No.1 Spinningfields’ high performance triple glazed façade creates an exceptional internal working environment and was key to the building achieving its BREEAM Excellent rating.
The aspiration and challenge was to create a fully glazed façade which would provide maximum access to daylight and views out for the occupants without compromising on the energy performance. This was achieved with the design of a high-performing triple glazed façade: practical, sustainable, and beautiful.
The concept design was modelled and tested within its context using sustainable design analysis software. The results provided an understanding of the glass performance criteria and allowed us to develop a facade which is site specific and responds to orientation. The evolution of the façade design shows how the use of sustainable software can inform and benefit the design process at an early stage.
Our initial modelling studies demonstrate how the solar exposure analysis was used to inform the selection of solar control coatings and density of ceramic fritting to provide shading. The main principle behind the solar coating is to reflect most of the long-wave solar radiation (lower g value) while transmitting as much short-wave radiation (daylight) as possible (higher tL value). Therefore most of the heat remains outside, but daylight can enter. The selection of coatings responds to orientation; the north elevation has a reduced solar gain and a coating with a higher g –value, whereas the south elevation has an increased solar gain and a coating with a lower g-value.
The degree of opacity is dependent upon the percentage of fritting applied to the glass which controls the level of shading and subsequent reduction in heat gain. The level of opacity responds to orientation; the south elevation employs 50% fritted panels, the east & west 33% and the north remains clear. This reduces overheating, cooling costs and saves heating energy.
The resulting façade design uses the latest glazing technology of insulated triple glazing. The façade composition changes to reflect its position and shading effects, meeting site specific needs by varying glazing performance to allow the best possible access to views out and daylight. A total of 23 glazing types with individual solar coatings and fritting control the solar radiation and light transmission for each elevation, decreasing the use of artificial lighting.
Aesthetically the subtle differentiation in the solar coating colour and reflectivity is complimented through the choice of a grey or blue ceramic frit. This provides a degree of identity to the individual facades of the building and a clarity to the reading of the form. Importantly, the appearance of the façade reveals its environmental response to a specific site and context which could not be anywhere else.
About the Project
Our brief was for a sustainable landmark office building with spacious and flexible floorplates to mark the success and culmination of the Spinningfields Masterplan, Manchester’s thriving office-led, mixed-use district.
No.1 Spinningfields’ varied and fully accessible offer includes Category A office, retail and restaurant accommodation across 19 storeys. A mix of expansive floor plates at lower levels and smaller, easily subdivided floorplates on the upper levels, serve different commercial markets. It boasts Manchester’s highest restaurant, 20 Stories, with a double-height terrace and panoramic city views, and ground floor retail uses. Its reputation as a new world-class commercial destination has attracted high-calibre tenants including professional services firm PwC and M&S Foodhall, and drawn shared workspace provider WeWork and restaurant operators D&D from London to the North West for the first time.
No.1 Spinningfields is one of a cluster of tall buildings that acts as a group landmark. Principally made up of interlocking “podium” and “tower” components, it addresses and relates to the surrounding conservation areas, historic and listed buildings, contemporary buildings, views and vistas. Dramatic cantilevers visually extend the podium and the tower, framing views and terminating vistas, announcing and protecting active street frontages and entrances, and providing architectural emphasis to important street corners. These devices also provide greater visual and pedestrian permeability between Spinningfields and surrounding areas, maintaining Hardman Square as a lively public space.
The high performing façade was key to the building achieving its BREEAM Excellent rating, a rare achievement for a fully-glazed building. A triple-glazed, unitised system maximises views out and permits high internal light levels that reduce the reliance on artificial light sources. Informed by solar radiation analysis, the facades incorporate different solar coatings and ceramic fritting in response to orientation to reduce overheating and maximise natural light transmission, creating an optimum working environment and a visually powerful envelope.
Article courtesy of SimpsonHaugh