The Silverfin Building, Aberdeen

The regeneration of Union Street Aberdeen is nearing completion. The Silverfin office development was brought together by Titan Investments with Cooper Cromar Architects, Sir Robert McAlpine (main contractor), Dane Architectural (curtain walling installer) and TI Dynamic Facades – Ultralite Architectural granite facade.

The design has been developed by Cooper Cromar Architects and is expected to play a pivotal role in the redevelopment of the west end of Union Street, which is Aberdeen’s key civic thoroughfare. This 132,000-sq.ft office development, once again demonstrates a fine example of our granite façade “Ultralite” by TI Dynamic Facades. The glass and granite tower is visible from across the city of Aberdeen.

The “Silver Fin” branding relates to a number of vertical aluminium fins complimented by the Ultralite horizontal granite. Silver Fin is thirteen stories high and sits alongside the new Capitol office development which is also clad in a new granite facade by TI Dynamic Facades.

The facade element on the Silver Finn office development is mostly natural granite box sections, picture framing the curtain walling. Horizontal banding at floor slabs and decorative vertical fins divide up each elevation, with the bespoke box sections preforms cantilevering off floor slabs. With the vertical floor to floor spanning steel columns, weight was critical to ensure it complied with the original intended design of the specified lighter but less robust Stonelite panel system.

The installation of the Ultralite system was via mast climbers and to ensure the mast climbers could be dropped in tandem with the installation, the Ultralite facade was installed top to bottom with the largest and heaviest units being decorative cills on the top two floors on each elevation.  Each of these decorative cill units cantilevered 600mm off the floor slab it was covering and was manufactured in 1m lengths with a total weight of 26kg/m2.

Ultralite is a super lightweight natural stone rainscreen system comprising of a 20mm thick, fully encased aluminium cassette panel and a 7mm thick natural stone veneer weighing only 25kg. In this case, it was supplied in light grey granite, synonymous with Aberdeen’s mantel “Granite City”.

This panel has been tested and designed to be supported by the Ti-generic and the Ti-vertical carrier system. Preformed units are available up to 250mm in length. We have tested Ultralite to CWCT test guidelines for Standardized Building Envelopes 2005 for wind resistance, water resistance as well as hard and soft body impact resistance where it obtained category “B”. We also carried out petrographic testing at Taywood Engineering, now Vinci UK for the likes of flexural strength, freeze/thaw, water absorption, and bond adhesive strength.

Ultralite is now available in large formats of up to 3m by 1.2m for floor to floor infills. These are available in Natural Stone, Granite or Ceramic. We can engineer exact and bespoke shapes to accommodate and enhance the most complex of designs, bringing definition, depth and clarity to the external facade. This façade panel is also being installed internally to create a stunning entrance, reception and atrium area within the Silverfin project. This further demonstrates the flexibility and functionality of Ultralite by TI Dynamic Facades.

Architect: Cooper Cromar

Main Contractor: Sir Robert McAlpine

Installer: Dane Architectural

Products Used: Aerolite Ultralite

Date Completed: 2017

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