Factory 2050 - Bespoke Eaves System

Sector: Industrial
Architect: Bond Bryan Architects
Client: University of Sheffield
Contractor: Interserve

Bailey brings futuristic factory vision to life

At the heart of the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Campus, Factory 2050 is the UK’s first fully reconfigurable assembly and component manufacturing facility. Designed by award-winning Bond Bryan Architects, the building’s impressive bespoke eaves system was manufactured and supplied by Bailey Total Building Envelope.
The state of the art 6,730sq m building is home to the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) with Boeing, and will be used in research programmes designed to revolutionise UK manufacturing. Its innovative circular design was created to allow flexibility for rapid switching between production of multiple high-value components and one-off parts. The building is fully glazed with a 360-degree, eight metre high steel curtain walling system spanning from ground to roof. As part of this, Bond Bryan envisaged a striking fully curved eaves overhang around the building, to help reduce glare and overheating inside.
After reading an article about the plans for Factory 2050, the team at Bailey knew that they had to be involved in this iconic project. With its bold, futuristic design, the building would call for innovative, joined-up thinking and high performance products to achieve the architect’s vision.
Bailey approached Bond Bryan Architects and discussed the plans at length. It was obvious from the start that only the very best solution would deliver the flawless, contemporary finish required. Bond Bryan’s design relied heavily on the impact of the large overhang of the fully curved eaves. If constructed from poor quality materials, such a large curved eave would suffer from what is known as ‘oil canning’ – rippling and becoming misshapen. Not an option for such a striking feature, vital to the overall effect of the design.
Showcasing high levels of expertise and product performance, as well as an acute attention to detail within methodology, processes and drawings – Bailey was appointed to deliver the complex eaves system. Thanks to the strength of Bailey’s aluminium product, with its secondary carcassing, ‘oil canning’ issues were avoided. Bailey’s cassette soffit panels also offered the added benefit of having no visible fixings, giving a smooth and even finish.
Bailey’s eaves profiles are manufactured to tight tolerances giving the upper edge of the building a very slim profile. The built-in tolerances also meant that there was no cutting required on site, resulting in exact precision for installation.
Bailey supported Bond Bryan with its in-house expertise, from project management to drafting detailed General Arrangement drawings, throughout the project.
Making life easier for the contractor was another key focus for Bailey. Using the latest digital technology, each component was labelled with an ident number and palletised in ‘kit’ form, so it was easy to identify and install once on site. Married with just-in-time delivery, this ensured that large expensive components would not risk being damaged.
Bond Bryan Associate and 2050 Project Architect, Jon Rigby said: “We are really pleased with the eaves solution at Factory 2050, the architectural importance of the feature overhangs to the building meant that a quality product and flawless installation was absolutely crucial. Bailey’s team were able to interpret our design vision and deliver this to our high expectations, the outcome is a striking eaves system which captures the essence of the ‘understated industrial elegance’ aesthetic we were after whilst fulfilling the complex technical and geometric requirements.”

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“We are really pleased with the eaves solution at Factory 2050, the architectural importance of the feature overhangs to the building meant that a quality product and flawless installation was absolutely crucial. Bailey’s team were able to interpret our design vision and deliver this to our high expectations, the outcome is a striking eaves system which captures the essence of the ‘understated industrial elegance’ aesthetic we were after whilst fulfilling the complex technical and geometric requirements.” Jon Rigby Bond Bryan Associate and 2050 Project Architect