For what is one of the largest, higher education projects ever to be undertaken in the UK, the £420m Manchester Engineering Campus (MECD) is set to benefit from a range of Construction Specialties’ (CS) architectural louvres to provide excellent airflow and long-lasting protection from wind-driven rain.
The MECD was delivered by a team of builders, architects and engineers including lead architect Mecanoo Architecten, UK architects BDP and Penoyre & Prasad and main contractor Balfour Beatty. The engineering campus comprises a number of existing and three new buildings and will be home to a community of 8000 students and staff. With the University of Manchester committed to environmental sustainability, a green approach to the design was paramount with the project targeting BREEAM ‘Excellent’.
For this low-carbon, efficient campus CS provided louvres for the main eight storey, 80,000m2 Engineering Building (MEC Hall), the Upper Brook Street Building, York Street and Oddfellows Hall.
MEC Hall (Engineering Building A)
For the largest building on the campus, the MEC Hall (Engineering Building A), CS louvres were specified for the rooftop plant areas to provide both natural ventilation and smoke clearance ventilation. Around 140m2 of a custom, clip-in Louvre, powder coated in RAL 9005 Black, successfully complemented the vertical grid of metal slats on the façade. In active louvre areas bird guards were installed on the back of louvres, followed by motorised uPVC volume control dampers with high thermal insulation value and a low air leakage rate. Non-active louvre areas had thermally-insulated blanking panels incorporated behind the louvres.
On the sides facing internal atriums, CS SLA-I screening louvres were installed in inverted configuration to hide external louvres and dampers from view. Louvre blades were powder coated in RAL 9010 Pure White to blend in with the wall colours while the inverted blade orientation maximised screening performance when viewed from lower atrium levels.
Upper Brook Street Building (Engineering Building B)
Linked to the MEC Hall by a second floor walkway, the Upper Brook Street Building houses a large teaching lab and lecture hall. CS supplied 50m2 of its high performance rain defence model RSV-5700 and double louvred doors for this building. Fitted with bird guards, the CS louvre modules were fabricated with a glazing frame to allow integration within the curtain walling system. Thermally insulated blanking panels were supplied for non-active areas, while motorised dampers located behind louvres in a plenum area offered a high level of acoustic insulation when closed. RSV-5700 louvres were also installed on the south, east and west elevations of the York Street Building.
Featuring a complex, extruded aluminium blade profile with multiple draining channels, arranged in vertical orientation, RSV-5700 are high-performance louvre systems designed to provide maximum defence against wind-driven rain penetration whilst maintaining excellent airflow characteristics.
Independently tested to EN 13030, RSV-5700 offers class A rain defence up to 3.5m/s face velocity, combined with a class 3 ‘good’ airflow rating for both air intake and exhaust areas.
For the new build extension to the Grade II listed Oddfellows Hall, CS provided approximately 30m2 of the custom, clip-in Louvre fitted with bird guards. Installed in walls of a plant room to provide air inlet and exhaust, the louvres were powder coated in RAL 9005.
Set to inspire future generations of engineers and material scientists, this world-leading educational campus is an exemplar of design, craftmanship and sustainability. The specification and installation of high performance CS rain defence louvres will ensure the buildings can boast striking aesthetics and functionality whilst supporting the sustainability strategy of the campus.