A Civic Solution From Senior’s
December 14, 2012 Project News
The new civic building for Wakefield – 123,000 sq ft of prime office accommodation called Wakefield One – is a key part of the city’s Merchant Gate redevelopment programme and features a composite fenestration solution fabricated and installed by Dortech Architectural Systems. The visually colourful building, complete with terracotta tiling and randomly placed green window recesses, occupies an elevated site above the city’s main rail hub. It is part of the city planners’ vision to transform the 17-acre site into a vibrant, urban quarter for Wakefield in the heart of the city centre. Designed by Leeds-based Cartright Pickard architects, Wakefield One’s BREEAM ‘Excellent’ status has been achieved in part by the specification of Senior Architectural Systems’ Hybrid Series 3 composite curtain wall. Hybrid features the aesthetic qualities of engineered timber internally, and the protection and thermal efficiency of aluminium facings to external surfaces. Dortech was appointed by main contractor Morgan Sindall following its successful delivery of installations elsewhere, and this theme of trusted partnerships extended to the specification of curtain wall. Hybrid was fabricated and installed within six months – a demanding timeframe made possible because Senior’s system is UK sourced, meaning lead times are minimal. Around 200 window pods were formed from Hybrid curtain wall, a medium rise stick system that has been designed to achieve high weather and thermal performance. The architect’s design called for a myriad different sizes – whilst the height remains constant, the recess width varies significantly across the façade of the building. The glazed surfaces amount to 2,500m2. South facing elevations are fitted with Dualtherm HP70 solar controlled glass, whilst the other three elevations have been glazed with 6mm clear toughened panels. The manufacturing and installation process was not without its technical challenges. These included the development by Senior Architectural Systems of bespoke external feature cappings, anodised by Senior’s to match the colour scheme of other aluminium facings that form an integral part of the glazing frame. Dortech also installed picture-frame aluminium panels to in-fill the lower sections of several full-height frames. The building’s heating system is located behind these panels, which are set within the spruce framework of Hybrid. Dortech performed a series of expansion and contraction calculations to ensure the engineered timber, which has a moisture content of less than 10%, would remain stable within the temperature ranges of the building. Wakefield One will facilitate the relocation of some of the council’s key services, offering a single point of access to a range of services, including a customer access point, business lounge, library, and museum. The building was delivered by English Cities fund (ECf), a partnership between Muse Developments, Legal and General Property and the Homes and Communities Agency. Councillor Peter Box, Leader at Wakefield Council, adds, “We are really pleased with the new building, which looks great, and has been built on time and on budget. Wakefield One will save the council at least £1m a year and, through bringing several services into one place, provide a better service for residents. So we’ll be providing more for less, a great achievement in these tough financial times.” The civic offices make up phase two of ECf’s Merchant Gate scheme, which has already introduced a new multi-storey car park to serve the station, 66 contemporary residential apartments, 47,000 sq ft of Grade ‘A’ office space and 35,000 sq ft of retail and leisure accommodation to the city.
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