Pilkington raises the BAR with recent project

Land Rover BAR base CAD renderwebPilkington has supplied the glass for the new Land Rover BAR headquarters, where Olympic gold medallist, Ben Ainslie, and his team will build a competing vessel to take part in the world-renowned America’s Cup yacht race.

Launched last year, Ben Ainslie Racing (BAR) is a commercial sporting team, conceived by four-times Olympic gold medallist and 34th America’s Cup winner, Sir Ben Ainslie, with the long-term aim of bringing the Cup back home to Britain, where it all began in 1851. Ben will develop and lead a British entry capable of winning the prestigious trophy. Renamed Land Rover BAR in June 2015, the team is made up of some of the best British and international sailors, designers, builders and racing support.

The team’s aim was to build an HQ building that ‘was as advanced as the racing vessel that would be designed and built at the site’, and achieving excellent standards of sustainability was a key part of this. The 74,000ft2 base has been built to the BREEAM Excellent standard, and the 2,005ft2 of glazing used in the scheme has reportedly played a major role in this achievement.

Two different specifications of glass were used in the project, one for the areas of glazing exposed to direct sunlight and another for windows sitting behind the semi-transparent fabric skin that will surround much of the building, evoking the sails of a racing yacht. For the exposed glazing, Pilkington Suncool solar-control glass was used.

Michael Metcalfe, commercial sales manager at Pilkington United Kingdom, said: “The double glazed units that make up both specifications will provide excellent thermal insulation, reducing heat-loss from the building in the colder months.

“However, in the summer, when the large expanse of glazing could make over-heating more of a concern, the advanced solar-control coating on the exposed glass will limit the amount of energy entering the building, reducing the need for artificial cooling. At the same time, it also delivers a high level of transparency, which will make the most of the stunning views out to sea.”

Because the units are full-height and, in some cases, overhead, safety was reportedly an important consideration on the project. This was addressed by specifying 8.8mm Pilkington Optilam laminated glass for the inner pane in all of the units.

A Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) interlayer between two sheets of glass ensures the integrity of the glass is maintained, holding any broken pieces of glass together should any damage occur. The outer pane was heat soaked and toughened to further improve safety and security of the glazing.

Anton Price, managing director at project installer, Prism Architectural, said: “What has been achieved with this project in the relatively short time since construction began is truly impressive, and we were under pressure to deliver to excellent standards of quality, to tight timescales which, using Pilkington products, we were able to do.

“The building will be a stunning focal point to the outstanding technical capabilities and sporting excellence of the team, and I believe the glazing we have delivered, working closely with Pilkington United Kingdom, is a more than worthy component of the project.”

The building, which will feature a number of other ‘sustainability enhancing’ features, including an on-site solar PV system that is expected to provide a large percentage of the team’s electricity requirements, will also be used as a visitor centre for the general public to learn more about the sport.