Aluminium: The Trusted Building Material Offering Future Proof Capability.
Aluminium is the ubiquitous construction material, constantly evolving with design. It is a building material that offers the designer reassurance as well as catering for new demands. For construction professionals gaining a grasp of its capability is a future proof skill.
Aluminium gives the architect the opportunity to design feature and style to a building every time it is specified. Naturally, each project is different and aluminium can complete the design concept of even the most innovative practice. Developments in 3D modelling and extrusion now mean that aluminium is the building material which literally pushes the envelope to the forefront of design.
Not only is design aspiration catered for but this is a material which is both sustainable and offers longevity. In a Delft University pan-European study 86% of aluminium used in the old Wembley stadium was recycled and reclaimed. Longevity and lifecycle analysis is also favourable with standard 25-year guarantees for polyester powder coated aluminium and 35 year guarantees for anodised applications. The lifespan of aluminium, if properly maintained, can be indefinite: the top of the Empire State Building was one of the first examples of anodised aluminium and is still a gleaming, eye catching feature today.
If one considers the building envelope integrating large glazed screens, canopies, windows and focal entrance points all can be achieved through installing and integrating, aluminium ground floor treatment, curtain walling, windows and doors. The envelope can be expanded with roof glazing to incorporate pitched, barrelled or pyramid vaults. These areas can be as sleek as the designer requires. Aluminium naturally has high strength to weight ratios so large glazed spans and multi-storey applications can be achieved with slim sight-lines. The opportunity to polyester powder coat or anodise means that a multitude of shades can provide contrast or minimal visibility to the project.
Panels and glass also offer an amazing area of options. Glass can be mirrored or tinted to suit the envelope, whereas panels can provide solid colour or a mirrored glass effect. Aluminium has the ability to integrate both panels and glass into the same façade; a variety of gaskets ensure that most applications can be catered for.
Aluminium is functional and offers sturdy assurance that it will withstand the rigours of the British weather, testing to CWCT standards to Sequence B takes the design safety test up to 3600Pa.
Aluminium is robust and is ideal for high traffic applications, such as retail, school or hospital. If one considers entrance doors, available in configurations such as swing, sliding, sliding/folding, the robust profiles ensure longevity even with endless open and closing cycles.
Windows also offer a myriad of options to cater specifically for the application. Tilt and turn, top-swing reversible, sliding and pivot windows have been around for many years with aluminium Systems Houses working closely with the gearing manufacturers which means that these are tried and tested solutions for providing ventilation without jeopardising security. In multi-storey applications the configuration selected, for instance top-swing reversible or pivot, has options to fully reverse the external surface to allow cleaning from the inside. Tilt/Turn windows allow the window to open-in for cleaning.
In essence aluminium is the building material that, through its long use, has developed to provide function, form and solutions for even the most demanding projects. Systems Houses, such as Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems, continually develop and refine their profile catalogues to meet the demands of cutting edge designers, providing support and calculation at any stage of the tender process.
Now with improvements in glass and to keep up with Document L, systems can utilise thermal foam and increased thermal break technology to take performance to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6. With the EAA’s (European Aluminium Association) “Future Generations” initiative, aluminium’s long reputation as a recyclable material is gaining further exposure. Future Generations, is a scheme which high-lights that the use of aluminium is actually creating a bank of material that can be re-used and recycled in the future. Aluminium is a true “cradle-to-cradle” material with a real end of life value. In fact, due to the value of scrap aluminium, it has one of the most development recycling schemes in existence.
Comar 5P.i Advanced Window System – Using latest thermal break technology to produce windows for the next generation of solutions.
Integration is the key factor which underpins the latest new product launch from Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems. Their market leading Comar 9P.i Framing system offers fast-track semi unitised construction for floor to ceiling glazing, allowing tilt/turn or casement windows to hang direct from the Comar 9P.i Frame as well as rebated doors. With the addition of thermal foam and triple glazing Comar 9P.i offers U-values down to 0.77, creating a future proof solution for their architectural, contractor and fabricator partners.
Comar announce they have incorporated the technology from their Comar 9P.i system into the Comar 5P.i window range, and are now launching the Comar 5P.i Advanced Casement and Tilt/Turn window system which integrates seamlessly into Comar 9P.i creating the option for standalone high performance windows.
The brief to Comar’s Design Team was to specifically meet architectural demands; low U-values, matching slim sight lines for both the casement and tilt/turn, large glazing pocket for acoustic glass, secured by design and large sizes. For their contractor and fabricator partners, performance with built in fast-track fabrication and installation.
The Comar team have achieved this with the launch of Comar 5P.i Advanced key features:
- Testing to BS 6375
- Casement 750Pa Water Tightness, Air Tightness 600Pa, Wind Resistance 2000Pa, Safety Test 3000Pa
- PAS 24:2012
Thermally efficient Polyamide Insulation (P.i) casement window system, designed for aesthetics, security and performance.
Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems constantly look for ways to exceed what the market demands. Current trends are for window and door systems to provide aesthetics as well as achieve environmental, security, thermal efficiency and life cycle targets. Therefore, Comar are pleased to launch their latest development: the Comar 5P.i ECO+ range.
Comar 5P.i ECO+ has been designed to perform, whilst backed by Comar’s market leading delivery. Comar 5P.i ECO+ offers additional thermal performance to the Comar ECO product range: by extending the polyamide strips and inserting thermal foam, this product range will provide a future-proof solution for casement windows meeting U-values up to 2016.
