Senior sporting a new look

Working up a sweat in York St. John University’s new state of the art sports centre is set to be a more comfortable experience thanks to a range of thermally-efficient fenestration from Senior Architectural Systems.

Designed to provide exceptional energy efficiency, Senior’s SF52 aluminium curtain walling system was the ideal choice for architects Watson Batty and main contractor Triton Construction.  To further ensure a pleasant interior environment that reduces the reliance on mechanical heating and cooling systems,  fabricator Aire Valley Architectural Systems also installed Senior’s thermally broken SPW600e aluminium windows and SPW501 aluminium doors.



The attractive slim sightlines of Senior’s SF52 curtain walling has also helped to maximise the sense of light and space and has been used to create a welcoming entrance to the new two-storey building.

The new sports centre, which is part of York St John University’s School of Sport, comprises an indoor sports court, gym facilities, changing room and also creative learning spaces for students.

New 6000 alloy from Constillium

Constellium has introduced a new high-strength 6000-series aluminium alloy. Christened Constellium HSA6, the alloy is aimed at serving the growing market for lightweight aluminium alloys within the automotive manufacturing sector.

Constellium HSA6 is designed for extrusion-based crash management systems, body-in-white structural components, and battery enclosures. The alloy is more malleable while retaining tensile strength, making shaping the alloy into desired configurations easier than with previous alloys. Additionally, this new alloy is between 15 and 30 percent lighter than its predecessors, translating into even greater weight savings than with other already light aluminium alloys.

“With Constellium HSA6, we are able to offer automakers a family of the highest strength 6000-series aluminium alloys available on the market for extruded automotive components,” explained Constellium’s Martin Jarrett.
Although the alloy has only just been released, it has already been slated to be used in the next model year of the MINI Countryman.

BCAST joins Aluminium Federation

The Aluminium Federation has welcomed its latest member, BCAST.

BCAST is an academic research centre on the campus of Brunel University, focusing on the solidification of metallic materials. Established in 2002, it is one of the world’s strongest solidification research groups, now comprising over 70 academics, research fellows, postgraduate researchers, technicians and administrative staff.

“We have had contact with BCAST since its launch, and joining ALFED guarantees an even closer working relationship in future,” said Aluminium Federation President Giles Ashmead. “Casting in aluminium is a rapidly developing area, and ALFED members such as Innoval Technology, Constellium and JLR are already working with BCAST.”


BCAST’s Professor Geoff Scamans said: “The Aluminium Federation is interested in novel technology that has the potential to make a step change in the casting of aluminium alloys, and their ability to be processed into high-performance castings and wrought products – particularly if this can be achieved with recycled metal.

“The melt conditioning technology developed by BCAST has major potential for exploitation by the UK aluminium industry to provide closed-loop recycled, high-performance, low-cost castings, extrusions and sheet for applications such as lightweight automotive bodies. There is a natural synergy between the interests of ALFED and the technological advances made by BCAST, making it highly appropriate that BCAST should become members of ALFED.”

Windows that make the grade

Senior Architectural Systems’ innovative PURe range of aluminium windows has been specified for use on several new projects in the student accommodation sector.

One of the largest contracts to feature Senior’s windows is The Courtyard scheme at the University of Hull (left).  Comprising five separate blocks based around two central courtyards, the development has been designed by GSS Architecture and offers a range of facilities in addition to high-specification student accommodation. The extensive fenestration package also features Senior’s thermally efficient SF52 aluminium curtain walling.


Further projects in this sector include two new student residences in Sheffield. The new Sharman Court scheme offers students high-specification accommodation, featuring Senior’s PURe aluminium windows for architects Kelsey Design Associates.

Also in Sheffield, The Printworks (left) is another great example of purpose-built modern student living. Designed by Axis Architecture, PURe windows and SCW curtain walling have been installed throughout the six-storey building for developers Noble Design & Build.

As well as offering slim sightlines to create bright and airy interiors, aluminium significantly outperforms other types of framing material in terms of its durability to provide a low-maintenance solution that is both safe and secure.

