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Vantage Rises to the Challenge in New University Building

The city’s new CBD campus for Waikato University was a triple award winner in the 2019 Bay of Plenty ‘Property People Awards’, including Urban Design category and overall Supreme Excellence Award.

The building was designed by Jasmax and is the centrepiece of a $60m campus development built by Hawkins Construction. The award judges called the new precinct on Durham St “a beautiful, well-crafted campus, that has enormous benefits for the community."

Vantage Windows and Doors manufacturer, Wight Aluminium, used a wide range of commercial systems in the building with the most challenging elements being the several banks of sun control fins in unique trapezoid and quadrilateral shapes.

With the advent of CAD design, architects are able to specify sophisticated geometric shapes with greater ease than in the days of drawing boards. It falls to facade designers and window manufacturers to figure out how to make the required assemblies and hang them from glazed walls without compromising weathertightness.

The aluminium sun fins were conceptualised by Jasmax and designed by Wight. They were mounted on brackets that penetrated two-piece transoms on the Vantage 175mm Structural Glaze suite. Some stiffeners attached to mullions were also used for further support. The construction and powdercoating of the fins took place offsite, and then each was mounted, predominantly in four pieces, on the facade. Careful alignment of the pieces was required to ensure a seamless, continuous fin look. A Wight project manager commented that, “it was the most challenging job I’ve worked on.”

Adding to the complexity were raking, zigzagging mullions in the Structural Glaze suite on the building’s eastern elevation on Durham St. These angled mullions were necessary to align with an array of shaped fins unique to that side of the building where the main entrance is situated.

The campus, though associated formally with the University of Waikato, also caters for local industry and community collaborations, and had as its key funders Tauranga City Council, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Tauranga Energy Consumer Trust.

The windows and doors used in the new building included products from APL Structural Glazed and Flushglaze systems, the 40mm Window Suite, APL Architectural Series, Magnum hinged and autodoors and frameless glass within APL glazing channel. The exterior fins were powdercoated in Dulux Electro Black Ace and the windows and doors in Duratec Metropolis Coal Dust Kinetic. The glazing was all in IGU’s with clear on the south side and thermal or solar control arrangements on the east, west and north.

View more information on VANTAGE Windows & Doors, including contact details.
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