Fenestration specialist Total Glass supplied and installed the technically-advanced Sapa aluminium glazing façade at the impressive Menai Science Park (M-Sparc) building – Wales’ first dedicated science park on Anglesey.
Officially opened in May 2018 and operated by Bangor University, the £20 million science park Menai Science Park (M-SParc) brings together businesses from the ICT, science and research sectors and is set up to provide expertise and support to local enterprise.
The 5000m² flagship building comprises laboratories, office and workshop space, meeting rooms and a café. Its unique front elevation is characterised by a continuous flowing ‘ribbon’ cladding system that forms the floor, wall and roof surfaces, wrapping around the glazed façade.
Working closely with FaulknerBrowns Architects and main contractor Willmott Dixon, the Total Glass team was involved at an early stage due to the complexity of the structure’s curved design.
Total Glass installed a total of 1,650 m² of Sapa Elegance 52 curtain walling and roof glazing in the building. Spanning 74 metres by 11 metres, the front elevation makes the most of far-reaching scenic views over Snowdonia. All the façade systems were finished in a grey RAL 7031 marine powder-coat finish with two glass solar control specifications used to deliver the external reflective effect.
The project presented some technical challenges, as Chris Valentine, Technical Manager at Total Glass explains: “As the façade forms the building’s main waterproof line, it was crucial to get the interfacing detailing right between the curves of the cladding and the curtain walling, especially regarding drainage. This required the aluminium curtain walling to be curved to follow the flowing shape of the cladding.”
Another challenging design feature was the 6-metre-long glazed walkway that connects the two-storey entrance area to the brick-built main building. Here the curtain walling follows the contours across the double-pitched roof at an angle. Chris continues: “Accommodating the difficult compound angles required a lot of calculations and modelling to achieve the architectural vision.”
Total Glass also fabricated and installed three types of doors throughout the building, including Sapa’s high-performance Stormframe ST II Aluminium Door system for access to an enclosed central courtyard. These were specified at 2.8m high to allow access for mobile work platforms for window cleaning purposes.
Proving access from the cafeteria to the courtyard is a thermally-insulated aluminium sliding door using Sapa’s C125 Aluminium Sliding Door system. Balcony doors above ground floor level use the Sapa Dualframe 75 HP Aluminium Hinged Door.
Total Glass installed a total of 132 Sapa DF 75 Si casement windows, some within the curtain wall façade and others overlooking the courtyard. The double-height internal glazing to the boardroom also features the Sapa Elegance 52 curtain wall, incorporating a high glass specification for extra privacy and improved acoustic performance.
Commenting on their five-month-long involvement with the project, Total Glass Operations Manager (Aluminium) Andy Sheil says: “Despite some difficult weather conditions, installation of the curtain walling, windows and entrance doors was completed successfully and on time. The whole team is proud to have played an integral part of this prestigious scheme.”