New build Lake District presents challenges at detail level

Interview | Marcel van Bruggen | Head of Assembly at Byldis | Source: Reynaers Aluminium


Project solution for Lake District

"When requests come in from the Belgian market, it is nice to have experience in this as a Dutch facade builder. We were asked by Reynaers Aluminium to help think about a new construction project near the Belgian coast, the Lake District project. From the architect's direct application of the MasterPatio Lift&Slide door, we went further in detail with Reynaers. Because in terms of logistics, floor deflections and load capacity, there were some challenges in this project after all." To meet the architect's preferences and wishes as much as possible, all parties worked together to optimise in design and modification. But it also had to be feasible in terms of execution. "Just think about maintenance, guarantees issued and the right glass composition for in the lift-slide door," Marcel mentions.

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Modification on site

For Lake District, a team set to work on site in Knokke modifying certain window frames. Some frames were literally assembled there on site. Partly because window frames of such dimensions can no longer be transported responsibly. "At a very early stage in this process, you have to come up with a good plan and clarify what you might run into. We sat down with the client and came up with a watertight plan. In this, you sometimes have to make different choices than previously thought, but ultimately this benefited this unique project."

Challenges at logistics and construction level

Especially logistical and construction challenges were at the forefront during this project. This project involved shell construction. There is a concrete floor, a balcony is poured and columns are placed. From there, the 'infill' then started. "At the beginning, the substructure was made so that we can accommodate construction tolerances. Then the whole thing was waterproofed and insulated all around. We also have to take into account the set requirements for wind and water tightness, which is part and parcel of a building like this. You are dealing here with a project which is a very short distance from the coast."

Testing the system

For the Lake District project, a complete façade was developed in the Netherlands together with Reynaers Aluminium. This was produced at a later stage by Byldis. This set-up was then tested on site at the test centre on the Reynaers Campus in Duffel. Based on those test results, we made some minor adjustments. In particular, this had to do with the narrow centre post, which meant that the dewatering was not entirely satisfactory."

Knowledge in customisation: collaboration at a detailed level

Not one floor is the same at Lake District. "Beforehand, we don't actually measure anything and rely on available drawings of the project. With the organic shapes of this project, it was sometimes quite tricky in sizing. The lift-and-slide door flows very naturally into the entire façade and into floors and decking on the outside. This really comes down to the millimetre. For the façade in this project, together with the experts at Rynaers, we came up with a specific detail that we could make variable. This allowed us to properly accommodate the deflection of the floors. Here we are dealing with facades eight to nine metres long. Then you have to be able to absorb a certain amount of deflection, partly because otherwise it is at the expense of functionality but also in terms of density," says Marcel.

MasterPatio: flexible application

"Besides meeting the specified building requirements in this project, ease of use takes an important place, Marcel adds. "This project serves mainly as a residential destination and here, as parties involved, you therefore want the best in living comfort for the future residents. The lift-and-slide door we applied here functions well, the ease of operation is high and aesthetically suits the design. The eye also wants something." In the system solution MasterPatio, several variants are also possible, this makes it flexible and easily applicable in different project solutions. Larger and heavier versions of Masterpatio are also very serviceable. "Did you know that in Lake District we ended up using several variants of the lift-slide door," Marcel points out.

The level of commitment

From engineering, to production, execution and delivery; the collaboration between Byldis and Reynaers Aluminium goes way back. Marcel concludes and says: "In this project, Reynaers was literally involved and available at all stages. Even in the production process, they looked and thought along with us. The same actually applies to the implementation process; there are clear plans on the table and together we supervise the fitters on site. This once again underlines our long-standing collaboration. With the Lake District project, we have proven once again that we do not shy away from challenges on a detailed level either."

Marcel van Bruggen
Head of Assembly at Byldis

Article and photos posted on the Byldis website with the cooperation and permission of Reynaers Aluminium.