When the MLC Burwood school envisioned a new state-of-the-art Senior Learning Centre, Ronstan Tensile Architecture partner, Locker Webforge, was approached to deliver a second skin façade of perforated aluminium panels attached to tensioned cables. Ronstan was called upon to undertake the structural design and to install the structure. The façade would not only enhance the modern aesthetic of the entire building, but also improve the building’s energy efficiency and sustainability.
The Locker Webforge Atmosphere™ perforated panel façade system offers an energy efficient solution to maintain a comfortable temperature inside, while minimizing the requirement for mechanical ventilation. The panels provide shade inside the building while the perforations maintain the open air feel inside the building. Locker’s Atmosphere™ can reduce the impact of solar energy entering a building by up to 78%, hence reducing the energy consumed by HVAC equipment for comfort control.
Rather than the large, heavy metal sections often used for support, Atmosphere facades are clamped to tensioned Ronstan ACS3 Cables which are strong, cost effective, visually discrete and significantly lighter than traditional steel members. Lightweight tensile cables have very small mass relative to their span, and when properly designed and tensioned can resist deflection and provide stability over tall spans. The tensile cables form a filigree cable net which delicately embrace the façade panels holding them in place. The cable support is lighter, more efficient, of less mass, and reduces the visual impact of the support structure leaving the panels to float ethereally on the façade.
Ronstan’s scope in Atmosphere™ projects includes assisting Locker Webforge with the design of the façade and its supporting cable net, utilizing standard fully-resolved panel to cable clamps, intermediate cable guide connections and anchorages. Cables are marked and clamps applied to the cables at the factory to ensure accurate and consistent set out of panel clamps onto cables before shipping to the job site.
To avoid the cumbersome and time-consuming installation of panels from elevated work platforms and scaffolds, at MLC the panels were fully assembled on the school’s tennis court area. The completed panels were then lifted into position in stacks by a crane and connected to the pre-installed brackets, leading to significantly faster facade installation and reduced site costs.
Ronstan Tensile Architecture is a global leader in tensile cables, please contact us to speak with one of our experienced professionals and learn more about the many benefits and applications of tensile cables in architecture.
All Images © Ben Guthrie, The Guthrie Project