What is curtain walling

What is curtain walling?

Unless you work in construction or project, manage the construction and build of large buildings, high rise towers, and skyscrapers, curtain walling might not be a term you’re too familiar with. 

However, curtain walling is all around us, and at Crucial Engineering, we manufacture and install a variety of curtain wall systems across the UK. 

But what is curtain walling, and why is it important to the structure of a building? 

What is curtain walling? 

Curtain walling is a non-structural fabricated aluminium cladding system, found on the external walls of large multi-storey buildings. 

It is a lightweight material that is easy to install, and can be glazed, opaque, or include infill panels,and these aluminium systems are easy to transport and simple to manufacture. 

Curtain wall systems ultimately help to separate the interior from the exterior; however, it’s important to understand that curtain walling does not support any structural elements in a building and cannot have any weight placed upon it, other than the panelling itself.

What is curtain walling

Visually attractive facades 

Curtain walling is mainly designed and manufactured for high rise buildings due to their exposed position, and in all situations and across all projects, curtain walls must meet extremely strict regulatory requirements. 

A style that is widespread for use on tall buildings in cities around the world due to its flexibility and custom designs, curtain wall systems can be manufactured and installed as bespoke curtain walls, or they can be “off the shelf” systems. 

Aluminium is a versatile and malleable material, which we can fabricate to be used in a wide range of spaces and moulded into innovative shapes and sizes. 

From curved facades, geometrically shaped windows, multi-coloured powder-coated finished we can, and do, offer it all. 

Benefits of curtain wall systems 

Curtain walling can: 

  • Provide additional weather protection to buildings 
  • Reduce solar transmissions 
  • Be as flexible as you require 
  • Withstand building sway and thermal expansion and contraction 
  • Create a barrier to water and wind penetration  
  • Provide attractive exterior aesthetics 
  • Provide fire, smoke, and acoustic separation 
  • Accommodate movement and deflection 

Curtain walling is also affordable and cost-effective both in the short and long term, it is energy efficient due to their ability to resist air and water infiltration, helping to reduce costs on heating, cooling, and lighting. 

But above all, they are attractive and modern-looking systems for today’s buildings. 

Types of curtain walling 

There are two types of curtain walling facades available: 

Stick systems – these systems are installed piece by piece on-site, where glazing or panelling is then inserted into frames from either the inside or out. These frames can also provide lateral resistance while allowing for thermal movement. 

Unitised systems – these systems are prefabricated in sections off-site. Delivered to sites in sections, these systems can often be preferred as they require lower installation time. 

Spider Glass – Using point-fixed glass panels that are connected to the structure with metal fittings. These are often made from stainless steel to ensure of a robust frame. The design is visually strking with minimal framing obstruction, which offers a transparent facade. Often seen in more modern constructions, Spider Glass is becoming a popular choice in the industry for clients and businesses alike.

Double Skin or Double-Glazed – these typically have an exterior layer of glass and an interior layer, which creates an insulating air gap between them. The design creates a greater level of insulation and reduces noise transmission. It also has energy efficiency benefits which is a big priority for businesses, with meeting net zero and carbon emmision targets.

Structural Glazing – The use of structural silicone to bonds the glass directly to the framework, which eliminates the need for visible framing members. It creates a very sleek, modern and frameless apperance. This method typically requires extremley detailed levels of bespoke engineering and installation.

Types of infill panels 

Infill panels can include: 

  • Vision and non-vision glass 
  • Aluminium 
  • Stone/Brick 
  • Terracotta 
  • Louvres/vents 
  • Fibre-reinforced plastic 

Curtain walling can feature vast expanses of glass, allowing natural light into buildings, creating great working environments. 

Curtain walling systems 

There are three curtain wall systems to choose from. These include: 

Face Sealed – these systems attempt to create the perfect seal; however, these systems inevitably fail due to pressure-driven moisture. 

