The Schuster Annex on the University of Manchester's main campus when built, was intended to become a catalyst for excellence in STEM teaching, and was linked to the circular spaces within the existing buildings. Designed by Hawkins Brown, constructed by sector specialist Wilmott Dixon and fabricated by Dortech, the Science Annex formed part of the universities master plan.
James Sutherland, Managing Director of Dortech, commented: “We were awarded the contract for the Schuster Annex by Willmott Dixon, following a competitive tender process; with our package including a number of striking design features.
“These included 1,000m2 Technal MX Thermally Broken Curtain Wall with 200mm extending face caps as well as the FY65 ‘punched-hole’ windows in RAL 7043 Traffic Grey, plus some 1,500 linear metres of aluminium flashings. The glazing units feature the use of SGG COOL-LITE® SKN 14 glass with digitally printed artwork.”
While the 8mm COOL-LITE® outer leaf provides solar control, the thermal performance of the IG units also benefits from an argon filled 18mm cavity and a 10.8mm thick inner leaf of coated laminated glass. The glazing specification, along with the design of thermally broken framing system also deliver a sound reduction of 40dB or more without special enhancement.
Referring to the success of the curtain walling and fenestration solution from Dortech and Technal, Willmott Dixon’s Project Manager, James Goodwin, said: “This was a challenging project, not least because of the building’s proximity to a main road and the MRI (Manchester Royal Infirmary) with ambulances and other emergency services going past all the time. In terms of the acoustics, the transfer of noise, it has performed wonderfully well. Also, the Technal systems meet all of the thermal insulation requirements whilst, aesthetically it looks fantastic. Everyone is pleased with the completed project.”
Completed in 2018 at a cost of approximately £11m, The Schuster Annex provides 2,500m² of space across it's four floors with what has been named the "Ideas Mill" and break out spaces at ground level.
This project was delivered to BIM Level 2, and uses a high value, passive approach to achieve a BREEAM Very Good rating within a tightly controlled budget. Amongst the factors targeted in this design were air quality, the availability of natural light and good thermal comfort around the building.