An award-winning campus building at a secondary school in Glasgow demanded a robust glazing system that could meet the challenge of providing effective natural ventilation all year round, whilst successfully delivering the safety, acoustic, visual and cost requirements for the project.
The solution selected by Elder and Cannon Architects was the GXi aluminium sliding window system from Technal.
The new three-storey building at Jordanhill School, which has already won a Glasgow Institute of Architects Education Award, accommodates four departments arranged in two wings around a central atrium. The building completes the redevelopment of the school campus, delivering high quality classrooms, social spaces and sports facilities, whilst further enhancing the image of the school.
Research has shown that good natural ventilation to classrooms improves attention spans – and yet it can be difficult to achieve because window openings in schools have to be restricted to 100mm to meet safety requirements.
The architects’ solution at Jordanhill was to specify Technal’s GXi sliding window system for all the classrooms, set into an MX curtain wall screen with a robust louvre fixed to the frame.
The decorative grill acts as a safety barrier to protect the window openings, whilst significantly increasing the ventilation to the classrooms in warmer weather. The louvre conceals part of the window, giving the appearance of one pane of glass, and creating an attractive architectural feature. The sliding system was also reversed so the glass behind the louvre slides externally to allow cleaning from the outside.
Background ventilation and fresh air in the winter months is provided with an integral acoustic ventilator at the base of each window.
According to project architect, John Docherty of Elder and Cannon, “We have used Technal’s systems extensively on other projects and wanted to explore the use of the GXi sliding window in an education situation.”
“The sliding system and incorporation of a louvre is a sustainable yet elegant solution to providing increased natural ventilation for the classrooms, and allowing more control and greater comfort for teaching staff and pupils. The windows are easy to open, easy to clean, and have slim sight lines that address our aesthetic criteria. The project has been a great success and the school is delighted with their new building.”
The GXi system was used in a repeating pattern and was finished in dark grey as a contrast to the cast stone-effect cladding for a restrained, modern appearance. The considered use of large, uninterrupted glazed units in the window frames allows controlled views out of the building, removing the sense of enclosure and visually connecting the pupils to the landscape.
Other Technal products specified for the new building include a full height MX curtain wall screen to the main entrance, a large picture window to the art room created from the MX system with frameless top hung vents for ventilation, and FXi casement windows to the stairwells. All the systems were fabricated and installed by Hurricane Architectural.
Funded by the Scottish Executive, the 2,600sqm scheme is highly sustainable and was designed to reduce emissions by around 60 per cent compared with the existing school building. It accommodates 18 new classrooms and a large open plan art department. The £7.5m project also included upgrading of the existing refectory and new all-weather sports facilities.
For further information about Technal’s commercial aluminium window, door and curtain walling systems, and their latest innovations in glazing technology, call 01924 232323.
Client: Scottish Executive Education Dept/Jordanhill School
Main contractor: Mansell
Architects: Elder and Cannon Architects
Engineers: Arup Scotland
M&E consultants: Buro Happold
Glazing systems: Technal
Glazing fabricator: Hurricane Architectural
Project Name: Jordanhill School
Project Location: Glasgow
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