Jun 20, 2018 Last Updated 7:43 AM, Jun 6, 2018

AluK helps future-proof Welsh school

Published in Education
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The Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme aims to deliver effective learning environments and develop best practice in school design. The scheme’s main target is to create a sustainable construction system of education buildings in Wales that meets national building standards and reduces the recurrent costs and carbon footprint.


Ysgol Maes Y Gwendraeth, a new secondary school in Llanelli, South Wales, received an investment of £18m from the programme for the development of education buildings to serve 1000 pupils. The client, Carmarthenshire County Council, required all new build blocks to achieve BREEAM ‘Excellent’ ratings as part of the project’s sustainability obligations.

AluK systems were specified for block 21 of the development which incorporates the school’s new design and technology building, designed by Lawray Architects. The team of architects were looking for a slender selection of profiles that would complement the expanse of brickwork in the new building. In total, approximately 340m² of aluminium profiles was used, with 105m² used in the AluK SL52 curtain walling system, 215m² for the AluK top-hung 58BW window systems, as well as 20m² in the AluK single GT55 TB door systems, all of which were installed throughout block 21.

The project is BIM compliant, necessitating the entire supply chain to deliver the required data. AluK was able to exceed project requirements as its standard BIM components are Level 2 compliant. Chris Evans, Associate at Lawray Architects, comments: “To meet the BIM Level 1 requirements stipulated in the client's brief, AluK provided the relevant information which included 3D modelling, clash detection and some intelligence in the model for key elements such as finishes and fittings.”

In addition to BIM compliance, safety was a top priority when it came to product specification, with Secured by Design (SBD) accreditation required throughout. Initially, the team at Lawray were unable to find a double door with test data available to meet SBD requirements. However, the manufacturer was able to provide the required data by carrying out general testing at its South Wales Research and Development (R&D) facility specifically in regards to the 20N opening force of the door, as required under Building Regulations: Part M, whilst incorporating a thermally broken profile.

The technical team at AluK was also able to provide detailed calculations based on glass specifications that verified compliance with key design criteria of Building Regulations: Part L. To demonstrate further compliance, the team also provided Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) calculations. Chris Evans adds: “We were provided with a project U-value report along with information on AluK’s BREEAM ratings at an early stage which ensured the building criteria was met.”

Further collaboration led to AluK providing additional support in the installation of a bespoke solar shading system. Jordan Kingman, Architectural Project Manager AluK, explains: “Although AluK do not manufacture a brise soleil system, our team was able to supply Lawray Architects with the necessary information relating to the fixing details and the different options available.”

The block 21 phase of the project was completed in May 2015 with the overall development completed in April 2016.



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