Technal Curtain Walling for BREEAM Excellent Office Building in Birmingham

Calthorpe House is one of a small number of buildings in the Midlands to achieve a BREEAM (2006) ‘excellent’ rating.  This highly sustainable landmark office scheme features the latest curtain walling from architectural aluminium specialists, Technal.


Designed by Webb Gray & Partners for developers Calthorpe Estates, and constructed by BAM, the £40m building is also the first application of a new adaptation of Technal’s MX curtain walling system.


This latest façade option is an alternative to structural sealant glazing, which gives the benefit of clear sight lines, no caps, and flush corners for greater transparency and high quality aesthetics with uninterrupted spans of glass to maximise natural light and architectural appeal.


The system uses a specially designed ‘toggle’ which removes the need for silicone to hold the glazed units in place and is faster and simpler to install.  It was specified for the front elevation of Calthorpe House.  MX Visible Grid curtain walling was used to glaze the side and rear façades – demonstrating how Technal’s MX curtain walling options give specifiers the opportunity to vary the appearance of the building envelope on a single project.


Solaglas Contracting was awarded the £1m contract to fabricate and install the glazing for this prominent scheme.  The MX system was required to accommodate various thicknesses of glass to provide additional acoustic performance on the lower levels, and some of the curtain wall sections were pre-installed off site into concrete panels to reduce time on site.

Commenting on the project, Webb Gray & Partners, said, “Technal’s structural glazing allowed us to meet the client’s requirement for greater visual impact for the front elevation.  Here, the curtain wall has the appearance of a single span of glass with no compromise on performance.”


“Having used Technal’s curtain walling on previous projects, we were confident in their system for this scheme and are very pleased with the finished building”.


The Technal curtain walling was glazed in green solar control glass as part of the building’s sustainability strategy, with a ceramic-coated inner pane to conceal services between floors.


In every aspect of its design and construction, Calthorpe House was conceived as an office scheme that would represent best practice in environmental performance.


The finished building outperforms statutory requirements for carbon emissions by 27 per cent and provides a range of energy-saving measures that contributed to the BREEAM (2006) ‘excellent’ rating.  These features include high levels of thermal insulation and ventilation, solar control glass, low noise levels, and a large amount of natural light from the floor to ceiling glazing on the ground and upper floors.


Technal’s MX curtain walling suite has all the aesthetic, durability and low maintenance qualities of aluminium, combined with constant 52mm sight lines to create a uniform appearance across a comprehensive range of design options – low to high rise curtain walling; visible grid, ribbon, structural, beaded, faceted and sloped glazing.


This high performing façade solution has all the advantages of one fully integrated system – consistent sight lines and interfaces, simplified specification, ease of fabrication and installation, cost efficiency and reduced time on site.

Calthorpe House, Birmingham


Calthorpe House, Birmingham


Calthorpe House, Birmingham


Calthorpe House, Birmingham