Cambridge University Installs Walk-On Glazing Solution


The world renowned, Cambridge University, which was established in 1209 and is the second oldest University in the English speaking world, has unveiled its new Civil Engineering Faculty; an architectural masterpiece which features glazing solutions from renowned UK based manufacturer, Xtralite.

Situated on the outskirts of the city on the West Cambridge Campus the glittering facility was officially opened in September and has welcomed its first students. It is home to the new National Research Facility for Infrastructure Sensing (NRFIS) and has 12 state-of-the-art laboratories focusing on a wide variety of civil engineering disciplines.

“This is an amazing new building that will give the Civil Engineering Faculty a wonderful venue from which to drive forward innovation, research and learning,” said Jim Lowther sales director Xtralite. “We are delighted to have played our part by providing a striking rooflight solution that was quite unique and highlights the ongoing popularity as to how glazing is used as an architectural feature; not just a practical one in twenty first century building design.”

A bespoke, X-Glaze walk on rooflight was designed that measured 12m x 1.5m, and was made in ten equal bays. The triple glazing measured 90.5mm in thickness to enable the roof light to be walked on for access. It comprised an outer leaf of 39mm clear toughened laminated glass with a black border, a 16mm Argon filled cavity, a mid-leaf of 6mm Guardian Sunguard toughened glass, a further cavity of 16mm Argon filled and finally, an inner leaf of 13.5mm clear acoustic heat strengthened laminate. The rooflight delivered 4.0kN/m2 UDL and 3.6kN concentrated loads. Each triple glazed unit weighing approximately 280kg giving a total rooflight weight of c.2800kg.

A non-slip coating was also applied (commonly known as fritted glass) to ensure the highest levels of health and safety for users was achieved and, whilst there is no building regulation or legal requirement for this process, Xtralite always recommends this in such applications.

“The use of fritted glass brings even more design options for architects when considering how glazing can be used for practical reasons such as allowing natural light into a building, or just to create a visual, eye-catching effect,” said Jim. “We are an advocate of best-practise and therefore use this process when any internal or external glass necessitates pedestrian access, especially when water or moisture is present.”


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