Tag Archives: Curtain walling

Head Office Façade Design Considerations

Original Structure

Works commencing at Clear Line Head Office 30 June 2015.

Works commencing at Clear Line Head Office 30 June 2015.

The two-story building was constructed in the 1960’s. It is composed of a steel framework, concrete floor slabs, a timber flat roof with asphalt coating, and brickwork to corners and gable-ends. The windows are constructed from non-thermally broken aluminium profiles with single glazing. This has resulted in great thermal loss, along with draughts around the vents where the seals have perished over time. Some years ago, in an attempt to combat this thermal inefficiency, a solar reflective vinyl film has been applied to the glass, but this is now badly scratched and degraded.

Aesthetically, there are unsightly air-conditioning units in front of the building and in general, the structural integrity will benefit from refurbishment.

Panoramic view of front façade works at Clear Line Head Office.

Panoramic view of front façade works at Clear Line Head Office.

Design Considerations

In order to bring the building into the 21st century, we arrived at an aesthetically pleasing design that that would be thermally efficient and economical. The front elevation will incorporate SG curtain walling with full-height electrically operated parallel opening vents.

Sequential removal and replacement of the curtain walling would also need to take into account the fact that the offices are still in use during the works.

High-performance Glass

The high-performance glass is partially tinted and reflective and will create a pure glass effect. It is anticipated that the façade glazing will achieve an overall U-value of less than 1.6 W/m2K.

Clear Line will be documenting the works’ progress over the coming months with weekly updates, challenges and images. 

Clear Line Awarded Commendation for Excellence in Design and Innovation


glazing system

Completed gable end glazing view from Liverpool road at Business Design Centre, London

Clear Line has been recognised at the Schueco Excellence Awards for Design and Innovation 2015 for its installation of Schueco systems at the Business Design Centre in Islington, London.

Schueco crafts sustainable building envelopes that offer the best in design, comfort and security, operating in over 78 countries worldwide to create structures that are innovative and unique. In collaboration with RIBA Journal, the company rewards excellence across the varied spectrum of façade design and installation.

completed glazed gable end

The completed glazed gable end of the Business Design Centre. London

Clear Line and Business Design Centre

Clear Line received a Commendation in the Specialist Contractor category for its work on Islington’s Business Design Centre. Originally the Royal Agricultural Hall, the Grade II listed building was erected in 1860, and this posed challenges for both design and installation. The delicate logistics of introducing glazing to the structure’s gable ends while it remained fully operational were carefully planned and executed, and in terms of sustainability, 75% of materials removed from the original façade were recycled.

gable end glazing

The gable end glazing that has replaced the GRP steel

Surmounted Challenges

Given that the gable ends were in the main building, and that the adjacent roof was incapable of supporting heavy loads, access was the main concern. This was until architect Simon Powell came up with the idea of creating large scaffold support “brackets” cantilevered from the existing structural columns. The brackets were subsequently left in place; supporting the gantry walkways and being retained for possible future use.

It was important for the client that the centre remained in full operation while works were completed. Our project team worked closely with the centre management to ensure that the disruption of the works had minimal impact on the centre’s daily operations and client requirements.

For further information on the project please see our Portfolio page.