University of Bedfordshire

Luton, Bedfordshire
University of Bedfordshire
Moses Cameron Williams Architects
Willmott Dixon
Quantity Surveyor
Davis Langdon LLP
Education and Public Sector

Project Scope

  • Secondary steelwork
  • Curtain walling
  • Bespoke extrusions
  • Timber curtain walling
  • Main entrance including revolving doors
  • Rooflights
  • Fire-rated glazing

The completion of the new library is a vital aspect of the University’s development programme, bringing an aspirational working environment to the town centre campus.

Key Challenges

  • Extremely challenging and tight site with party wall considerations and the building the footprint of the site
  • Large span, triple glazed architectural glazing
  • Complex weathering lines and detailing at pre-cast concrete interfacing
  • Double height, unsupported timber curtain walling

The Brief

Engaged by Willmott Dixon once the project was already secured by them and at Stage E, Colorminium’s brief was to work closely with other key trades to carry out the detailed design, manufacture and delivery of the façade scheme. A very tight budget and a relatively highly specified scheme dictated the material and system choice, leaving the care of the methodology and delivery in our hands.

Our Approach

A concrete frame building with columns and slab lines clad in pre-cast concrete panels created a modular façade pattern with individual curtain wall screens framed by the pre-cast. A proprietary stick system curtain wall was used with the weathering lines and membranes running behind the pre-cast and back to the structure. Party wall elements are fire-rated and a system with matching sight-lines was used to ensure continuity of framing.

The north and south ends of the building are continuous screens with no pre-cast so a secondary steel frame was utilised as the supporting structure. Glazed into the screens in these locations are triple glazed units with integral stainless steel mesh to give a level of obscurity and architectural feature. Large spans have made this a challenging design.

Other areas of work include timber curtain walling to the ground floor double height space with integral main entrance and revolving doors, plant enclosures and louvres screens to the roof level and areas of cladding and architectural metalwork.

The Result

Completed in time for opening in September 2016, the brand new facility marks the University’s desires and aspirations for the future.