Lotus bought by Geely

Chinese vehicle maker Geely has announced its purchase of Proton Cars – including a 51% stake in Lotus Cars.

This underpins the development of future Lotus models – including the planned ‘new Elise’ (concept impression below), due in 2010.

All current Lotus models use a varient of Lotus’ aluminium ‘tub’ chassis, made mainly from extrusions. The new 2020 model is believed  to use similar construction.



Senior brings light and space to new Cambridge school the first new secondary school to be built in Cambridge for 40 years, the recently completed Trumpington Community College has been given a bright and modern design that features aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling systems from Senior Architectural Systems.

Designed by Avanti Architects, the new school has been based on the Danish school models, which encourages large open plan and unstructured teaching areas and as such, boasts a light and spacious interior that has been accentuated by the extensive use of aluminium fenestration systems across all elevations.

Positioned around a central atrium that maximises the flow of natural light, the L shaped building features Senior’s thermally efficient SCW+ and SF52 curtain walling, SPW 300 aluminium tilt and turn windows and SPW501 aluminium commercial doors that are ideally suited for high traffic environments such as schools.  In keeping with the school’s sustainable design criteria, Senior’s thermally efficient SF52 structural silicone glazed curtain walling system has been installed to the entrances to the school and sports centre building and along the elevation that houses the kitchen and dining areas.

All Senior’s products have been fabricated and installed by Soundcraft Doors & Windows for main contractor Morgan Sindall.


Lighter Cat announced

Jaguar has announced its first 4-cylinder F-Type variant. The new model, which weighs 52kg less than a V6 F-Type, is powered by an aluminium Ingenium petrol engine.

Process improvements at Boal

Leading aluminium extruder Boal UK has announced significant investment to improve its processes.

“These changes are all about quality improvement, optimisation and the continuation of supply,” said Group Operations Director Tony Dingley.“Our largest press (9”/3250 Tonne) has undergone a number of renovations, which are now complete.

“We have had a full re-build on our log oven, which is used to heat aluminium logs before they are cut into billet length and pressed into extrusions. It’s important that we not only heat the logs but get a full heavy soak before we press them. This enables consistent dimensions and ageing properties.

“Other improvements include the pressure ring/die slides and rails, as well as a new container side cylinder and ‘C’ plate. This increases our ability to align the press, assisting us in getting dies run correctly first time. Refurbishment of the cooling tables has also helped to improve the handling of the profiles prior to aging. And finally, we have tuned the press, optimising the extrusion process.
On our largest press we run an isothermic control and monitored system, which maintains exit temperature by adapting to each extrusion. BOAL Extrusion in the UK produces over 24,000 tonnes each year, and we are excited about how these changes will streamline our processes for our customers in the months ahead.”

Creative facade for student flats

Powdertech Corby has used high quality powder coatings by Tiger Drylac to produce a striking colour contrast for the facade elements of Chapter Lewisham, award-winning modular-construct student accommodation in Lewisham.

The building is an integral part of Lewisham Council’s town centre regeneration plan.  Architects were asked to design accommodation using 636 modular prefabricated units and to enhance the uninspiring existing ‘streetscape’ of high rise developments. An entrance canopy and large windows were introduced to open up the accommodation block by giving a colonnade effect. Panels in shades of yellow were added either side of the windows, achieving a bright facade, distinguishing the accommodation from the dull frontage of some of the surrounding buildings.

In order to retain a fresh new appearance for many years, these architectural design elements needed to be coated in a finish with excellent durability and requiring minimal maintenance. Powdertech Corby coated soffits, sills, jambs and head sections for the modular build using pearlescent grey (RAL 7048) for the main sections. and a combination of three yellow shades (RAL 1016,1018&1023) for the window panels. The high quality architectural powders from Tiger Drylac have excellent weathering properties and colour retention. E-architect, the global architecture website, has described Chapter Lewisham as one of the largest and creative modern student a buildings to date.