Hydro Building Systems has opened a new and highly sustainable technical centre for the research, development and testing of its Technal brand of aluminium façade products.
The state-of-the-art facilities have already been used to carry out full-scale testing for Technal
’s latest innovation – the revolutionary MODAL low rise glazing system which was developed in the UK and was the first product to be tested in the new centre.
Located in Toulouse, the 1,600m2 technical centre, which represents an investment of £1.8m, provides workshops for prototyping and assembly, testing laboratories, an electronics laboratory, showroom, equipment rooms, offices, and meeting rooms.
The building is equipped with three test rigs to assess air, wind and water resistance in line with the latest European standards, for windows up to 4m by 4m, and curtain walling
up to 6m by 8m. There is also a unit to carry out mechanical tests for strength and resistance.
The centre was designed to minimise impact on the environment and carbon emissions. Energy consumption is expected to be as low as 45kWh/m2 per year – exceeding Building Regulations requirements by more than 50 per cent. The building’s sustainable features include:
- A green roof to the workshop area for additional insulation
- Heating and ventilation provided using a roof-top system that consumes just 1 kW of energy for every 3.25 kW of heat it produces
- Roof glazing with automatic opening windows to take advantage of night-time ventilation to cool the building during the day
- High levels of natural light, complemented by low energy lighting on two circuits for efficient use and metering
- Technal’s MX Trame Horizontale curtain walling system to the south façade fitted with automatic brise soleil to allow shading to be oriented according to the position of the sun
- Photovoltaic modules integrated into the brise soleil sunshading, providing a total surface area of 34m2 which will generate around 5,000 kW of electricity each year.
Commenting on the new innovation centre, Bob Welsh, General Manager for Technal in the UK, said, “This purpose-designed facility is a superb in-house resource for Technal. As a business, we remain committed to innovation, reinforcing our position as a market leader in façade technology. The new centre will provide a focus for our Europe-wide R&D activities, and our ongoing product development programme.”
“The building showcases our highly successful and ground-breaking Trame Horizontale curtain walling system, as well as new innovations such as photovoltaics integrated with brise soleil sunshading. It is also designed to be highly energy efficient and to reduce carbon emissions. We felt it was important to provide an example of that in practice with our own facilities, as Technal’s curtain walling, window and door products are increasingly being specified for highly sustainable buildings in the UK and across Europe.”
Technal’s MX Trame system delivers the same enhanced thermal efficiency as the other options in the MX curtain walling suite, but allows specifiers to accentuate the vertical or horizontal profiles across a façade using projecting caps. Specially designed flush gaskets soften the corresponding vertical or horizontal sections. It can accommodate 6mm to 32mm glazing as a flat façade and the Horizontale option can be faceted up to 10°.
For further information about Technal’s façade products, including the revolutionary new MODAL low rise modular framing system, call 01924 232323, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.technal.co.uk.