Water Managed – these systems are similar to pressure systems; however, there is no attempt to prevent water penetrating the outer seal, making the primary function of these systems to drain water, rather than allowing pressure equalisation. (Some water systems may include moisture drains to stop water from getting into the building.) 

Pressure Equalised – these systems help to create a rebate between the internal and external gaskets, so there are no pressure differences between the outside and the rebate. Any rain that then penetrates the outer seal can then be drained away through the vents within the facades. Pressure systems block all external forces while keeping a building interior airtight. These are some of the most robust systems around. 

Curtain walling is an important way to protect a building from the harsh external elements. Manufactured and installed in any size and design, curtain walling systems create unique, visually stunning exteriors, always. 

If you’re looking for aluminium curtain walling installation and you would like advice on the best systems to suit your requirements, contact Crucial Engineering today.

Contact us about your Curtain Walling Requirements

Crucial Commercial Aluminium Curtain Walling client testimonials

Exploring the Benefits of Aluminium Curtain Walling

Like many industries today, innovation in the world of architecture is fast moving and competitive. Creating sustainable, visually appealing, and functional buildings is the aim for most modern construction and planning teams. In use since around the 1930’s, aluminium curtain walling has gained popularity and emerged as a prominent choice for architects and developers. This is mainly due to the versatile and sophisticated system it offers. With a plethora of benefits, contributing to the beauty, efficiency, and durability of modern structures, here, we explore the advantages of aluminium curtain walling and why it has become a preferred solution for contemporary construction projects.

Structural Stability and Integrity

Renowned for its lightweight nature, aluminium is easier to handle and install compared to other construction materials. Despite this, aluminium is remarkably strong and durable. This inherent strength, in combination with the structural design of curtain walling, ensures that an aluminium curtain walling system can withstand powerful environmental forces such as wind, rain, and even seismic activity, providing a safe and super stable building envelope. Allowing excellent ventilation, despite being highly weather resistant is why a aluminium curtain walling is such a popular choice for public buildings such as hospitals and universities. It keeps a healthy flow of air running throughout the building whilst at the same time protecting the building’s inhabitants from the elements.

Excellent Thermal Performance

Aluminium curtain walling systems are engineered to offer exceptional thermal insulation. This is crucial for maintaining comfortable indoor temperatures as well as minimising energy loss. Advanced thermal technology and insulating materials can be integrated into the design of aluminium curtain walling, helping to reduce heating and cooling costs. Increasing the overall energy efficiency of a building is a key requirement given by clients to many architects today and aluminium curtain walling often fits the brief perfectly.

The Flexibility for Beautiful Design

Aluminium curtain walling enables architects to work with a massive range of client briefs and can bring their most creative visions to life. Aluminium’s inherent flexibility allows for the creation of a variety of shapes, curves, and configurations, and is held in high regard for unique building design. Indeed, some of the most iconic buildings in the world have been constructed with an aluminium curtain wall as their exterior. The sleek and modern appearance of aluminium complements various architectural styles, providing a visually appealing façade that stands out in urban landscapes.

Durable yet Easy to Maintain

A huge benefit of aluminium curtain walling is that it wears incredibly well and requires minimal maintenance over its lifespan. Because aluminium has a natural resistance to corrosion, the façade retains its original appearance for decades. This type of endurance not only reduces ongoing maintenance costs in the short run, but also extends the life of the building in the long run which makes it an attractive investment for developers and property owners.

Natural Light and Energy Efficiency

With the ability to incorporate large glass panels into the design of a curtain wall system, this allows an abundance of natural light to flood interior spaces. With lots of focus today on health and wellness, the access to natural light in any building and workplace is a top priority when it comes to building design. Natural light enhances the occupants’ well-being by providing a more pleasant and open environment. It also reduces the need for artificial lighting during daylight hours. By maximising natural light, buildings with aluminium curtain walling can significantly reduce their energy consumption, contributing to energy efficiency and sustainability.

