Architect: Maith Design
Main Contractor: RGB Group
Installer: Build-Therm Services
VariAL-H Aluminium Cladding
Winner of Best Refurbishment Project at the RCI Magazine Facade Awards 2021
The original design concept for this 22 storey office tower refurbishment, including 439 contemporary micro apartments, was based upon a construction method that did not work from a programme perspective, thus part of the development was to propose an alternative construction method to achieve the same/similar aesthetics whilst ensuring the project requirements were met. The client understood from the outset, due to the nature of this scheme, that they needed to liaise with the supply chain and design team to ensure they could produce a design that was viable to construct. At this stage the VariAL-H aluminium rainscreen cladding system became a key consideration as it offered a lightweight, flexible, safe and aesthetically-pleasing solution.
Once the project team adopted this approach involving tailored panel shapes and configurations, they engaged the supply chain in project meetings from the design development stage and decided to produce on-site mock-ups, not only to benchmark the façade for the client, but also to trial the design to ensure the process capabilities and confirm that the finished product worked and would meet the design criteria. With minimal design tolerance, this was an invaluable exercise that allowed them to resolve any issues and to adapt the design to accommodate the on-site installation of the façade system leading to several mock-ups being produced before they were satisfied with the results. Furthermore, it allowed the wider supply chain to have their input and ensure that they were happy prior to them commencing the full works.
The Wembley Point project posed difficult questions pre-construction and pre-contract award. Could the project team come up with a system that met budget requirement and aesthetic expectations, but also achieve a challenging programme that allowed the contractor to work “top down” and achieve water tight status floor by floor whilst fitting out internally?
To meet the quality, time constraints and budget we engaged with Build-Therm Services and our wider supply chain from the moment we were invited to tender. In developing a competitive, supply chain led solution, it gave us the confidence to produce a solution which had not previously been offered by the ERS/Architects.
Early engagement allowed us to have critical technical input at design meetings and assist with early design concepts. Innovative design development was an important factor in achieving client satisfaction and special
attention to detail was needed to address the unique aspect of the existing building design, balancing this with the architect’s design intent for the refurbishment.