Kawneer systems help university deliver world-leading research and innovation

Published Tue, Jul 12th 2016

Glazing systems by Kawneer feature on several buildings at Swansea University’s new Bay Campus.

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Architectural aluminium systems by leading supplier Kawneer have played a key part in the design of the facade of what was the largest construction project in South Wales.
Kawneer’s curtain walling, windows and doors feature on several buildings on Swansea University’s £450million Science and Innovation Bay Campus site, one of the few global universities with direct access onto a beach and its own seafront promenade, which is being delivered by the UK’s leading regeneration specialist and University partner St. Modwen.
The project comprised a 1,000,000ft2 development in Neath Port Talbot on the exposed shores of Swansea bay, including 465,000ft2 of academic space and 1,462 student residences, associated retail space, highway works and on-site infrastructure for the 5,000 students and 1,000 staff.
Designed to BREEAM standards, the Kawneer elements on Phase 1 by main contractor VINCI Construction UK were installed by approved specialist sub-contractors APiC UK and AB Glass.
These include Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling with 50mm sightlines, AA®541 top-hung, open-out casement windows and series 190 heavy-duty commercial entrance doors on the School of Management (pictured), Great Hall and Bay Library buildings. AA®110 mullion-drained curtain walling, with 65mm sightlines, is being installed on the School of Management.
The education element apart, Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling and AA®541 side-hung, open-out casement windows were also used on the student residences.
In addition, Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain walling and AA®541 top-hung casement windows were installed on the Institute of Structural Materials (home to Swansea Material Research and Testing Ltd ‘SMART’) and Engineering East (home to Engineering Manufacturing Centre) – part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.
Glyn Parker, associate with frequent Kawneer users Powell Dobson Architects, said the Kawneer systems were „key to the weathering and aesthetics of the buildings,“ with their aluminium make-up contributing to the BREEAM scoring.
He added: “They were a key part of the architectural appreciation, meeting the requirements of the technical brief with pleasing aesthetics. Skilful detailing by the designers ensured the weathering characteristics were achieved.“
Typically constructed of steel frame cladding and precast masonry systems, the academic part of the 65-acre campus on the former BP storage and transit site is formed of low-rise, modern-style buildings incorporating teaching space and R&D facilities, the latter in partnership with international and national companies. The student residences are traditionally-styled collegiate blocks arranged in courtyard configurations with fabulous views across the Swansea bay area.
Designed by architects Prophyrious (site master planners and concept architects) with Hopkins, the project is aimed at delivering world-leading research, innovation and education facilities to the city and surrounding community. Development work will continue up to 2020.
St. Modwen is developing the Bay Campus with contractors VINCI Construction UK, Galliford Try and Swansea University’s framework contractor Leadbitter, a Bouygues UK company. Visit
Photo: Swansea University

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