The high thermal performance of the Dualframe SI windows, which were notably produced from recycled aluminium, have helped to convert the site into one of the most energy efficient offices in England.
As part of a major step towards the wider regeneration of the Blackfriars area of Gloucester, Gloucestershire County Council is renovating Shire Hall to transform it aesthetically, whilst also creating a more productive working environment for its staff. Another key aim is to reduce the council’s energy usage and carbon footprint and so an emphasis has been placed on sustainability and thermal performance.
Quattro Design Architects Ltd. was appointed by Gloucestershire County Council as the architectural practice on the project. Joyce Clifford, Senior Associate at Quattro commented, “The Council was seeking a complete overhaul of the Shire Hall buildings with an emphasis on sustainability, performance and low maintenance. As well as creating a new exterior design, we incorporated photovoltaic solar panelling into the curtain walling system and sought to improve the thermal performance of all the buildings on site.
As part of the eco-upgrade, Sapa’s internally beaded DF 75 Si Reversible and open in/out casement windows were specified across the refurbishment. Utilising advanced polyamide thermal break technology, DF 75 Si windows provide exceptional thermal performance, with an A+ Window Energy Rating, dependant on profile.
The DF 75Si Reversible windows are designed to effectively rotate through 180 degrees outside of the building line, allowing for easy cleaning and maintenance of both the frame and glazing from inside the building, without interfering with internal design elements such as blinds and other fixtures, or impacting on valuable internal space.
Where Reversibles could not be fitted due to internal operational difficulties, internally beaded DF 75 Si open in casements were incorporated, which can also be easily accessed for cleaning from the inside. On a multi-storey building such as Shire Hall, this should significantly reduce maintenance costs.
Sapa Elegance 52 curtain walling was also installed across the majority of the blocks, due to its ability to incorporate opaque panels as well as photovoltaic solar panels and DF 75 Si Reversible windows. With a substructure width of 52mm, Elegance 52 provided the necessary strength and inertia whilst also creating an aesthetically pleasing slim sightline.
To further reduce the environmental impact of the site, Sapa’s profiles were also extruded from 100% recycled aluminium and therefore produced using up to 95% less energy than the primary production of aluminium. Recycled material used by Sapa can be traced back to both scrap metal from the production process and used material from products which have been removed or replaced. Shire Hall is one of the largest projects of its kind to use recycled aluminium for all major profiles.
Joyce Clifford continued, “Quattro has worked with Sapa for many years and we know that we can rely on Sapa to provide cost-effective products that will fulfil the spec. So far the transformation has been phenomenal; and the site has a completely new image.”
Alfram Ltd. was one of the contractors on the extensive site, and installed the Sapa systems in blocks two, three and six. Chris Beacham, Director of Alfram Ltd. who acted as Contracts Manager, commented, “We have had nothing but positive feedback from Gloucestershire County Council with regards to the Dualframe Si windows and having worked with many curtain walling systems over the years, I can confidently say that Elegance 52 is the most complete curtain walling system we have used to date. We have finally finished our part of the project after 14 months onsite and I am impressed with the final article, the building looks very modern and stylish.”
CDW Systems fabricated the Sapa products installed in blocks two, three and six. Jerry Webb, Managing Director of CDW Systems Ltd. commented: “We have worked with Sapa products since 1987 and know we can trust the brand for excellent quality and reliability. In particular, Sapa’s use of integrated systems allows us to hold significantly less stock than with other manufacturers, which is an ideal selling point. Sapa has successfully provided versatile and dimensionally aesthetic solutions to suit Shire Hall’s needs.”
Rob Barnes, Head of Delivery Services at Gloucestershire County Council commented on the project: “This has been a golden opportunity to transform the county council offices into a better working environment and workplace for its staff and visitors. We have been working hard alongside our partners and teams within GCC to deliver this scheme. I’m very pleased with the progress and quality of work to date and I look forward the scheme’s completion.”
Work is currently underway on the Shire Hall bridge block, with the whole site expected to reach completion early next year.