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UU architecture students get the APS seal of approval

APS Contracts Manager Kenny Faulkner was recently part of a panel of industry and academical experts judging final year students on the Belfast School of Architecture and Built Environment’s Architectural Technology and Management Program at an event which took place at Belfast’s MAC.

Students had to present their design of a hypothetical development for an iconic brownfield site in the Dublin docklands.  All schemes modelled used BIM authoring software and incorporated industry standard BIM information management processes.

David Comiskey, event organiser and Senior Lecturer from Ulster University’s Belfast School of Architecture & Built Environment, said, “The site presented to the students was extremely complex. It was situated adjacent to Grand Canal Dock, was very narrow and incorporated two graving docks which were to be retained. However, the students rose to the challenge and presented schemes which were innovative yet functional and most importantly buildable.”

Kenny said “The standard of work on show was exceptional and the students presented their schemes in a highly professional manner. The future of the Architectural Technology profession in Northern Ireland is safe with this calibre of students graduating from Ulster University and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of both aesthetic and technical design.”

Declan Loane, Quinn Building Products, panel member, said, “I was particular impressed by how the student designs were performance based. They used the latest BIM authoring and analysis software to model their schemes and predict the performance in terms of energy use, amending the schemes when necessary to ensure optimum performance.

Ulster University alumni Gary McCausland, CEO of Richland Group and well known for his media and television work, was also in attendance and inspired the students with a guest talk

Seven reasons to use Aluminium

Aluminium is the third most abundant metal in the earth’s crust and at the present rate of usage (not taking into account the fact that more than 96% of aluminium is recycled at the end of product life), the supplies of aluminium currently known will last for several hundred years. Discovered in 1808 by Sir Humphrey Davy, aluminium is a comparatively young metal compared to other “classic” materials. In 1855 the first aluminium bar was displayed at the Paris Exhibition and it wasn’t until 1886 when the patents for its industrial extraction were issued. The Statue of Eros at Piccadilly Circus in London dates back to 1893 and is an early example of how aluminium could be processed. A further example is the San Giacchino Church in Rome which was built in 1897. The aluminium sheets used to cover the roof are still in excellent condition today – proving that aluminium has exceptional weathering properties and durability.

Aluminium as a building material – functional, durable and aesthetically appealing
In the building industry aluminium is often used for facade claddings and roof coverings. The decision to use aluminium is based on economical, functional and aesthetical considerations. From airports, railway stations, sports complexes to stylish residential properties – many of these buildings have only been able to reveal their true “personality” through the use of aluminium.

Material characteristics which are important in the building industry – seven good reasons for choosing aluminium:

1. Lightweight: this means lightweight substructures and a high level of component prefabrication. It can be handled on-site without the need for large lifting equipment.

2. Corrosion resistance: bespoke alloys improve the outstanding resistance to corrosion even further. This makes it possible to use aluminium profiled sheets on a long-term basis without expensive servicing and maintenance work, even in extreme conditions.

3. Robust: the incredible strength of the material makes it possible to create light yet exceptionally stable structures.

4. Excellent processibility: its flexibility and ease of formability guarantee virtually unlimited design potential. It can be shaped, welded, screwed and cut into dynamic 3-D geometries.

5. Simple connection technology: in addition to the most common joining methods used in the building industry, such as welding, screwing and riveting, snap-on connections can also be used. These simple methods ensure that building components can be quickly and safely connected.

6. Recyclable: aluminium roof and facade components can usually be recycled in a single process and 95% of energy can be saved when recycling aluminium compared to primary production.

7. Stunning aesthetics: the wide variety of surface finishes and colours available, such as anodizing or coating, ensures that the high aesthetic demands made by architects can be fulfilled and the application potential of aluminium can be extended even further.