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Education projects: why composite windows top all-aluminium

From modest school extensions to major university buildings, impressive performance and an all-the-same-frame appearance offer designers maximum flexibility

In association with
Velfac composite glazing at Greentrees Junior School in Salisbury, Wiltshire by Kendall Kingscott architects. The windows feature natural internal timber frames and durable external aluminium cladding.
Velfac composite glazing at Greentrees Junior School in Salisbury, Wiltshire by Kendall Kingscott architects. The windows feature natural internal timber frames and durable external aluminium cladding.

Velfac composite windows and doors are the ideal choice for education sector projects, from primary to university; classroom building to student accommodation.

They come with a range of impressive performance benefits, including:

  • Slim composite frame - natural internal timber combined with durable external aluminium
  • Impressive thermal and acoustic insulation - U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K for triple glazing
  • Environmentally conscious design - from FSC-certified wood to 93 per cent recyclable window units
  • Versatile ventilation - combine different opening functions, trickle vents and louvres or specify sensor controlled units
  • Expert technical and design consultancy - from initial ideas through to post-installation support

The two case studies, below, illustrate how good glazing design can help create healthy, enriching learning environments.

  • Cromer Road Primary School: The building stays comfortable without the need for mechanical cooling thanks to the specification of multiple opening units.
    Cromer Road Primary School: The building stays comfortable without the need for mechanical cooling thanks to the specification of multiple opening units.
  • Cromer Road Primary School: All windows feature restrictors and finger guards fitted to doors as an additional safety measure.
    Cromer Road Primary School: All windows feature restrictors and finger guards fitted to doors as an additional safety measure.
  • Cromer Road Primary School: Smaller windows have been placed on south-facing facades to manage solar gain.
    Cromer Road Primary School: Smaller windows have been placed on south-facing facades to manage solar gain.
  • Cromer Road Primary School: Using windows to maximise the usability of the interior.
    Cromer Road Primary School: Using windows to maximise the usability of the interior.
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Cromer Road Primary School, New Barnet, by Innes Associates

Designed by architects Innes Associates, the latest addition to Cromer Road Primary School in New Barnet, London is a distinctive, L-shaped red-brick classroom building, where Velfac slim-framed windows and doors are a key feature of every facade.

The Velfac system helped architect Corrie Rounding meet challenging regulatory and sustainability targets while maximising usable space, increasing natural light and improving ventilation.

‘We pushed the contractor to specify Velfac as we knew the composite frame was the right fit for the project,’ says Rounding. ‘The sustainability of the Velfac system, and its low energy performance, met Department for Education requirements, while the robust external aluminium frame is ideal for a busy school environment.

'The inner timber frames are clear lacquered to emphasise the wood and deliver a less sterile finish than aluminium or uPVC.’

The Velfac system met key ventilation, daylighting and budget targets and ‘we also used windows to maximise the usability of the interior,’ explains Rounding.

Find more on this case study at velfac.co.uk/cromer-road

  • Westwood Student Mews: 14 variations of Velfac window units, in three different sizes,  were specified across the site.
    Westwood Student Mews: 14 variations of Velfac window units, in three different sizes, were specified across the site. Credit: Daniel Hopkinson
  • Westwood Student Mews: North-facing blocks border a high-speed railway line so triple glazing with acoustic trickle vents was required.
    Westwood Student Mews: North-facing blocks border a high-speed railway line so triple glazing with acoustic trickle vents was required. Credit: Daniel Hopkinson
  • Velfac doors and windows at Westwood Student Mews, Coventry. Dark brown external aluminium frames complement cream and grey brickwork.
    Velfac doors and windows at Westwood Student Mews, Coventry. Dark brown external aluminium frames complement cream and grey brickwork. Credit: Daniel Hopkinson.
  • Westwood Student Mews: Velfac white-painted inner timber frames provide a bright and practical finish.
    Westwood Student Mews: Velfac white-painted inner timber frames provide a bright and practical finish. Credit: Daniel Hopkinson.
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Westwood Student Mews, Coventry, by Haus

Distinctive design and high quality materials are key features of Westwood Student Mews, designed by architects HAUS for Warwick and Coventry Universities. Thirty-eight pitched-roof, brick-built ‘houses’ provide 452 rooms for students.

Velfac windows, installed throughout, combine dark brown external aluminium frames with white-painted inner timber to provide a bright and practical finish for every student room.

‘Velfac offered a cost-effective solution to our design and performance objectives,’ says architect Ewan Proctor-Mason. ‘All-aluminium frames are more expensive and scratch easily, while uPVC didn’t deliver the ‘quality feel’ we wanted.

'The Velfac system delivers external durability plus a tactile inner timber frame, which creates a home-from-home finish, and it’s also easy to repaint, contributing to the system’s cost-effectiveness.’

Fourteen variations of Velfac windows were specified at Westwood Mews, in three different sizes. ‘As the north-facing blocks border a railway line, triple glazing with acoustic trickle vents was required,’ Proctor-Mason explains, ‘while on the south-facing facades we specified double glazing with a wider gap between panes to helps minimise overheating from solar gain.’

Find more education case studies at velfac.co.uk/case-studies

Download the Velfac brochure ‘Wood/Aluminium Windows for Education Projects’, which includes more inspiring designs from across the UK, as well as sample pricing and more on the benefits Velfac can deliver.

For more information and technical support, visit velfac.co.uk

 

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