Sapa package picked for new Cambridgeshire community school

Print 09 Sep 2018

Aluminium curtain walling and windows from the range at Sapa have been used in constructing a stylish 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 pre-school 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.

Aluminium Exterior facade, windows & doors on Godmanchester Community School

Described as a response to the site’s location and topography as well as local education needs, the project team has made expressive use of Sapa’s E52 and DF75 Si windows in bringing 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 offers many design options through the use of different mullions and cover caps. It can deliver very 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.

Aluminium Exterior facade, windows & doors on Godmanchester Community School

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 1.6 W/m2K. The frames are finished in RAL 7012 matt grey.

The Project Architect, Mark Newstead commented: “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 façade to the classrooms, which have direct access to an external play area, are broken up with vertical coloured bands which 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.

“Through close liaison with the contractor and Acorn, we have provided a striking, fit for purpose façade solution. The large double storey spaces to the school, such as the school halls and the school library/IT suite, are areas which will be used by the wider community; and the large areas of glazing flood the spaces with natural light and provide natural ventilation.  We would have no hesitation in working with Acorn Aluminium and the Sapa system again”. 

Aluminium Exterior facade, windows & doors on Godmanchester Community School

The Senior Estimator for Acorn Aluminium, Paul Stevens, added: “We do a lot of work in the education sector – as well as retail and commercial – with our £275K contract for this job being won on the basis of our past track record with Kier, as well as the Sapa systems being part of Kier’s supply chain agreement. 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.”

The Project Manager for Kier, Lee Collins, summed up saying: “The project has gone very well, including the supply and installation of the windows by Acorn Aluminium, which came about under our national supply chain agreement. Everyone is extremely pleased with the outcome.”