Full glazing package

CMS Window Systems has played a key role in the creation of Scotland’s newest further education campus with the manufacture and installation of high-performance aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling for the new £78 million Forth Valley College in Falkirk.

The company was tasked by main contractor Balfour Beatty to deliver the complete glazing package in a contract valued at around £3 million, which took 21 months to complete.

The 20,709m2 campus, which received funding of £65 million from the Scottish government for its construction, represents one of the largest publicly funded building projects in Scotland.

More than 5,400m2 of curtain walling and 1,100m2 of windows and doors were manufactured for the three blocks – teaching, sports and workshop – which are predominantly two storey. With the college’s contemporary design featuring large areas of glazing to maximise natural daylighting inside the buildings, it was crucial that CMS worked closely with the architects and engineering consultants Wardell Armstrong to ensure the right result, the company said.

The new building is designed around a steel frame structure supporting precast flooring with masonry external walls including curtain walling and cladding. Metal Technology aluminium systems were specified for here, including their System 17 capped and silicone pointed curtain walling, System 5-20D doors, and System 4-35 windows. The architect specified the use of three surface finishes dependant on the location: RAL 7016 anthracite grey, AA25 silver natural anodised, and RAL 9002 grey white.

Working on a solution developed by CMS, Metal Technology also extruded two new bespoke aluminium profiles for use within the courtyard areas: a ‘bird mouth’ feature external face cap to the curtain walling and a vertical cladding profile to strips of glazing between the windows.

The glazing specification was designed to maximise energy efficiency and maintain a stable internal climate and the quality dimension to the college’s design. The ventilation strategy was very important to the client to ensure that ventilation could be easily controlled by the occupants of each area. This was achieved by providing manually operated opening sashes at low-level and electrically-actuated sashes at high level which are quiet and quick to operate.

The architect’s design of the building envelope incorporated a large percentage of vision glazing which was crucial for providing a high-level of natural daylight for the occupants. In addition, the provision of solar control glazing to selected elevations contributed to reducing the solar heat gain.