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A factory facade with recycled glass panels

working details

The factory houses the just-in-time production process. Fully automated manufacture takes place on the ground floor with various mezzanine floors - for storage of raw materials - inserted where appropriate within the three-storey volume. The process is linear and this is reflected in the horizontal emphasis of the south facade (in contrast to the adjacent silo building, where the process is gravity-fed and the facade has a correspondingly vertical emphasis).

The south facade is fully glazed at ground-floor level to give workers views of the rural landscape; it incorporates glazed doors which lead out to a terrace. Above this, the facade is clad with a series of three 'saw-tooth' bands of solid purple panels alternating with a row of glazed units - an arrangement which brings light into the workplace while concealing the complex array of equipment floors.

The double-glazed units have opening lights that are operated electronically.

The purple panels - Sto's Verotec - are of recycled blown-glass granules, here coated with StoLook Metallic paint. Each panel is formed from separate sheets of Verotec, bonded with adhesive to create a long triangular prism shape. The panels are fixed to canted steel frames so that their external faces are vertical; set one above the other, they create the threedimensional saw-tooth sequence on the facade.

The panels are lined with steel cassettes filled with mineral fibre insulation; the inside faces are painted grey and act as the internal wall finish. The cassettes are fixed back to the canted steel frames, formed of 160 x 80mm RHS members welded together and fixed to four horizontal 159mm-diameter CHSs. These in turn are connected by curved steel brackets to the main structural columns - 450 x 450mm UCs set at 6m centres.

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