An aluminium curtain wall system from Capral Aluminium was installed on the façade of the refurbished Barwon Water headquarters in Geelong to create a striking exterior as well as assist with the project’s green objectives.

Following the refurbishment, the 50-year-old Geelong headquarters of Barwon Water has been transformed into a state-of-the-art national award-winning building. The HQ bagged the prize for best commercial architecture in Australia at the 2018   National Architecture Awards, winning the Harry Seidler Award. The new office also took out the National Award for Sustainable Architecture.

Capral’s high performance façade eliminates 95 per cent of direct sun penetration, contributing to the 80 per cent increase in the building’s efficiency over the two separate buildings it replaced.

Recognised as Geelong’s greenest office, the GHD Woodhead-designed Barwon Water HQ houses a highly innovative curtain wall system throughout its fluid, streamlined exterior. Not only does the Capral CW175 curtain wall system help realise the building’s sleek, diamond-patterned exterior but it also achieves its much-coveted 5 Green Star rating.

“We used the Capral CW175 curtain wall window system in the construction of this landmark building,” says Matthew Hammond, project coordinator at Westcoast Windows.

“The Capral CW175 system has been fully tested to meet Australian Standards, having been locally developed by the Capral team to meet Australia’s extreme climate conditions. As Capral supplied an off-the-shelf system to accommodate the building’s new mid-size curtain wall, the hard work had already been done for us.

“Given the imposing size of the glazed units, along with the thermal performance targets we were required to meet, the window and glazing system we installed had to be extremely effective. Working in tandem with the optimal glazing specification, the Capral CW175 window system was crucial in meeting the project’s demanding energy requirements.”

The Capral façade could be easily installed even though it was a demanding application. However, the depth of the sunshades made the process of fitting the façade slightly more complicated than it otherwise would have been, observed Hammond.

“‘Fitting the CW175 was quite intuitive. The only thing we had to adapt was the bracket system, which was altered for this specific application.

“The large aluminium louvres on the façade were included to meet the project’s shading requirements. The architect sought to convert this into an aesthetic feature by recreating the sunshades’ architectural dimensions, rather than simply installing flat horizontal or vertical plates along the exterior.”

Capral was able to maintain a straightforward supply of materials throughout the project since the company stocked the CW175 as a standard item.

The Barwon Water HQ’s window system had to work seamlessly with its decorative glazing specification. “The frit-patterned glazing was imported. It was an involved process to ensure the design was ratified with enough leeway to account for potential delays with lead times.

“The façade’s extensive glazing required 400-odd glazed units for the project, with quite a few different sizes and patterns in total. Fortunately, while the custom glazing itself was more complex than ordering an off-the-shelf product, using Capral made it substantially easier to surpass this mammoth task’s intensive demands,” concluded Hammond.

Photographer: v1s1onforce/ Trevor Mein