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Engineering Innovation Centre, Preston
October 2019

TECHNAL MX62 curtain walling system was specified when Dortech required a curtain walling system for the University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) Engineering Innovation Centre in Preston.

Designed by architects Simpson Haugh and Reiach and Hall, the EIC is being built by BAM Construction,with Dortech providing a design, manufacture and installation package for all of the curtain walling on the five-storey structure.

The £32 million EIC is due to open next year. It is expected to help train an extra 500 graduates, including an increased number of female students, gaining degrees in subjects such as mechanical, energy technologies and aerospace engineering.

With a total glazed area of 3,100 m2, the MX62 curtain wall carries over 40 different types of IG units, measuring up to 1050mm wide by 4450mm high, and weighing 260 kg; without requiring additional frame reinforcement. As well as standard cappings and accessories, the design solution includes the use of 200mm long extended square cappings to the vertical frame elements and soffit. 

High density foam inserts were utilised along with decoupling joints in the mullion sections to achieve 50 Dnfw flanking sound reduction, as well as 37 dB sound reduction for noise from outside the building. The IG units vary in thickness from 31.8 mm up to 38.8mm, with the latter containing a 10mm CoolLite SKN toughened outer leaf, and 12.8mm clear laminated glass for the inner leaf, separated by a 16mm argon filled cavity. 

The Project Manager for BAM Construction, Simon Atkinson, commented: “We proposed the use of the Technal curtain wall system as part of our value engineering proposal for the project. It offers the best value for money in terms of its cost and performance while meeting the aesthetic requirements. This is in fact a continuation of the successful partnership established with Dortech, Technal and the cladders at the University of Liverpool Materials Innovation Facility, helping to build our reputation in delivering education sector projects.”

Project Architect Chris Walker at SimpsonHaugh added: “This has been a demanding project, but the Technal system along with Dortech’s experience and professional approach has enabled us to meet all of our design aspirations for the elevations including the resolution of some difficult fire and acoustic details. The curtain walling is a large part of the Architecture of the EIC with the main façade onto Corporation St consisting completely of the Technal system and aluminium extrusions by Dortech. The results so far are fantastic and we are excited to see the building complete in January 2019”.

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