REHAU’s GENEO™ ALU Top windows were chosen for a new student accommodation development in Coventry, providing a contemporary aluminium finish with all the benefits of PVC-U.
Located in the city centre and just a five-minute walk from the main Coventry University campus, the Cycle Works hall of residence was developed by Sir Robert McAlpine on behalf of the University. Completed in September 2017, the 350-bedroom accommodation block was fitted with more than 500 windows and is the UK’s first major installation of REHAU’s GENEO® ALU Top profiles, a cost-effective alternative to aluminium.
The original window specification from the developers was for aluminium windows, as specified by the architects. However, the appointed specialist window installation company, Campbell Mason, suggested using REHAU’s GENEO® ALU Top profiles as a more cost effective and thermally efficient alternative, which could still achieve the aluminium finish the architects were looking for as well as the ability to have large elemental spans.
Manufactured from REHAU’s RAU-FIPRO®, a unique high-tech composite material, used in the aerospace and automotive industries, GENEO® windows are REHAU’s most thermally efficient window profiles. Stronger than traditional PVCU profiles GENEO® requires less steel reinforcement and can also be used for large elemental spans. Certified by the Passivhaus Institute and awarded the highest thermal performance standard in the world with a U value of up to 0.73 W/m²K, the innovative triple glazing design of the GENEO® profile also delivers on sound insulation up to Rw: ( C; Ctr = 47 (-1;-3) dB and guarantees the windows are break-in resistant to RC 3/RC 2 without steel.
To further increase the versatility of this high-spec product, REHAU has coupled its GENEO® windows with ALU Top, an aluminium front panel which can be neatly affixed to the front of the PVC-U frame. The ALU Top panels are available in over 170 RAL colours, which are both robust and weather-resistant, for a finish to meet almost any design requirements.
The GENEO® windows chosen for the Raglan Street project feature 850mm wide Tilt and Turn sashes ensuring that once open, a sufficient amount of air can circulate to create a comfortable and enjoyable living environment for the students. For safety, the windows are fitted with restrictors to ensure there is no risk of persons falling out when they are in an open position.
While the GENEO® Alu Top window profiles are in keeping with the architect’s vision for the accommodation block, they were only part of the wider fenestration solution required for the project. Campbell Mason agreed to fabricate curtain walling for the windows, using REHAU’s Polytec 50S curtain walling system, which would essentially act as an exceptionally thermally efficient subframe to meet both visual and efficiency requirements.
Unlike most curtain wall systems which are mainly aluminium, Polytec 50 uses a system that has the structural capabilities of a steel back box“, the design and finish of aluminium on the exterior, and the warmth and low maintenance benefits of PVCu on the interior. Polytec 50 has been certified as suitable for Passivhaus projects and zero carbon buildings thanks to its excellent thermal insulation of up to U-value 0.8 W/m²K.
The exceptional strength and thermal properties of Polytec 50 curtain walling means it can be effectively fabricated with large GENEO® tilt and turn windows, and is therefore ideal for the Raglan Street hall of residence installation.
Steve Tonkiss, Commercial Sales Manager at REHAU, said: “This project was a big one for us as we were able to compete in the aluminium windows market, with an innovative solution which actually saves the client money on their development and gives them extra performance benefits. Our GENEO® ALU Top profiles are the perfect combination of the high energy efficiency, insulation and security of PVC-U and the modern aesthetics of aluminium.”