European universities featuring systems by ALUPROF

They contribute to scientific and economic development, they are the scene of important research and discussions and they attract young people, who drive cultural life and take part in a multitude of social initiatives. What are ‘they’? Universities! Symbolic places, which also serve as flagships for the cities they are situated in. This means that their buildings have to be showpieces and one way of ensuring that is by using solutions from Polish company ALUPROF S.A., a European leader in the aluminium joinery sector.

Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Silesia

The faculty is housed in a tower that soars eighty-four metres above the southern Polish city of Sosnowiec. Known colloquially as the ‘Żyleta’ (razor blade), it is the highest building not only in town, but also in the entire Dąbrowa Basin. Construction work on it began in the nineteen seventies and continued until 1981. It was handed over to the faculty a year later. In 2007, it underwent radical modernisation in line with a design by architect Ireneusz Chrenkoff.

The purpose of the work was to improve both the appearance of the building, a flagship of the University of Silesia, and the region, and its energy efficiency. One of the things this entailed was changing the old, dilapidated elevation and replacing it with a modern solution. ALUPROF’s MB-SR50N mullion and transom system, designed for the construction of aesthetic facades with slender dividing lines, was used. The system also makes it possible for the profiles to be set flush on the inside. In addition, it uses a continuous, HPVC thermal break and profiled, EPDM seals for the glazing, providing high thermal insulation parameters.

The faculty building features two more ALUPROF window and door systems, the MB-60, which provide both a low heat-transfer coefficient and excellent acoustic parameters, and the MB-45, without thermal insulation. It is worth emphasising that the two solutions are connected by the use of compatible elements and their almost identical appearance, which offers enormous flexibility during the construction process. The company’s MB-78EI, EI90-rated system for building fire compartments with doors was used to enhance the facility’s safety. The solution is based on aluminium profiles which offer a low heat-transfer coefficient and are fitted with thermal breaks and special GKF and CI fire insulation components.

Environmental Building, University of York

Awakening associations with minimalism, this building, which is home to several departments and research groups, was designed to facilitate teamwork between scientists and environmental and social activists, as well as teaching.

The development, worth GBP 12.5 million, was handed over in 2015. It forms a composition with the blossoming meadows, trees and pond that surround it. The decision to cover part of the façade with plants was made by the designers, Bond Bryan Architects Ltd., who created an exterior look featuring a contemporary juxtaposition of glass and aluminium which was brought to life thanks to ALUPROF’s MB-SR50N system.

The Environmental Building also includes the company’s MB-70 thermally insulated window and door system, which provides profiles for triple glazing and specially constructed profiles for the sash or leaf sections and frames, providing the effect of a uniform plane when the windows and doors are closed. The MB-70 is also distinctive for its exceptionally low heat-transfer coefficient, which contributes to the energy efficiency of a building that was created with the environment in mind.

ALUPROF. Much appreciated in the British Isles

The two buildings discussed briefly here are by no means the only university facilities to feature ALUPROF’s state-of-the-art, environmentally friendly systems. The company’s solutions are also part of other important points on Europe’s academic map. In Britain, they include De Montfort University in Leicester, the MRC-University of Glasgow Centre for Virus Research and Queen’s University Belfast.