AluK’s SL52 capped, mullion-drained curtain walling system, complete with punched open-in windows, was installed as part of the newly opened £24m Torfaen Learning Zone in Cwmbran, Gwent. Part of the Welsh government’s 21st Century Schools and Education programme, the property is the new home of learning for people aged 16 and over in Cwmbran, catering for 1,300 students. The Learning Zone was built on a brownfield site in the centre of the town, and will form part of a wider development that will include offices, a hotel and retail and hospitality outlets.
The entire fenestration package was fabricated and installed by Gloucester-based Aluminium Sashes and was unusual in that some of the open-in windows had to be glazed into an outward sloping façade. AluK’s specification team worked directly with Torfaen Council’s architects to review the system options on the project and produce the specification clauses and structural analysis of the profiles required ahead of the tender. They also provided the thermal calculations required to demonstrate that the SL52 and 77IWE systems could meet the project design and the 1.4Wm²K thermal performance requirements.
Procured within the SEWSCAP 2 Framework, Torfaen Learning Zone has been developed by Interserve on behalf of Coleg Gwent and Torfaen Council. It features four-storeys of study and training facilities, including extendable classrooms with moveable walls, two atriums, performance and social spaces and an enclosed roof garden.
AluK supported Aluminium Sashes with pricing and project particulars during the tender process to various main contractors. Once appointed, the company also arranged training at the AluK Academy on the nuances of the punched window fabrication. Alongside the windows and curtain walling, the project also included automated aluminium entrance doors in AluK’s Secured By Design-accredited GT55 system, complete with anti-finger trap devices.
Sean Anderson, managing director of Aluminium Sashes, said: “Much of the supply and fit was completed during the pandemic, so we had to manage social distancing in our factory and on site. Nonetheless, we completed on time and the result is impressive.”
Neil Smith, AluK’s national sales manager, added: “Our SL52 system offered the thermal and weather performance required on this project, coupled with consistent 50mm sightlines and the reassurance of successful CWCT Sequence B testing. It gave the architects the design flexibility they needed for the different facades on the building, with a range of glazing infills, face caps and integrated window options available.”
Commenting on the finished building, Alex Anderson, Coleg Gwent’s head of estate development, said: “We’re really pleased with the new development. The distinctive ‘red wedge’ in the façade definitely helps to give us a strong identity within Cwmbran town centre.”