on the new Hall 1 at Farnborough International Exhibition and Conference Centre.

The 20,000m2 facility was purpose-built as a replacement for the temporary Hall 4 and is complementary to the existing 3,000m2 Hall 5 which was built in 2008.

Spanning two floors, Hall 1 has a vast, pillar-free space capable of showcasing major events. The 12,500m2 exhibition hall comprises two spacious entrance foyers, nine dedicated and adaptable function rooms, and free onsite parking for up to 3,500 cars.

Designed by architects Terence O’Rourke, the contemporary new facility has attracted a host of new launches and exhibitions, alongside a raft of major conferences, live events and big-budget feature films. 

It has also enabled existing events to grow - Screwfix for example, a long-term exhibitor at FIECC’s Hall 5, grew from an 8,000m2 show to a 12,500m2, resulting in a rise in exhibitor numbers from 14,000 to 23,000.

The Kawneer aluminium systems were installed over five months by a team of up to six from approved sub-contractor/dealer Leay for main contractor Wates Construction.

The specification required two different glass configurations for solar control depending on the location of the elevation to achieve thermal modelling and U-value requirements, with low G-value (0.18) units used on the two large screens on the east and west foyers.

Leay’s business development manager Mike Watts said: “The main point of interest was the low G-value glazing required on the project to provide almost a mirror effect on the glazing to make it appear like a continuation of the sky and allowing for some brilliant reflections during the airshow.

He added: “Kawneer was used as an alternative to the specified system as it provided the exact same structural performance and detailing but from a better cost point. The architects over the years had used the specified system without being aware of Kawneer’s capabilities. That has subsequently changed also.”

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