Technal curtain walling has been installed at The Shield, a high-end student accommodation development close to Newcastle upon Tyne city centre on Stoddart Street. Technal is a part of the Hydro Group, a world leader in the building systems sector.

 The £18.4m development is located in the east side of Newcastle city centre, a regeneration site previously occupied by light industrial buildings, a brick-built office and a warehouse.

Comprising three blocks of student accommodation extending to seven storeys at Stoddart Street to the East, the scheme steps down to four storeys at Clarence Street to the West.

Designed by Newcastle-based xsitearchitecture, and developed and constructed by BAM, the building features a refined palette of external materials to animate the façade. These include brick, aluminium, bronze coloured cladding and standing seam, in a range of natural colours.

Punctuating the visual mass of the three blocks, Technal’s FY Visible 65mm windows make a significant aesthetic impact. Installed in a vertical configuration to contrast with the cladding’s horizontal line, side hung open out windows were mainly used across the project, with some top hung open out vents also featured – all fitted with stylish standard Technal-exclusive hardware including locking handles and releasable restrictors.

To achieve optimum U-value in this instance, approximately 70% of the windows on the building included spandrel glass, a ceramic toughened glass with foil-backed insulation to surface 4 of the unit. Each configuration was carefully designed to avoid disrupting outward views.

At ground floor level to ensure maximum security, any fixed light or fixed light with vent windows had to be Secured by Design and, as a result, were fitted with security clips. Also, due to their size, some corner windows high up on the building used reinforced mullions.

Explaining why Technal’s FY 65 aluminium window is such a popular choice for student living projects like this, National Specification Manager at Technal, Mark Hargreaves, said: “This is one of Technal’s leading window ranges and offers exceptional security, thermal, acoustic and weather performance. Available in two distinct styles, visible opening and concealed vent, as along with numerous configurations, the range ensures visually consistent window types across a single building.

“Each system provides outstanding thermal performance for example, a 24mm double glazed unit with a typical window size of 1.25m x 1.48m can achieve Uw values as low as 1.3w/m2K.”

Technal’s MX Visible Grid curtain walling system was also specified for this project for its durability and design flexibility. Featured mainly to enhance daylighting in communal spaces, MX Visible Grid has been installed at ground floor level alongside Technal’s PY 55 doors, and at height alongside the FY 65 windows – visually zig zagging on alternate floors to add interest.

The PY 55 doors were specified for their exceptional level of quality and are ideal for high traffic applications, helping to provide excellent security for busy buildings like this one. All of the systems have been finished in a contrasting black powder coating.

One of the reasons the products were used is that they not only create a stunning façade, but are also energy efficient, and met the low U values required of the building. Technal’s products are always specified due to their high quality – the FY 65 windows have zero snags, which is a testament to the robustness of the system.

In walking distance of Northumbria University’s City Campus East and the main Newcastle University Campus, the new accommodation offers a mix of self-contained studio flats and en-suite bedrooms with shared kitchens, housing up to 400 students.