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01 April 2012

Technal's New Low Rise Facade System Used for Inspirational Special School in Hampshire


One of the first applications of the latest aluminium glazing system from Technal is a visionary new primary school in Hampshire for children with learning difficulties.  The revolutionary MODAL low rise façade system was specified for Forest Park School near Southampton.

Designed by Hampshire County Council's in-house architects and constructed by Morgan Sindall in a £8.9m contract, the new building has created an inspirational, child-centred facility which is set to transform special school provision in Hampshire.

The school is a collection of low rise buildings interlinked by a series of canopies and arranged around a number of courtyards. The outer walls are constructed of brick with inner façades of dark timber and glass, and a combination of dual and mono-pitched zinc roofs.  The site's landscaping was inspired by the heathland that characterises much of the New Forest National Park.

Glazing fabricator Solaglas installed Technal's MODAL low rise façade system extensively throughout. Finished in dark brown with contrasting bronze doors, MODAL is used as fixed light glazing and with FXi65 windows. Sound attenuated louvres provide additional natural ventilation, and the GXi sliding patio door, which is fully integrated with MODAL, was also specified, together with Technal's CD commercial door.

MODAL is a rapid-build low rise façade system - and the first in the UK to offer integral opening vents.  It has an innovative modular design, which gives specifiers a much wider choice of configuration options.

Nicky Dando, Head Teacher at Forest Park School said, "We are delighted with all aspects of the new building, including the glazing.  All visitors have commented on how light and airy the building feels."

Commenting on the specification of MODAL, the project architect at Hampshire County Council said, "One of the key design objectives for this project was to maximise natural light and views out onto the landscaped areas, helping us to extend the building into the external play spaces. This is a sustainable building so we also needed to provide a good level of natural ventilation. The MODAL system could incorporate both louvres for passive ventilation and integrated windows."

He added, "We are very pleased with the finished building which is performing to a high standard and has been very well received by the children, staff and parents."

The new school, which has been created following the amalgamation of two existing schools, provides accommodation for 72 children with special educational needs, aged between two and 11 years.  Facilities include a library, IT suite, hydrotherapy pool, hall, children's kitchen for cookery activities, therapy room, office, dining room, soft play room, light room, specialist art room and extensive external play areas.

The scheme is targeted to achieve a BREEAM 'very good' rating and has a number of sustainability features to minimise its impact on the environment such as solar thermal panels to assist in providing hot water for the hydrotherapy pool, combined heat and power system, high levels of natural ventilation and highly glazed elevations to maximise natural light.  The buildings are also orientated to minimise solar gain and improve cross ventilation, reducing the reliance on mechanical ventilation.

For further information about the revolutionary MODAL rapid-build low rise façade system or to download a technical brochure, visit www.technal.co.uk/MODAL.

Editors' Notes

1.  The MODAL system features a number of new innovations for low rise façades, including:

  • Both glaze-in and glaze-out fixed lights that can be used on the same elevation without any alteration to the sight lines.  This offers maximum security and ease of glass replacement wherever needed on the façade.
  • Integral open-in and open-out vents incorporated in the MODAL frame to minimise the visible aluminium and ensure consistent sight lines.
  • A fully thermally broken system which will achieve exceptional thermal performance and low U values - whether the specification is for a fully glazed façade, or incorporating the MODAL integral opening vents, or Technal's GXi sliding window and balcony door.                                                     
  • Assembly using an innovative clip system for a high quality finish and faster installation.
  • Sight lines are maintained at 65mm across the MODAL range of options for a more uniform and modern appearance.
  • Drainage is fully concealed, with no unsightly caps on the frame or the vents, making it ideal for education applications.
  • Variations for low rise façades include single, double and triple glazed units; fixed lights; integral opening vents; doors; an integrated sliding window and door system; infill panels - and many combinations.

2.  Hydro is the largest supplier of aluminium glazing systems in Europe.  Its Technal brand of glazing solutions designs, manufactures and distributes a fully integrated range of aluminium curtain walling, door, window and low rise framing products.

3.  You can now follow Technal on Twitter @TechnalUK, on YouTube - www.youtube.com/user/TechnalUK and on Facebook - www.facebook.com/Technal.UK.