Faster Construction Timelines

Because aluminium curtain walls can be prefabricated offsite, and are incredibly lightweight, faster construction project timelines can be implemented when compared to other building methods. This helps to reduce labour costs, and management of workers, which further shortens the overall construction timeline, allowing buildings to be completed more quickly. This is especially valuable for commercial projects seeking a swift return on investment or when refurbishment turnaround times need to be fast to reduce the impact on customer experience or sales.

Contributing to Sustainability

Being one of the most highly recyclable materials in the world without compromising its quality, Aluminium is an eco-friendly choice for sustainable construction. Aluminium uses 95% less energy to recycle than to produce from raw material so is a truly sustainable material. Not only is aluminium curtain walling an attractive and modern option for building design, it’s use also demonstrates a commitment to reducing the environmental impact of construction projects and promoting a circular economy.

Crucial – The Experts Engineers of Aluminium Curtain Walling

We are proud to have an award winning team and have delivered some of the best aluminium curtain walling projects in the North of England. If you are exploring the benefits of aluminium curtain walling and want some expert advice about how it might support your building project, contact us today and our friendly team will be happy to talk things through.


Your Comprehensive Guide to Parking Barrier Systems

Choosing the right parking barrier system for your business is essential to efficiently manage parking spaces, enhance security, and provide a seamless experience for your customers or visitors. It’s important to understand the differences between an automatic or manual parking barrier system before making a decision about your investment. To help you, take a look at our informative guide about what differentiates one parking barrier system from another and how you can weigh up which one will be best for you.

A quick look at some benefits

Before we dive into the different types of parking barrier systems out there, let’s highlight some of the benefits to installing one for your business.

  • They effectively manage the flow of vehicles which reduces congestion
  • Prevention of unauthorised vehicles entering restricted areas
  • Barrier systems act as a deterrent to potential thieves and vandals
  • They are an access control method which enables smooth entry for authorised personnel and governs the entry of unknown vehicles
  • Parking barrier systems can be integrated with ticketing or payment systems, allowing for potential revenue generation
  • A positive customer experience – finding spaces, car security, easier entry and exit
  • Increased safety with features such as obstacle detection and potential to stop reckless drivers
  • They can help optimise parking space utilisation, ensuring that each spot is used efficiently.

And a few key features…

  • Parking barrier systems can be tailored to fit the specific needs of a business, including branding and aesthetics, enhancing the overall look of the parking facility.
  • Option of remote monitoring and control features, allowing businesses to manage parking operations and troubleshoot issues from a central location, where needed.
  • Access control options (staff cards, keypads, license plate recognition) and integrated payment systems.

Firstly, assess your needs

It goes without saying that the first port of call is to understand your parking requirements. Consider factors such as the number of parking spaces, peak hours, the type of vehicles using the car park, any special access requirements (e.g., disabled parking) and what the business/premises is used for. This will help you narrow down the types of parking barrier systems that you can do more research into and the right supplier to install them.

Working with your budget

Establishing a budget for a parking barrier system means not only considering the initial cost of manufacturing and installation but also ongoing maintenance and support expenses. Some systems may only require occasional maintenance and zero technical support, whilst others might need regular servicing or a specifically trained member of staff to operate or monitor them. Knowing what your budget is at the beginning will mean you don’t waste time researching systems outside of that. Obtain quotes from different vendors and compare features, prices, and additional services offered.

Know your barrier types

With a variety of parking barrier systems available on the market, it’s valuable to take a look at some of them to familiarise yourself with terminology and their different appearances and functions. Here are a few examples:

  • Swing Gates – Suitable for medium-security requirements, such as hospitals, schools, and office building and can accommodate a wide range of vehicles
  • Bollards – Provide high security and are ideal for access control in sensitive areas
  • Sliding Gates – Suitable for limited space but require more maintenance
  • Rising Arm Barriers – Commonly used in car parks and can be integrated with access control systems

Do you need access control?

