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Aluminium glazing systems by Kawneer feature on Spire Healthcare's flagship hospital.

Architectural aluminium glazing by leading UK manufacturer Kawneer was a “first point of call” for Halliday Meecham Architects for the £65 million new flagship Spire Hospital in Manchester.

Kawneer's AA®100 SSG (Structurally Silicone Glazed) mullion-drained curtain walling, some of it curved on plan, features on the third-storey conference suite and is complemented by the AA®100 zone-drained capped system used elsewhere including internal screens around the reception areas.

These are additionally complemented by Kawneer's AA®720 top-hung casement windows as courtyard windows, AA®720  doors as internal doors at upper levels and series 190 heavy-duty entrance doors at ground level.

The systems by Kawneer, part of the Arconic group, were installed by approved specialist sub-contractor APiC UK for main contractor VINCI Construction, with the building receiving its first patient in January 2017.

The new hospital, which is BREEAM “Very good” rated, replaces Spire Healthcare's old facility in Whalley Range and aspires to provide an international centre of excellence in the delivery of private healthcare and medical innovation.

Situated on the Siemens UK campus, the development is a key component in the regeneration of Manchester as an international hub renowned for science and innovation as well as medical excellence, education and conferencing.

Halliday Meecham developed the scheme around their expertise in medical planning and experiences gained from the successful delivery of healthcare projects across the United Kingdom and Europe. The form of the building responds to the urban context and provides an iconic gateway to the City of Manchester.

Facilities include six operating theatres including a specialist hybrid theatre, an endoscopy suite, four minor treatment rooms, and a full suite of diagnostics including MRI and CT scanners, X-Ray, mammography, fluoroscopy and ultrasound. More than 40 in-patient bedrooms are provided along with 29 day care bedrooms.

In addition, an international conference space (where the Kawneer curtain walling is curved on plan) provides high-quality and flexible facilities for learning and innovation within a 15-minute transfer from Manchester international airport.

To rationalise the complex programme of accommodation, the elevations are designed around a regular grid and a limited palette of materials including textured concrete and aluminium panels and Western Red Cedar louvres.

A fundamental consideration of the design team was to deliver a building with strong sustainability credentials. The envelope was designed to minimise energy usage and CO2 emissions, with the scheme featuring sedum and wildflower roofs and walls, high-performance fenestration (Kawneer's) and photovoltaic panels.

The building is defined by two principle blocks of accommodation separated by a central courtyard and feature circulation spine that forms the main distribution route within it. This element is fully glazed at both ends and forms a physical extension of the north - south pedestrian access linking to Sir William Siemens House.

The south and west elevations have been carefully layered to respond to the sun path and provide solar shading and privacy where required.

Mike Wakeman, an associate with Halliday Meecham who regularly select Kawneer, said: “We specified the Kawneer products because they are tried and tested systems we have never had problems with so they were our first point of call.

“It was also critical to us that we had a system that worked with the brise soleil and Kawneer's relationship with Levolux was a big selling point in this regard.”

Halliday Meecham confirmed: “We wanted something with high transparency, like fully-glazed bedroom walls and meeting spaces, but also something flexible for plugging things in such as spandrels and louvres so the building is future proofed. This was a difficult balancing act with the Part L requirements and meant the glass was carefully chosen with good 'G' value whilst maintaining as much transparency as we could. Several glass samples were sought and reviewed prior to final specification.

“We designed it around the curved glass in the first place, developing early sections looking at how curtain walls passed floors and maintained fire and acoustics but also buildability given our tight programme.

“The Levolux interface with Triniti brackets was a real success of the project and the SSG system on the conference suite especially looks really good. Secured By Design played a part and double-glazed units with integral blinds were vital for areas such as recovery rooms and the critical care rooms.”

The architect concluded:The external envelope of the building has been really well received by the client.”


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