In this week's cladding special, we zoom in on the amazing floating atrium at Tower Place in London, Leeds' wibbly-wobbly car park, and high-tech curtain walling in Manchester
Fixings to match cladding surrounds
Fastener maker Ejot Ecofast has launched its FR range of stainless steel fixings for attaching metal cladding to steel, aluminium or timber, and screws for stitching metal sheets together. The fixings are available in any BS or RAL powdercoat colour to match the hue of the cladding panels. A special drive socket is also available to hold the fastener in position during fixing.
Ejot Ecofast 305

Easy way to etch glass
CPFilms is launching an alternative to traditional acid etching for those who want patterns or corporate logos put into glass. Called Llumar acid etch window film, the product is cut by computer and stuck to the glass. The company says this makes the glass easier to clean – and the film can be removed if the logo changes.
CPFilms 306

Wood-effect cement sidings
James Hardie Industries has introduced a cement-based siding called HardiPlank into the UK. Suitable for recreating the New England weatherboard look, the product is said to resemble painted wood without the rot and maintenance problems. The product is available in a choice of profiles and textures ready primed and sealed for painting. A range of products called HardiTrim has also been introduced, these consist of facias and trims for the corner of buildings and around windows.
James Hardie Industries 307

Self-repair cladding finish
Rheinzink, makers of sheet metal cladding material made from an alloy of zinc, copper and titanium, has introduced a new finish to the range. It is a pre-weathered, graphite-grey colour that complements the existing bright zinc and pre-weathered blue grey. The company says the finish is a genuine patina – which can repair itself in the event of surface damage – rather than a coating. It is available in 0.70 mm and 1.2 mm thick rolls for cladding and roofs. A range of preformed components is also available.
Rheinzink 310

A louvre that weathers naturally
Merlin Sunscreening Systems has added a composite timber and aluminium louvre to its range of brises-soleil and sunscreening systems. It consists of an aluminium nosing, centre core and trailing profile edge and has Western Red Cedar panels in the middle of the louvre that will weather naturally to a silver-grey colour. It is available in widths up to 600 mm.
Merlin Sunscreening Systems 311

Curtain walling and glazing with holes
Wright Style has launched a curtain walling and roof glazing system called Davex. It has steel profiles that are perforated for decorative effect. Each profile is made from three components; the central part has laser-cut perforations made in it prior to assembly. The company says virtually any design can be cut. The profiles have a standard face width of 60 mm or more and the system uses the company's SC series glazing adaptor and gasket, plus pressure plates and capping options from the SR curtain walling system.
Wright Style 312

Invisible bonding tape for all materials
Sealant and adhesives maker Dow Corning has launched a range of four bonding tapes for fixing cladding systems and securing stiffeners and mounting bars. The company says the tapes improve stress distribution over cladding panels and are easy to apply on site. The AB963 tape fixes plastic materials that have high expansion and contraction characteristics; the AB964 is suitable for transparent materials; AB965 bonds metal, anodised aluminium and wood; and AB966 is suitable for powder-coated aluminium. According to the maker, the tapes can tolerate differential movement of up to three times their own thickness.
Dow Corning 320

Four elements reflected in cladding
Eternit Building Materials products have been used to help pep up the exterior of a defunct 1970s incinerator in Huddersfield. It is now used as a waste-transfer station to recycle rubbish, with the leftovers burned to generate electricity. The power-generating part of the project has four architectural elements, including boiler and turbine halls. The architect Butterworth Architecture wanted to express these four elements by using contrasting cladding materials. Three cladding products in a range of colours were used to this end, including Eternit's Glasal fibre cement cladding, Plannja sheeting and the Kalwall cladding system.
Eternit Building Materials 321

Twin-leaf walls for Guernsey office
Halfen's specialised fixings were used extensively to help construct the complex walls of an office building in Guernsey. It has twin-leaf block walls that were employed to provide a watertight envelope quickly, these are overclad with 40 mm thick polished granite cladding. Halfen specially fabricated brackets to support the middle leaf of the blockwork and the company's SUK Z21 substructure system was used to support the outer granite leaf. This allows the cladding to be adjusted in all directions.
Halfen 322

What’s the spec?

Sensitive design was particularly important for this Foster and Partners-designed office building as it is situated next door to the Tower of London. Transparency was particularly important to soften the development’s impact so it has a 68 m long glass wall rising 25 m to front a triangular atrium linking the two buildings containing the offices. A key design requirement was that the supports for the glass wall should be as invisible as possible – quite a challenge, as the wall floats 3 m above the pavement to enable pedestrians to pass underneath. It is made up from glass panels that are suspended by cables from the roof. Glass tubes tie it back to the columns supporting the roof and stop the wall swinging when the wind blows. The tubes, each of which restrains 50 m2 of glass, are made from bora-silicate, a glass normally used for transporting corrosive chemicals. Each is made from two layers of this material bonded together – the inner tube is structural and the outer protective. Because glass is weak in tension, the tubes are pre-compressed using an internal cable. When the wind tugs on the facade and puts tensile forces on the tubes, the pre-compression means they do not go into tension and break.

Project team
client Marsh and McLennan Companies
developer Tishman Speyer Properties
architect Foster and Partners
contractor Mace
engineer Arup
atrium cladding contractor Waagner Biro

Information point

Fire performance briefing
The Association of British Insurers has produced a technical briefing called Fire Performance of Sandwich Panel Systems. Based on research carried out by BRE, it is aimed at the insurance industry but will also be useful to building specifiers and building occupiers working in the food and cold storage industry.
It provides a risk assessment approach and covers issues including fire safety management, compartmentalisation, panel system construction, combustibility, and the fire performance of the panel core material.
Association of British Insurers 313

Spacer support system brochure
Ash & Lacy Building Systems has produced a guide for the specification and installation of spacer support systems for built-up metal roofing and cladding systems. The Ashgrid brochure provides information on a range of roof and wall applications as well as advice on firewall solutions and system stability. The brochure contains the latest edition of the Ashgrid U-value calculator on CD-ROM. Ash & Lacy has also published a guide to the specification of the Ashfix range of fasteners and accessories for metal roofing and cladding applications. The brochure includes all the new product codes for Ashfix components.
Ash & Lacy 314

Guide to integrated facades
A guide to EDM Spanwall’s latest integrated facade engineering products is now available.
The publication, Facing the Future, provides manufacturing and specification details for the firm’s stacking and demountable architectural wall cladding systems and materials. A technical handbook covering the company’s metal products for facade fabrications will also soon be available.
EDM Spanwall 315

Glazing sealants guidance
Tremco has produced Architectural Glazing Guidelines, which is an updated guide to sealing architectural glazing. It details the products required for weather-sealing types of architectural glazing system such as curtain walling, stick system curtain walling, sloped glazing, patent glazing and all kinds of windows. The 20-page guide includes cutaway diagrams and specification checklists, and explains the function of Tremco’s range of gaskets, tapes and sealants.
Tremco 316

Euroclad’s CD-ROM
Euroclad has produced a CD-ROM entitled Access All Areas, which gives details of all its products. The CD-ROM includes reference material on the firm’s fireproof composite cladding system, standing-seam and secret-fix roofing systems, facade systems, profiles, fabrications and flashings. There is even a video tour of the company.
Euroclad 317

Woodstain colour range brochure
Akzo Nobel Woodcare has published a guide to its Sadolin Superdec opaque exterior wood protection. The brochure gives examples of specific projects and contains a guide to its range of woodstain colours.
Akzo Nobel Woodcare 318