Aluminium Curtain Wall Facade for Tallest Building in Sheffield

The Wicona unitised curtain walling system has been specified for a new 32-floor tower in Sheffield, which will be the tallest building in the British city. The £3.5m façade contract will be delivered by Solaglas in partnership with Wicona Projects.

The Sheffield tower will provide 230 apartments as well as commercial and retail space.

Developed by City Lofts, built by Shepherd Construction and designed by Conran & Partners, the tower is part of the City Lofts St Paul's Apartments scheme – the focal point of the £180m Heart of the City regeneration project.

The tower will form a commanding presence over the heart of the city and a spectacular addition to the skyline. Looking light and slender, the structure will be highly glazed incorporating around 6,000 square meters of specially designed Wicona unitised curtain walling, which is being fabricated and installed by Solaglas.

The unitised panels will be fully glazed and sealed in a controlled factory environment and installed in just three days per floor. "We wanted to create a highly reflective façade for the tower, with contrasting clear and opaque areas of glass," says project architect Ilona Hay of Conran & Partners.

Hay says the Wicona approach is "fast, efficient, offers greater quality control and generates less material waste, which is important for sustainable construction."

Jon Mangham, who is project manager at Shepherd Construction, says the Wicona system "will remove the need for scaffolding or mast climbers on this project which is a really important safety benefit for the construction of such a high structure. The loadings on the scaffolding would make it dangerous to work at this height.

"We believe completing the units off-site in a manufacturing environment will offer quality benefits and greater cost efficiency compared to site-based construction."

Due for completion in Autumn 2009, the tower will provide 230 apartments as well as commercial and retail space.

Hydro is Europe's preferred supplier of aluminium building systems, and delivers to scores of other countries around the globe. Its international brands - Domal, Technal and Wicona - cover the whole range of system products.

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