You will likely know whether access control is something that your car park requires already. To help you define the entry and exit methods that align with your requirements, here are some examples to investigate:

  • Proximity Cards or RFID Tags – Convenient and commonly used
  • Keypads – Suitable for smaller installations with limited user
  • Auto number plate recognition (ANPR) – Offers seamless access for registered vehicles
  • Ticketing Systems – Ideal for public parking facilities
  • Free exit induction loops – Vehicles automatically detected to trigger the barrier to open

Durability, maintenance, installation and training

Choose a system robust enough to withstand the outdoor conditions most common to your local area. Enquiring about the maintenance requirements and ongoing support from any potential suppliers will help you establish whether they are the right fit for your needs and value for money. In addition, check if your supplier provides installation services and adequate training for your staff to operate the system effectively, if that is a requirement for your car park. Importantly, the supplier of your parking barrier system should be able to ensure that it complies with any regulations, especially regarding accessibility requirements.

Have your customers at the forefront of your mind

Your chosen parking barrier system should always be easy to use for both customers and staff. Intuitive interfaces and clear instructions are vital and prevent traffic jams, frustrated customers or the potential for people abandoning their vehicles to get help.

Crucial Engineering – Here to help keep your business secure

At Crucial, our clients come to us for expert solutions for their security needs. We have an award winning team of engineers who are helping businesses every day by installing high quality parking barrier systems. If you are looking for a parking barrier system and need some friendly but specialist advice, contact us today and we will be happy to talk through your options with you.


Different Types of High Speed Doors and their Advantages

For some businesses, controlling and protecting the premises environment is not solely about security but can be critical to what the premises is actually being used for as well. For example, controlling the ambience of the environment is essential for some manufacturing processes, particularly in food and chemical processing. However, this is just one example in a sea of many. High-speed doors are designed to provide rapid and efficient access while maintaining environmental control and safety for various types of businesses. Sometimes called fast acting doors or rapid roll doors, here we have a look at some different types of these high-speed doors and some of the features and advantages they offer.

Folding High-Speed Doors

  • Folding doors consist of multiple, interconnected panels that fold and unfold in a concertina, fan like motion during operation. They can either be single stack (slide to one side) or bi-folding (split in two, open in the centre and fold outwards).
  • Requiring minimal space, folding doors are ideal for areas with limited headroom or side space.
  • They are usually fabricated out of steel or aluminium, and can come with the option of windows in them, which mean they provide natural light for environments that require it.
  • Whilst not the very fastest on the market, these doors are ideal in some settings and offer rapid cycle times, allowing for efficient traffic flow.
  • The flexible panels of folding doors absorb sound, reducing noise transfer between different areas of a warehouse or business. This can be particularly important for premises that have a front and back of house type operation.
  • These type of fast acting doors often incorporate safety sensors and emergency stop mechanisms to enhance safety.

Sectional High-Speed Doors

  • Sectional doors are composed of multiple horizontal panels that move upwards vertically on tracks. They are usually made from galvanised steel or aluminium and can also be fitted with windows to allow in natural light.
  • Because sectional doors move vertically, they allow for better use of available space compared to traditional swing-out or folding doors. This is essential for some business where utilising every inch of space is key such as storage facilities and where vehicles are required to reverse in for deliveries and collections.
  • Sectional high-speed doors offer superior insulation properties, contributing to temperature control and energy efficiency. On top of this, they can be excellent for fire rated options to help prevent the spread of fire and smoke.
  • These doors are designed to withstand strong winds, making them ideal for exterior applications or for locations where frequent adverse weather conditions are a concern.
  • Sectional overhead doors can be tailored to specific requirements, such as size, colour, and window options. These types of high speed doors offer a wider range of aesthetic finishes than roller shutters, despite similar space saving profiles.

