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Business school, Anglia Polytechnic University Wilkinson Eyre Architects

working details: A south-facing glass double wall

The five-storey teaching block contains lecture and seminar rooms with the top floor a flexible space for meetings and exhibitions.

It has a steel frame structure supporting TermoDeck hollow-core precast concrete planks with structural topping.

The south facade is a 'bio-climatic'double wall; an inner and outer skin of glass set 1,200mm apart with motorised sunshade louvres and maintenance walkways in the space between them.

The all-glass facade gives views and allows rooms to be lit with natural light as far as possible, reducing the need for artificial light.

In winter the double skin reduces heat loss; in summer solar gain is reduced by activating the sunshade louvres and by using the gap between the glass walls as an open flue, controlled by means of motorised glass louvres at the head of the wall, connected to the BMS.

The outer wall is of frameless 15mm toughened glass panels connected with structural bolts to paired steel mullions which run at 3m centres.The mullions also support T-shaped brackets on which the aluminium grille walkways rest.The extruded aluminium sunshade louvres hang from vertical rods which are suspended from the T-shaped brackets.The inner wall is a double-glazed aluminium-framed curtain wall.The walkways are reached by glazed access doors in the curtain wall.

The top floor is set back on the south side to form a terrace; the steel UB structure rises above the double wall to frame the terrace and support a series of overhead sunshade louvres.The top of the double wall is capped with a glass lid which acts as a balustrade to the terrace.

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