The Maelfa Regeneration Scheme in Llanedeyrn, Cardiff is designed to provide the area with a vibrant, inviting centre for the local community. It comprises two elements: a redevelopment of the existing shopping centre, and the refurbishment of Ty Maelfa – a high-rise block of 45 flats for which CS was selected by the contractor, Bouygues (UK), to supply and install continuous screening louvres on the building’s roof.
Work on the Ty Maelfa project was finished in July 2019. The tower’s exterior façade was completely transformed with new windows, refurbished balconies, now featuring coloured glass screens, new rainscreen cladding and thorough cleaning of brickwork. The redesigned ground floor, the creation of a communal residents’ lounge and a new shop completed the scheme.
CS’ SLA Screening Louvre system was specified for the tower’s roof to hide the existing plant equipment and transmission masts located there. This easy to install screening solution is generally used in locations where rain penetration is acceptable. Its main function is to screen and hide unsightly equipment whilst providing airflow to the area.
The system is delivered in component form for assembly on site and features extruded aluminium blades fitted horizontally at 100mm pitch and with a 66mm overall depth including supporting mullions. There is a selection of blade shapes to choose from and for Ty Maelfa ‘Z’ shape blades were specified. Due to the position of screening on top of the tower the blades were fitted in inverted orientation, providing optimum screening performance when looking from lower ground level.
The original specification from project’s developer, Cardiff Community Housing Association, called for full-height screening for the tower roof to completely obscure the equipment located there. However, following input from telecommunications providers, the height of the installation was reduced to 1,000mm to prevent microwave transmissions from being impeded.
Due to the tower being exposed to high winds at roof level, a peak velocity pressure for windward wall and roof of 1.10 kN/m2 needed to be allowed for. This required a substantial structural steel frame to be installed first to sufficiently support the rainscreen cladding and screening louvres.
In total, 1,236m of aluminium SLA Z-shaped blades and 234m of support mullions were fitted. The system was supplied powder coated to Grey RAL 7047 to complement the building’s façade.
The refurbished tower block’s improved exterior aesthetics have been complemented by the installation of CS’ SLA-Z Screening Louvre system, which conceals the vital plant equipment from public view.
The principal reason for using louvres is to allow the movement of air. But, louvre specification is a balance between form and function, with louvred façade appearance playing an important part in the selection process.