Cartwright Pickard Architects’ contemporary and energy efficient design for a new operations centre for Phoenix Natural Gas in Belfast features extensive use of Technal’s MC Trame Horizontale curtain walling.  The result is an eye-catching building, which is flooded with natural light during the day and glows attractively at night.

Environmental considerations played an important part in the specification of the glazing systems, and in the overall design theme, to minimise energy consumption and CO2 emissions.

Around half of the building is glazed in Technal’s MC Trame system to optimise the cost of heating and cooling against savings on artificial lighting. Top hung concealed windows inserted into the curtain walling naturally ventilate the offices, and sunscreens shade the building in summer, whilst allowing beneficial winter sun to offset heat losses.

The main entrance is constructed using MC Trame Horizontale, which accommodates large spans of glass to create a bold visual statement and offer views from the inside over the shores of the Lough towards Belfast.  The aluminium curtain walling system was also adapted to hold 7.5m long silver rainscreen cladding panels, which are flush with the external face of the glass.

"Our principal objective for this project was to design an efficient and attractive HQ building with significantly reduced energy consumption and to a tight cost plan to keep the rent levels competitive", said project director James Pickard of Cartwright Pickard. "Technal's system enabled us to incorporate elegant solar shading and use more clear glass to maximise daylight and views out.  It was also sufficiently flexible to be adapted to our specific project requirements and helped add an element of individualism to the overall design."

The MC Trame curtain walling suite is a highly innovative glazing system, which provides architects with the flexibility to emphasise the horizontal or vertical lines and soften the corresponding profiles across the façade for a more interesting and dynamic appearance.  On the Phoenix Gas scheme, the horizontal lines of the Trame system are also echoed in the silver rainscreen cladding.

Technal’s curtain walling and concealed window systems were fabricated and installed by CEP Arcal.

MC Trame Horizontale aluminium curtain walling

MC Trame Horizontale aluminium curtain walling

MC Trame Horizontale aluminium curtain walling