Kawneer and Polar NE join forces for Sowenna


Polar NE installs Kawneer product portfolio at Cornwall’s first children’s mental health unit

Sowenna CAMHS is Cornwall’s first Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services unit. The £5 million purpose-built project demanded products that could provide a high level of thermal performance, whilst also enhancing the building’s levels of natural light and help achieve a BREEAM Excellent building status.

Along with ensuring excellent levels of daylight and access to external spaces and ventilation, the project’s challenges were increased by requiring multiple product solutions that could be harmonised and achieve the same levels of performance and aesthetics.

The project requirements enabled Kawneer to utilise multiple products from their portfolio, which perfectly suited the specifications and helped the project achieve the required levels of thermal performance and successfully achieve its BREEAM Excellent status.

The project included three types of Kawneer aluminium windows specifically designed and engineered for the mental health sector – Wansbeck Secure windows, Wear Secure windows and Humber Secure windows all feature on the project in multiple areas.

The Humber Secure windows were developed in partnership with Humber NHS Foundation Trust as a low to medium secure window with an external sliding sash operated by a reduced ligature rotating handle. The Wansbeck Secure windows are designed for low-secure facilities and feature an internal sliding sash and the Wear Secure windows are an adaptation of the Wansbeck but with a secure mesh to guard the restricted open area.

Alongside the bespoke window designs, Kawneer’s AA®100 zone-drained curtain wall system helped to create a dynamic and active façade that promotes high-levels of natural light to illuminate the main entrance, whilst AA®541 top-hung casement windows have been used in the café area and offices spaces, and AA®3720 folding/sliding doors feature in the courtyard areas.

The new Sowenna CAMHS project was designed by international design practice Ryder Architecture and constructed by main contractor Tilbury Douglas on the site of the former Bodmin Community Hospital. The facility provides inpatient mental health and psychiatric intensive care for children and young people aged between 13 and 18 years.

Victor Muniz, architectural director at Ryder, said the team responded to the design brief from Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust with a smart and functional design.

He commented: “We have used Polar windows in several projects already and their products meet all current standards in terms of anti-ligature specification, robustness, good design and competitive costing.”

He added: “We were looking for lots of natural light inside the building so the glazed elements played a very important role on this project. We were also aiming for BREEAM Excellent which was finally achieved.

“The secure windows and curtain walling have a similar aesthetic to the standard components and help to ensure the safety and security of the external envelope for service users, staff and visitors. Our understanding is the trust is quite happy with the building.”


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BDC 317 : Jun 2024