We were interested to read the excellent article on cladding and curtain walling by Mary Whittaker in AJ Focus (October 2001). Your readers may be interested to learn that Guilform manufactured the large 5 x 2m panels used on the Global Switch project.
As a bespoke metal cladding manufacturer, we produce specialised panels and systems on a project basis. Our experience is, therefore, different from Kingspan, which reports that this is a limited market.
The unitised system has many advantages: the lettable area is substantially increased due to the reduced thickness of the wall. The completion time of the project is shortened, much of the construction being undertaken in the factory on an assembly line, and not on site.
Additionally, in the case of the Global Switch, as the building occupied the entire site footprint, no scaffold was used.
With the unitised elements craned off the delivery lorry into position, no storage or scaffolding is required.
We feel that there are many advantages and cost savings notwithstanding the increased cost of panels. The system does not require advanced planning and coordination.We would be glad to supply information to any architect or contractor considering the system.
Simon Hay, Guilform, St Albans