AluK systems help future proof Welsh school

The Welsh Government’s 21st Century Schools Programme aims to deliver effective learning environments and to 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 £18 million 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 their standard BIM components are level 2 compliant. Chris Evans, Associate, Lawray Architects comments:

“To meet the BIM level 1 requirements stipulated in the client 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 their 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, Lawray Architects 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.


AluK products used:

SL52 curtain walling system

The SL52 curtain walling system is a flexible capped solution designed to offer high performance. The flexibility of the SL52 design enables specifiers to create impressive façades that not only enhance the aesthetics of a building but also provide the specific functionality and performance required to meet and exceed current standards. The SL52 curtain walling system is available with fully integrated vent options including POV, Tilt and Turn, Top Hung, Side Hung and Fixed Light.

58BW window system

The 58BW window system offers a cost effective, high performance solution in a wide range of configurations and formats to suit your building design. Certified under the Secured by Design scheme, its unique polyamide thermal break design improves thermal performance. Available in single or dual colour option, polyester powder coating and anodised finishes.

GT55 TB door system

The GT55 TB door system provides the ultimate combination of security and performance. The system is ideal for a range of heavy duty commercial and public sector applications including offices, hospitals, schools, warehousing and other industrial applications. The GT55 TB is one of the most robust thermally broken commercial door systems available on the market. The system has been fully tested and can be integrated with AluK’s GT55 ground floor treatment system and has recently completed rigorous testing regime to PAS24. This robust and low maintenance door provides complete flexibility in entrance solutions and is available in a wide range of colours and finishes to suit any project.