Air services provider dnata has opened a new £30m high bay facility at Manchester Airport to help its expanding cargo handling business in the UK. Designed by architects RPS, the 13,500 sqm BREEAM-rated building includes an innovative mix of flexible Grade A office accommodation, workspaces and meeting facilities along with a dedicated gym and fitness centre.
For part of the scheme, the architects specified Kalwall® translucent cladding to provide natural daylighting for the offices and gym. This building’s tall ceiling space required the 100mm self-supporting Kalwall panels to span freely across 4.8m x 2.8m apertures. While it is unusual to have such a tall span with no support, the inherent strength of Kalwall in a lightweight frame meant it could be achieved and add to the overall aesthetic appeal of the design. Furthermore, the integration of higher density insulation within the Kalwall panels means they are achieving an impressive U-value of 0.83 W/m²K – half that of traditional double glazing. Kalwall panels can achieve a U-value of up to 0.28 W/m²K for the most demanding of applications. This reduces the reliance on HVAC systems and artificial lighting.
Kalwall was also specified because it offers complete line-of-sight protection, maintaining privacy for people in their offices and others in the fitness studios and gym, a particular importance as its located adjacent to the main entrance and car park servicing the building. It throws diffused daylighting deep into the interior space regardless of the weather and helps combat problems of hot spots and solar gain. The cladding throws an even balance of light through the interior space, eliminating stark contrasts of light and shade. This makes it safer for occupants, is more restful on the eye and prevents computer screen glare and other issues, providing a comfortable, useable space throughout the year
The exterior face is colour stable and includes a UV resistant, self-cleaning surface. This means that normal rainfall helps to keep the surface free of dust and dirt while at the same time retaining the original colour during the weathering process.
Kalwall, exclusively available in the UK and Ireland from Structura UK, is a popular choice for all types of building around the world. In the UK, it has also been used for several airport projects including Heathrow, Gatwick and Glasgow. The cladding’s inherent strength and heavy duty impact resistance make it ideal for secure locations. Options such as explosion venting and blast resistance can also be incorporated as required.
Case studies and technical information are available from Structura UK Ltd on tel: 01233 501 504 or by visiting www.structura-uk.com/kalwall