Package picked for community school

Aluminium curtain walling and windows from Sapa have been used in constructing a new school in Cambridgeshire as a result of the manufacturer’s national supply chain agreement with Kier, and the main contractor’s past experience of working with the fabricator.

Godmanchester Bridge Academy, which was completed in time for the start of the current academic year, provides space for 420 children up to the age of 11, plus 52 preschool places. The project was sponsored by the Godmanchester Community Education Trust to help serve a new housing development in the area, while the facilities will also be used for adult learning in the evenings.

Described as a response to the site’s location and topography, as well as local education needs, the project team used Sapa’s E52 and DF75 Si windows to bring natural light and ventilation to the occupied spaces, as well as security and architectural expression.

E52 ST curtain walling is an externally capped, thermally broken curtain wall system that can deliver good energy and acoustic performance as well as the aesthetic appearance to suit different property types from residential and retail to education or commercial.

In this instance, the E52 curtain wall system was chosen from Kier’s approved list by Nottingham based Acorn Aluminium as the most cost effective and adaptable option to meet the technical specifications and design aspirations of project architects Woods Hardwick. This included incorporating striking glass spandrel panels – in vibrant red, yellow and other colours – alongside the vision areas to windows around the two-storey structure.

The high spec double-glazing also incorporates Sun Guard SN 70 37 glass to offer an excellent g-value, as well as a U-value of 1.6W/m2K. The frames are finished in RAL 7012 matt grey.

The project architect Mark Newstead said: “Owing to the level constraints on the site meaning some of the building is part buried, it was key to the design that the school benefits as much as possible from natural daylight. The fully glazed facade to the classrooms, which have direct access to an external play area, are broken up with vertical coloured bands that relate to the internal colour scheme of the different year-group classrooms, which aid wayfinding as well as providing a playful design statement befitting a primary school.”

The senior estimator for Acorn Aluminium Paul Stevens said: “We actually chose to use E52 and the DF75 Si windows due to our confidence in the products’ performance. In addition to the DF75 Si windows being inset within the E52 curtain wall, we also supplied and installed a number of individual windows around the buildings.

“This was a very successful project where we got very good design and logistical support from Sapa: helping us to work together with Woods Hardwick as the architect and Kier.”