CMS Façades 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 £78m 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 circa £3m, which took 21 months to complete. The new Falkirk campus, designed by Reiach & Hall and Keppie Architects, opened its doors to students in January, providing a host of unique facilities including world class laboratories, a process training rig, distillation plant, virtual control room, mini-rig, biotechnology centre, sports centre and front of house training salons for hairdressing and beauty.
The 20,709 sq. m campus, which received funding of £65m from the Scottish Government for its construction, represents one of the largest publicly funded building projects in Scotland. The extensive facilities accommodate 450 members of staff and 2,000 full-time students focused on science and technology, engineering, sport and healthcare, with spaces designed in a way that allows for a flexible learning environment.
CMS Façades, which is one of the UK’s leading building envelope specialists, was ideally placed to deliver the extensive glazing package. More than 5,400 square metres of curtain walling and 1,100 square metres 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 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 Façades, 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.
Stephen Anderson, Managing Director at CMS Group, said: “Forth Valley College’s Falkirk campus is an outstanding educational facility and we are delighted to have been appointed to handle the glazing package. Our design, manufacturing and installation capabilities and resources are ideally suited to large scale new build public projects of this kind, and as a long term supply chain partner to many major contractors and local authorities, we are highly experienced in the successful delivery of such schemes.”
The opening of the new Forth Valley College campus represents an exciting development for the whole Falkirk region. Speaking at its recent launch, Dr Ken Thomson, Forth Valley College principal, said: “Seeing our students walk through the doors of our new Falkirk Campus was an exhilarating and proud experience. It was great to welcome them and I am excited to see everyone settle in to this excellent new learning environment.
“We can’t thank Architects Reiach & Hall, Keppie and Balfour Beatty enough for designing and constructing our new building and helping us to realise our vision, and I personally would like to thank everyone who has worked on the project for guiding it to completion.”