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Bury, Lancashire, United Kingdom, 2007/07/23 - Architects TACP faced a significant challenge in designing the North Wales Clinical Training School at Glan Clwyd Hospital for a coastal environment. Guttermaster rainwater systems helped the Architects achieve a visually striking design.
Architects TACP faced significant challenges in designing the North Wales Clinical Training School at Glan Clwyd Hospital. In a coastal environment, subject to strong and gusting winds, heavy rainfall and salt laden air the client was seeking a bold architectural statement. Architectural fabrication specialist Guttermaster were drafted in to make these ideas a reality with elegant, but soundly engineered, fascias, curved verges, concealed gutters and downpipes. Made in high grade recycled aluminium, the rainwater system will naturally resist the extreme weather and require little maintenance other than periodic cleaning.
The North Wales Clinical Training School is a partnership between NHS Trusts in North Wales, the University of Wales in Bangor, North East Wales Institute of Higher Education and Cardiff University. The branch of the North Wales Clinical School at Glan Clwyd Hospital is hosted, and was established as part of a larger capital project, by the Conwy & Denbighshire NHS Trust.
The development is a cornerstone in an initiative to improve medical school recruitment and retention in Wales by extending training from university schools and hospitals into the wider community. On the ground floor the new building houses a 10 bed catheterisation laboratory while the upper floor has dedicated lecture theatres, classrooms, tutorial suites and support facilities.
Architect, Steve Taylor of TACP explained, “We wanted to make a striking architectural statement. The area around the Glan Clwyd Hospital site is predominantly limestone, so dark finished building materials are not acceptable. It was also essential to use materials with natural resilience against the harsh elements and which had low maintenance characteristics. The Guttermaster rainwater products and aerofoil fascias meet this need and are complimented by a raised seam aluminium roof and with Kingspan insulated panels on the walls.”
Guttermaster managing director Mike McKee added, “For decorative reasons, the external surfaces of the downpipes, gutters and fascias are finished in long-life polyester powder coat, but the inner faces are uncoated and therefore exposed to the salt laden air, rainfall and moisture. Aluminium has extreme weather resistance because on exposure to air it acquires a thin oxide layer. This protects the metal from further attack, even in extreme locations such as Glan Clwyd. Aluminium oxide is so tough that it is commonly used in grinding wheels and cutting tools.”
The material also meets the need for sustainability. Because of its long life and low maintenance, the embedded energy used in its production is written off over many decades. Even when buildings are redeveloped, aluminium remains a high-value material that is 100 percent recyclable. The aluminium used at Glan Clwyd was produced from recycled material that requires only five percent of the energy required for the production of virgin material from ore.
Guttermaster produce standard rainwater products in both traditional and modern designs, in addition to bespoke aluminium fabrications. All design and manufacturing processes are subject to meticulous quality assurance procedures. The company works closely with architects, contractors and their clients to provide attractive and durable roof drainage and perimeter design profiles. The Guttermaster products were installed by roofing specialist Ervyk UK and the main contractor was Wynne Construction.