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The University of the Highlands and Islands Enterprise was looking to expand its offering by building an Inverness Campus. This presented a large amount of work in which architect Sheppard Robson chose to us to install our glazed partitions and doors.
As a result, this would offer a high-quality environment for learning, innovation, collaboration and business development in Scotland.
LocationInverness Campus, Scotland
The university’s vision was to create a modern purpose built facility which had a uniquely highland and traditionally Scottish character. So, when searching for an architect to make this vision a reality, they found their partner in Sheppard Robson.
Without a doubt, the University of the Highlands and Islands fosters collaboration and supports innovation. Moreover, it serves as a beacon of world-class research in a wide range of disciplines: physical; ecological; cultural; historical and social. Accordingly, this project was to be multiplex in order to cater to each of these.
Known for their capacity to respond to the ever-changing political, environmental and cultural contexts, Sheppard Robson’s vision for the Inverness Campus was simple. They wanted a functional environment that enhanced the university’s natural surroundings, as well as supplying students with world-class facilities, well designed sustainable buildings and generous landscaped green space.
To realise this vision the project required glass atria, glazing and partitioning that could achieve an outstanding acoustic performance. Aesthetically it was necessary to lay the building into the landscape and from a practical point of view, it was also a requisite to nurture an environment built on collaboration and partnership. Understandably, both themes were central to the university’s mission. To meet Sheppard Robson’s design intent, they called upon our technical expertise to imagine creative solutions.
In a similar way, being an education institution there were specific requirements – both from a functional and safety perspective.
Firstly, the research and study areas needed a wide variety of acoustic requirements (some in excess of Rw50dB) and line loads. Secondly, we had to fully equip each product with a fire rating and protective abilities.
Thirdly and finally, our products needed to meet the desired structural performance. To ensure that all of these structural and performance criteria were met, we produced the NBS for Sheppard Robson.
Furthermore, to realise the client and architect’s vision, we worked hard to engineer and install products that would bring the detailed technical drawings to life.
Throughout the university you can see Technishield 65 and Revolution 54 offset glazing alongside our iconic Optima 117 Plus single glazing and Revolution double glazing.
By its very nature, the installed glazing allows staff members and students to interact in a collaborative and open way.
When reflecting upon the success of the project, Rob Harvey at Sheppard Robson expressed how our glazed partitions “achieved design intent and the provision of fire and acoustic performance whilst maximising natural light.”
From the very beginning, challenges were present on site by the fact that the contractor and our Scottish distribution partner, Modul8, had to work around multi-trade services, M&E and structural columns.
However, throughout this three-month programme, we always worked to the highest standard of quality and efficiency. And, as a result, overcame these challenges to deliver exceptional results.
When reviewing the project, Rob Harvey continued that Sheppard Robson “always use Optima for our projects due to the high quality and performance,” which was clearly the case on this build too.
He continues, “The systems look great and we have achieved the design intended and the client is pleased with the final product.”
Overall, the final results has delighted us too and are proud to have worked on such a prestigious development.