Tameside College

The £10.5 million new Advanced Technologies Centre at Tameside College in Greater Manchester, benefits from a radical external screening solution, courtesy of Levolux.

The custom solution comprises perforated aluminium panels, secured against an inclined supporting structure, with integral horizontal walkways.

Levolux devised an arrangement of perforated aluminium panels, with a unique pattern of different sized circular perforations. Each panel, which typically measures 3.8 metres in height by up to 1.2 metres in width, is formed from 3mm thick sheet aluminium.

The panels are strengthened by means of returns along each edge, allowing them to be secured to low profile, ‘T’-shaped vertical aluminium carriers. This ensures they can withstand high winds or snow loads.

The screening structure is inclined at an angle of 1 degree, allowing it to lean away from the building’s glazed facade, with a maximum projection of 1.8 metres at its peak. The solar veil extends the full length of the building, 61 metres in total, with a sloping top edge that increases in height from 12 metres at its lowest point up to almost 30 metres above ground level.

The supporting structure incorporates a series of perforated walkways on four levels. Formed from galvanised steel, the walkways, which are secured to horizontal aluminium support arms, increase in width at each level, from 770mm at low level up to 1250mm for the upper level. Complete with aluminium handrails, the walkways provide a safe and efficient means of accessing the façade.

Levolux’s market-leading Triniti® curtain walling bracket was used to secure the screening structure to the building, without compromising the thermal performance of the envelope. This was an important factor for the architect, as they set their sights on achieving a BREEAM ‘excellent’ rating.