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The first music academy to be built for30 years features Kawneer glazing systems.

Architecturalglazing systems by leading UK manufacturer Kawneer helped to meet the“critical” acoustics for RoyalBirmingham Conservatoire, the first music academy to be built in the UK for30 years.

Kawneer's AA®100zone/mullion-drained curtain walling and AA®720 windows have been used in the triple-heightfoyer and as hole-in-wall windows and rooflight alongside engineered acousticbaffles within secondary glazing reveals to further reduce sound transmission.

They wereinstalled by Bennett Architectural Aluminium who carried out extensive testingto achieve the required sound reduction figures, coming out as high as Rw 68dB forthe composite curtain wall systems designs.

For a state-of-the-artbuilding with one of the highest levels of sound attenuation in the world, thiswas critical.

Colin Cobb,project architect with designers Feilden Clegg Bradley, said: “The Kawneersystems met our needs for deep-section curtain walling with modelling providedby extra-deep face caps. The window systems integrated well with our brickworkdetailing, with clean lines around openers. Acoustic performance of windowsystems was a critical factor.”

He added that thealuminium composition of the “cost effective” Kawneer systems score well on theBREEAM materials matrix so this contributed to them achieving their targets inthis respect.

Early engagementwith main contractor Galliford Try helped the design alignment process for the10,000m2 building on a sloping site in Eastside that has athree-metre drop, and ensured any challenges were ironed out early on.

Bennett managingdirector Lionel Grant said: “The Royal Birmingham Conservatoire was certainly adifferent kind of project for our team but we have helped to create aninstantly recognisable building and something quite unique. It is located on abusy city centre road so it was vital we got the acoustics right to keep thatsound out.”

The £57 millionbuilding for Birmingham City University comprises a 500-seat concert hall,146-seat recital hall, 100-seat organ studio, 100-seat black box experimental studio,more than 70 practice teaching rooms capable of accommodating 650 students, andan 80-seat jazz club that claims to be the first permanent jazz club performancespace in any UK conservatoire.

The five storeysare clad almost entirely in pale brick with simple rows of small, punchedKawneer windows occasionally broken by larger feature windows. Largerground-floor openings trimmed with glass and aluminium pick out the entrancesat either end. Through these runs the triple-height public foyer which servesthe five main performance venues, linking street to university campus and lowerground to second floor concert hall.

Claiming to be theonly music college specifically designed to cater for the digital age, Royal BirminghamConservatoire was designed to enable new ways of teaching, learning andpractising music, combining the best traditions of analogue performance withthe flexible functionality of 21st century technology.

Conservatoire principaland cellist conductor Professor Julian Lloyd Webber said: “With our new nameand suitable magnificent new home we intend to set the global benchmark formusic and drama education and performance.”


Opened September 2017.


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