With more and more onus on the environment, window and door systems must be sustainable. Using aluminium the Comar 5P.i ECO+ system is 100% recyclable. Aluminium can be recycled an infinite number of times with no loss to its capability. Comar operates an Environmental Management System certified to ISO 140001.
Due to its slim profiles, the Comar 5P.i ECO+ range weighs less than 0.79Kg per linear metre and therefore achieves a Green Guide A+ rating, which can help specifiers achieve the highest BREEAM levels.
For added reassurance Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems holds both a Kitemark and Secured by Design licence for its ECO product range.
Comar: Designed for Performance, Backed by Delivery
Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems; with their approved fabricator Formes Alutek Ltd recently completed a new build office building which forms part of ‘The West of Duddon Sands Offshore Windfarm’, a JV project between Scottish Power Renewables and Dong Energy. The project comprises of an onshore substation, 108 wind turbines with a total installed capacity of 389 megawatts and brand new bespoke Operations & Management office facilities based at West of Duddon Sands, Barrow-in-Furness.
A striking curved facade was installed and Comar 6EFT 4sided SG with concealed vents was selected as it provides a structurally glazed curtain walling solution with EPDM or Silicon seals which creates facets at 7.5° increments convex or concave. Comar EFT 4 sided offers architects the opportunity to maximise large glazed areas as it has the slimmest glazing seals available on the market.
In a busy office environment, Comar 7 door sets are a natural choice. Not only are they available in swing, pivot, sliding, auto-sliding and sliding/folding, they have been designed specifically for retail applications where high traffic solutions are required. For safety, the Comar 7 swing doors were fitted with anti-finger trap stiles and Axim concealed transom closers which were hung directly from the Comar 6EFT curtain wall again enforcing the reduced the sight lines.
The project was completed using Comar 5P.i top hung windows. The Comar 5P.i window system uses trademarked Polyamide Insulated (P.i) that provides exceptional thermal performance in a market where energy efficient designs and meeting the demands of the latest building regulations are paramount. All configurations, such as casement, top swing reversible, pivot, tilt and turn and sliding can be manufactured.
Solar shading was a key consideration on the southern elevations of this project; therefore to shade the façade vertically hung Comar Duco-sun C was specified. The blades, rafters and struts are all part of the unique Ducosun multi-fit system which allows fast track installation with its “clicks & glide” assembly.
Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems; with their approved fabricator PAGE Group Peterborough Ltd recently completed a Visitor Centre which is part of the Virginia Water Pavilion in Windsor Great Park. This new building overlooks Virginia Water, an extensive man-made lake set in a picturesque 18th century landscape, situated in the Grade 1 listed Royal Landscape in Windsor Great Park. The concept for the new visitor centre was born out of the immediate landscape and is located at the public entrance where the building welcomes visitors to Virginia Water. Its canopied form frames the view of the lake and the echelon form of the building and its terraces overlook the lake and facilities include a kiosk selling refreshments, public toilets and staff facilities.
Architects: Stanton Williams – Fabricator: PAGE Group Peterborough Ltd –
Main Contractor: Ashe Construction Ltd – Project Value: £40,000
System Used: Comar 3 GFT & 7 AFT – Location: Great Windsor Park, Berkshire
Comar 3 ground floor framing was selected which incorporates the Comar 7auto sliding doors which were specified for the main entrances. For safety, the Comar 7 AFT Commercial Doors were fitted with Anti-Finger Trap stiles which were hung directly from the Comar 3 ground floor framing. Comar 7 door sets are a natural choice for any busy public environment and are available in swing, pivot, sliding, auto-sliding and sliding folding.
Comar are the proud sponsors of the Architect of the Year Award.
The Building Awards take place on 2nd April 2014 at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. Best of luck to all the nominees.
Comar are delighted to introduce Indi Toot as Territory Manager. Indi will cover the following areas:
- North & West London postcodes
Indi can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Comar would like to introduce Rob Smith as Architectural Advisor for the South & East London postcode areas. Rob can be contacted at email@example.com
BRE Green Guide
Message from The Council for Aluminium in Building
We are pleased to confirm to you, that the updated generic aluminium profiles have been completed and that these have now been converted into revised BRE Green Guide Ratings for Aluminium and uploaded onto the BRE Green Guide online website http://www.bre.co.uk/greenguide/podpage.jsp?id=2126 Our work has led to 281 Elements being updated and I have attached the pdfs of some of these changes.
For the first time ever since the inception of the Green Guide in 1991, Powder Coated Aluminium Commercial Windows have:
- ‘A+’ Rating (for all commercial windows < 0./9kg/m).
- ‘A’ Rating (for all commercial windows < 1.5kg/m).
For Domestic Powder Coated Aluminium Windows we have:
- ‘A’ Rating (for all domestic windows < 1.08 kg/m).
- ‘B’ Rating (for all domestic windows >1.08 kg/m).
To provide more detail I have attached the following:
- Elements Update
- Latest Profile Green Guide Ratings
- BRE Green Guide FAQ on ‘Measuring Mass of Aluminium Windows’
- BRE Green Guide 2008 Commercial & Domestic individual ratings
This is a great news story for aluminium and thanks should go out to all the funding partners:
– International Aluminium Institute (IAI)
– Aluminium Federation
We are particularly indebted to the input of Chris Bayliss (IAI) and Christian Leroy, European Aluminium Association (EAA). With more changes and new standards ahead we still have a huge amount of work to do in this area in both the UK and Europe but this should give our 21st Century material a bit of an extra lift in difficult trading conditions.