Focused on public sector projects in Wales and the North-West, fabricator, Bretton Architectural is celebrating 25 years of working with Hydro Group and its Technal systems through its involvement on Phase II of an architecturally acclaimed student accommodation development in Liverpool.


Constructed within the Mossley Hill Conservation Area, the parkland surrounding the University of Liverpool’s Greenbank student residences was gifted to the university by the Rathbone family in 1939; still offering a unique environment today. Crucially the designs by Shepard Robson for the new buildings, including the use of MX curtain walling and other Technal systems, respond sympathetically to the verdant setting.


The Greenbank residences replace outdated buildings and have been arranged around three landscaped courtyards, rising from five to eight storeys in height, creating 1,370 new en-suite study bedrooms. The main contractor for the scheme, which is due for completion soon, is the University of Liverpool Construction Company Special Projects (ULCCO SP), while – following on from successfully completing Phase I, North West based Bretton Architectural is supplying Technal products for Phase II.


Its package includes the design, manufacture and installation of some 2,000 m2 of MX curtain wall, FY65 windows and PY doors, all offering high thermal performance and finished in a RAL 7016 Matt Anthracite Grey polyester powder coat.


The windows on Phase I comprised a mix of top hung outward opening, and tilt-and-turn units, all featuring multi-point locking with locking espagnolette handles and restrictors that allow ventilation yet provide safety from falls. The thermally broken frames and 28mm gas filled IG units provide a U-value performance of 1.0 W/m2K.


The MD of Bretton Architectural, Peter Igoe, commented: “We have been awarded the Phase II contract for the Greenbank Residences based on our performance during the first phase, and the competitiveness of our quote. ULCCO SP has proved a very good, very professional client to work for, while education projects like this, hospitals and other public sector buildings form a major part of the work we do across North Wales and the North-west of England.


“Bretton Architectural was set up in 1993 and we have used Technal systems since the very beginning: enjoying excellent cooperation and support from the company.”


The Design Manager for ULCCO SP, Thomas Alexander, offered his perspective on the project saying: “This is the third contract where we have worked with Bretton Architectural and Technal, having originally delivered the Management School Extension on campus after the University of Liverpool took the unique step of setting up its own Special Projects division, ULCCO SP.


“They have all gone well but one of the key features we agreed on Greenbank was for all of the curtain walling and windows to be procured ahead of time – to be stored at Bretton’s premises – rather than relying on ‘just-in-time’ manufacturing. This has not only avoided the sort of delays that had caused problems for schemes historically, but also avoided storing sections and glass on site: having loads of lay-down areas. This helps keep the site clean and safe and is a procedure we would probably use again. With the university having a 20-year masterplan, there is the prospect of further cooperation in the future.”


Project Architect Luke Green added: “The materials, scale and massing of the design have been developed to reflect both the character of the conservation area, and the distinctive mature landscape of the Greenbank site. The overall effect is of a series of distinct blocks with a shared architectural language that balances modernity with contextual references, allowing improved sightlines into the park landscape, and reinforcing the setting of Greenbank House.”


Technal is part of the Hydro Group, a world leader in aluminium solutions that also encompasses sister brand WICONA. Through its globally renowned Hydro Technology Hubs, the group is shaping a sustainable future, with innovative products that satisfy and surpass customer expectations, in line with demands of CSR and increasing environmental regulations.