Specifier Review

Pushing the boundaries with composite panels

Danny Phelan, Sales Manager of Panel Systems, looks at how architectural panels are increasingly being selected for their aesthetics, as part of creating iconic buildings.


“Innovation in materials and fabrication techniques means that today’s composite panels combine stunning aesthetics with reassuring long term low maintenance.  Composite panels are being increasingly used as infill panels within windows and curtain walling to create a contemporary or authentic appearance.

Modern materials also provide a greater range of surface textures and colours, which means being able to offer more options to specifiers and developers looking to create engaging buildings.

For many building designers, it is simply a case of understanding the materials available in the creation of composite panels and this is particularly important when it comes to choice of colour.

Aesthetics are still the number one reason that architectural panels are chosen – especially for modern urban and city centre locations. On a recent project, our Aluglaze composite panels were used for The Link, a flagship community building for young people, which is based under the Harrow Manor Way flyover in South Thamesmead, London.

Powder coated aluminium was specified in red, orange, yellow and green to provide a vibrant facade to The Link that complemented the colour of the curtain walling.  The Aluglaze panels included Styrofoam insulation, which achieved a U-value of 0.35 W/m2K, therefore achieving a high level of thermal performance.

The curtain walling and panels were specified in four colours of the rainbow, as the building is designed to attract and appeal to young people.

The building has a distinctive look, with different colours used for each of the arches to provide a bright, contemporary feel.   Like on many projects, choice of colour had a major influence on the type of panels selected for this building, which is designed to attract young people to take part in activities ranging from skills development to volunteering, music recording and fitness. On this project, as is usually the case where composite panels are required, the panel manufacturer and building designer or developer worked together to look at the materials available, the aesthetics and the performance that needed to be achieved.

The project achieved what it set out to do – creating a building with a contemporary look but which offered a high level of energy efficiency.

Specifiers know that with composite panels they have the reassurance that performance is guaranteed, due to the fact that the panels are manufactured in factory-controlled conditions.

The exceptionally low U-values possible with modern composite panels allow designers to increase the amount of glazing, which maximises the natural light in a building. The result is that rather than windows having to be smaller, in order to conserve energy, gains in thermal performance from high performance composite panels offset some of the losses of incorporating large glazed areas.

It is little wonder that composite panels are increasing becoming a feature of modern town and cities.  Whether they are being used to transform existing buildings or to create exciting new ones, the wide choice of colourful and aesthetically pleasing materials available means there are endless possibilities to achieve the right aesthetics and performance with composite panels.”

Panel Systems manufactures a full range of bespoke architectural panels and high performance cladding boards which are used to create aesthetically striking and thermally efficient buildings.  The company also supplies and fabricates a range of Dry-lining boards, lightweight staging and Styrofoam Insulation products.

For more information, visit the website www.composite-panel.co.uk or call direct on: 0114 249 5635.


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