Roll-Up High-Speed Doors

  • Rapid roll doors consist of a flexible curtain panels or slats that roll up and down around themselves. They are most commonly used in industrial settings and warehouses.
  • As their name suggests, rapid roll doors can open and close super-fast which allows for high-speed traffic flow and keeps a tight control over both temperature and security.
  • As mentioned above, the fast operation of rapid roll doors minimises air exchange between different areas within a business premises which in turn reduces energy loss and maintains temperature control.
  • Dust and debris can be a huge concern for some types of manufacturing. The speed of a rapid roll door can help reduce the risk of contamination where opening and closing is required multiple times throughout a working day.
  • These doors are manufactured to withstand frequent use and harsh environments which helps ensure long-term reliability and value for money.
  • Businesses have the option of including safety sensors and auto-reversing mechanisms with their installation of rapid roll doors which helps to prevent accidents and damage.

Crucial Engineering – We Know High Speed Doors

Crucial are leaders in aluminium manufacturing and automated system solutions. Our high speed doors have provided safety and security for countless clients and businesses. Supplying a range of solutions, we can tailor our offering to match the needs of your business. Give us a call and tell us about what you might be looking for and our friendly team will be on hand to help figure out what we can do.


What are the Structural Requirements of a Curtain Wall System?

Before we go into what the structural requirements of a curtain wall system are, let’s talk about what a curtain wall system actually is. A non-load-bearing exterior wall system designed to provide a protective barrier and support the weight of its own components, a curtain wall system is not there to provide support for any other part of the building it is part of. Its own components might include glazing, panels, and framing. Aluminium curtain walling is a popular choice for architects when designing the facades of buildings. Because of their versatility, a curtain walling system can be used for a wide range of buildings, including vast spaces and curved shapes. However, there are some very specific structural requirements for a curtain wall system, which we can deconstruct as follow.

The Importance of Load Resistance

For safety, security and durability, a curtain wall system must be able to resist various types of loads. These could include wind loads – think hurricanes and storms, dead loads (the weight of the system itself) or live loads – think snow, hailstone or even people leaning on the glass. One factor that is of particular importance in areas where there are regular tremors or earthquakes – such as California or Japan – is the seismic load. These are highly populated areas, which makes them higher risk for fatalities. But they also have some of the most beautiful and modern architecture in the world, some of which have huge curtain wall systems incorporated into them. A curtain wall system should be designed to transfer all these types of loads safely to the building’s structure.

Testing Strength and Stiffness

A curtain wall system needs to possess sufficient strength and stiffness to maintain its structural integrity and resist deformations. Being able to withstand a variety of wind pressures, temperature changes, and other external forces without excessive deflection or movement is essential. One of the biggest benefits of an aluminium curtain walling system is its superior strength whilst at the same time, being aesthetically pleasing.

Water and Air Infiltration Prevention

When designed correctly, a curtain wall system should prevent the penetration of any moisture and air into the building interior. Its construction will include effective weather seals and barriers to ensure that water and air do not compromise the building envelope. Even if a small amount of moisture is allowed in through the system, it can cause longer term, very expensive damage so this part of its design is paramount.

Measuring Thermal Performance

To maintain a comfortable indoor environment and improve energy efficiency, a curtain wall system should provide adequate thermal insulation. This helps minimise heat or cold transfer between the interior and exterior of the building. Of particular importance with this is in establishments such as hospitals and hotels, where people are vulnerable or sleeping.

Essential Fire Resistance action

Depending on the health and fire safety regulations for a particular building or establishment, curtain wall systems may need to meet certain fire resistance requirements. This is taken care of by involving the use of fire-rated glass, fire-resistant materials, and fire-stopping elements within the system. Fire safety is of the utmost importance for the majority of businesses today so ensuring this structural element is usually established during any preliminary design outlines.

Enhanced Acoustic Performance

In some cases, curtain wall systems may need to provide sound insulation to reduce noise transmission from the outside environment. Buildings located in noisy urban areas such as hotels, office blocks or shops will have this as an essential requirement. In addition, any buildings that are located near transportation routes such as an airport or train station will benefit from soundproofing as part of their design.

Durability, Maintenance and Accessibility for the Long Run

A curtain wall system should be designed to withstand long-term exposure to environmental factors, such as ultraviolet (UV) radiation, temperature fluctuations, moisture, and pollutants. