Glazing systems specialist Kawneer expands its curtain wall portfolio.

Today’s safety-conscious and fast-paced construction schedules demand high performance, fast installation, simplified fabrication, superior performance and design flexibility.

The DTI document “Manufacturing for the future” has long pressured the industry to increase awareness of off-site construction and build on the knowledge available across Europe and America.

It clearly highlights that off-site construction should be considered for hotels, hospitals, schools and supermarkets. But in reality, because systems such as unitised curtain walling do not require scaffolding, they are suitable for any site where access is difficult or restricted – in itself a growing phenomenon, with 70% of new-build now on brownfield sites.

With curtain walling being one of the most eye-catching elements of a façade, its evolution from the traditional stick system to a unitised one is perhaps one of the most obvious signs that the Government’s drive off-site is being embraced.

The factory production of unitised curtain walling from leading UK architectural aluminium systems supplier Kawneer gives predictability of time and cost, guarantees quality that reduces problems, delays and snagging on site, and avoids delays caused by adverse weather conditions.

On-site time can also be reduced substantially, saving labour costs and minimising local affects such as noise, dust and traffic congestion. Where there is a shortage of skilled site labour, off-site manufacture ensures high build quality is maintained.

Now Kawneer, which has 50 years of unitised curtain walling expertise, has enhanced its extensive curtain wall portfolio with the launch of a new fast-track dry-glazed unitised system.

The AA®265 incorporates a three-chamber system and overlapping gasket design for optimum weather tightness. Its dry-glazed assembly combined with the use of the same extrusion to all four sides provides both ease of fabrication and the opportunity for effective bar optimisation.

In addition, if access during installation is limited, the AA®265 system can be installed under restrictive working conditions, with the building remaining occupied.

The optimum weathering is achieved by zone-drained pressure equalisation, with the glazing providing a positive weather seal for high performance. The system also features an exclusive high-performance thermal break.

Its slim 65mm sightlines, picture-frame style capping, integral vent option and dual-finish gives specifiers a wide choice of options to create individual and exciting building facades as the AA®265 can accommodate spandrel infill panels of glass, stone and metal up to 50mm.

Adaptable to any new construction project from two storeys upwards, the AA®265 system has been exclusively designed and developed by Kawneer, with installation contracts undertaken in collaboration with its network of authorised dealers.

Kawneer’s unitised range of curtain walling also includes the AA®201 unitised system which suites with the company’s AA®130 Brise Soleil, has 63.5mm sightlines and can accommodate infill panels up to 32mm.

As well as many of the features of its sister AA®265 system, the AA®201 is available with fully-capped and SSG (Structurally Silicone Glazed) options in addition to a horizontal cap with vertical silicone joint, vertical cap with horizontal silicone joint and a range of mullion, transoms and face cap options with 63.5mm sightlines.

Both the AA®265 and AA®201 systems have been tested and certified to the stringent CWCT (Centre for Window and Cladding Technology) Curtain Wall testing standards.

A more detailed guide to the benefits of unitised curtain walling for off-site construction are contained within Kawneer’s RIBA-approved CPD which advises architects and specifiers about the manufacturing process and testing regimes for such systems, how they are different to traditional, “stick” curtain walling and how they are installed.

Kawneer is also able to offer a range of stick curtain walling systems including the AA®100 and AA®110 systems with 50mm and 65mm sightlines respectively. The AA®100 system is also available in a fire-rated version.