Comar regenerates University of Birmingham accommodation

  • 11 May 2017

Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems provided new methods of fixing for the University of Birmingham’s regeneration of the Chamberlain Hall Student Accommodation.

The halls consist of two linked tall towers at 17 & 21 stories and 5 “finger” blocks. The facade was required to provide function, form and ventilation. However, the structured facade open-in windows were needed, fronted with ventilation panels, to allow ventilation yet not impact on the facades integrity.

Comar Bham University accommodation

Comar designed new methods of fixing to make the facade work and integrate with all the cladding elements. The flush facade was vital and all the elements: Comar Glazing, Mesh and Copper panels needed to integrate.

The perforated copper cladding panels needed to be connected to the Comar 6EFT curtain walling. This was challenging as the metals are at opposite ends of the galvanic table and aesthetic demands, thermal performance and the structural considerations of loading panels to Comar 6EFT curtain walling Continental Installations worked closely with Comar Architectural Aluminium Systems and main contractor Balfour Beatty on the complex facade.

Comar Bham Uni accommodation img 2

The team designed a bespoke capping profile which was extruded with re-enforced walls capable of fixing the copper panels directly to it. A heavy duty pressure plate with a fixing port arrangement, was used to mechanically fix the capping to the pressure plate.

Subsequent regular fixings then transmitted the applied loads back to the rear structural mullion member to ensure there was no thermal bridging. All connections were fully isolated to prevent bi-metallic corrosion.

Comar Bham Uni accommodation img 3

The design then included inward full height opening windows which sat behind the facade, Comar 5P.i Advanced Tilt/Turn open in windows were selected. The windows were suitable for the application as they offer slim sight-lines, thus maximising daylighting as well as the profiles themselves have thicker walls that provide robustness and large spans to ensure they stand the test of time.

Comar 5P.i Advanced Tilt/Turn open in windows were suitable for the application with their slim sight-lines to maximise day-lights as well as the profiles themselves have wide wall thicknesses that provide robustness.

Full height windows were selected, again, from the Comar 5P.i Advanced Tilt/Turn range. Fritted glass was used to the bottom of the glazing, allowing light, but prevents items below the desk being seen from the outside.

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