Prefabrication of Vantage Windows in Pre-cast Panels

March 2022

Prefabrication of Vantage Windows in Pre-cast Panels

An unusual prefabrication process was used to install Vantage windows into precast concrete modules for The University of Auckland’s latest student accommodation building in the Carlaw Park precinct in the central city.

The 10-level building, positioned on a prominent corner site in Stanley St, contains 203 apartments with a total of 903 bedrooms, and a mixed-use ground level providing for retail space, communal student areas and a visual connection from street level through to the central courtyard.

The building façade comprises mainly pre-cast concrete panels constructed complete with windows pre-installed offsite by Vantage manufacturer Wight Aluminium.

APL Window Solutions and Wight Aluminium designed a bespoke window frame from the Vantage 40mm Series that gave enhanced functionality and installation efficiency when fixed into the pre-cast panels. The approximately 900 pre-installed windows included a sash and ventilation cowl, and were fully assembled including glazing at Wight Aluminium’s Whanganui-based factory, before being transported to the Concretec factory in Pokeno.

Wight Aluminium’s installation team worked in collaboration with Concretec to complete installation of windows into each panel as batches were completed.

The finished precast panels were transported to the Stanley Street site in batches and craned into place. All installation works were completed from the inside of the building — the prefabricated design ensured no exterior works at height to install or finish the panels or windows. This avoided what would have been considerable scaffold or access costs for a building of this scale.

The dynamic visual effect of the building is achieved with a range of panel and window configurations which form a flow-like effect across the façade. To achieve this, the design required pre-cast panel manufacturing to a range of sizes, colour and window configurations. The completed building includes 710 pre-cast panels, with the largest panel weighing close to 15 tonne.

In addition to the pre-installed windows, Wight have also fixed a series of vertical 40mm seismic strip windows in the façade, running from ground to roof at locations around the building. The APL Architectural Series suite was used extensively around the ground floor, providing the required access functionality to the street and internal courtyard. The feature corner will showcase full height glass in a channel glazed system behind a striking aluminium fin arrangement.

Façade construction by builder Haydn & Rollett is now nearing completion, with the full effect of the exterior design making a striking statement in the Carlaw Park precinct.

The architects for this project are Ashton Mitchell.