Fully flexible window service makes ASWS the perfect fit for façade adaptation

Metal window specialist, ASWS, answered a call from a long-time main contractor when it was faced with a seemingly insoluble challenge while undertaking a contract on an advanced engineering facility.

More often tasked with restoring heritage items in Listed buildings, ASWS responded immediately when contacted during the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2021. This led to a site meeting with the architects and main contractor in order to assess how a new opening could be created in an existing aluminium curtain wall.

Kris Bennell, Director for ASWS, explains the quandary faced by the project team, “There was a requirement for a large storey height section of the curtain wall to be removed at first floor level in order to create a new ‘goods in’ opening, so that large items of machinery and other large pieces of equipment could be lifted into the building, after the works were complete.  There were, however, no standard doors available in the required size and mainstream curtain wall contractors just don’t offer a wide enough skillset to undertake all the necessary fabrications and adaptations.  It was our unique service offering – giving the client a single source of responsibility – which won us the job. This project stands in sharp contrast to a lot of the listed building and other work we carry out.”

Following lengthy design work, along with health and safety assessments, work eventually started in early 2022 using specialist equipment including a URW-1006 spider crane, fitted with 45-degree articulating arm and a glass vacuum lifting device for the removal of the existing curtain wall.

Kris Bennell continues, “Once removed we were able to measure, design and install a steel goalpost frame for the new doors to sit in – as the doors were not a curtain wall section, they could not be fitted within the existing curtain wall system. We then installed new curtain wall panels between the double doors, over the three floors.  We were also asked to design a flashing panel to clad the gaps between the new doors, within the steel goalpost, and the curtain wall.”

The Project Architect commented, “This was an unusual situation in terms of the alterations required to a contemporary curtain wall system and I think the main contractor was keen to have one specialist company take responsibility for the whole operation.  I was involved with assessing the special detail which ASWS devised to complete the reinstallation of the cladding, and we are pleased with the way the changes were achieved.”

ASWS has a long track record of working with building owners, as well as leading contractors and consultants on conservation projects across the country. Often progressing from being called upon to carry out condition surveys – which are used for obtaining planning permission or listed building consent – before being chosen to carry out repair and replica refurbishment work. Its capabilities include repairing and realigning old frames as well as conserving ironmongery and upgrading energy performance by installing new draught-stripping and slimline sealed units.