When the Australian Airline Training Academy decided to build a large, multi-purpose building that would house not one but three very separate functions, the challenge was to balance form with function. True to their commitment to innovation, the team at Leffler Simes Architects set to work to design a façade that seamlessly transitioned walls, windows and doors within the rigid confines of a steel-grid frame construction.

Based in the NSW town of Wagga Wagga, the project encompassed three large buildings: a two-level, 80-bed accommodation block; administration and training facilities across two floors; and a Student Services Building, with dining room, kitchen, gym and outdoor pool on a single level.
DLG Aluminium & Glazing deliver a unique approach to commercial framing at the Australian Airline Training Academy.

To achieve the architect’s bold vision, DLG Aluminium & Glazing, in collaboration with the builder, Zauner Constructions, adopted a lateral approach to their thinking. Together, they conceived the notion to insert the walling system into commercial aluminium window framing. These framing elements could then be installed within the grid framing whilst still leaving the steel work for enhanced visual impact.

DLG discussed the project with designers at AWS and identified Elevate™ Aluminium Systems to meet the project’s objectives. The front façade wall of the accommodation block utilised Elevate™ Series 426 double glazed centre glazed framing, with the sub-head, sill and jamb installed to the grid. The balance of the work called for Elevate™ Series 406 front-glazed framing.

The modular system was prefabricated in the DLG factory to maintain quality standards and to make it easier to install the various building elements within the frame. Consideration was needed to ensure the insulated Colorbond® panels could be seamlessly glazed into the window framing system. Series 426 Double Glazed CentreGLAZE™ framing can accept a glazing pack up to 24mm thick. The ability to use a double glazed commercial framing system ensured it was possible to successfully glaze both glass and insulated walling panels into the system using a standard arrangement of glazing beads and rubbers.

The site is buffeted by extremes of climate. To counter the effects of the weather, the walling inserts included a combination of Colorbond® external profiles, sandwiched with thermal insulation between a clean, flat internal sheet. This was installed with a bead and base on the inside of the section. In this way, the project benefited from an extremely effective walling system that ticked all the required thermal-efficiency boxes.

A clever combination of single and double-glazing with insulated, thermally-efficient paneling further reduced the environmental impact of this construction, while offering a warm and inviting interior space, and adding to the stunning external effect. Just one more example of the innovative style for which DLG Aluminium & Glazing is renowned.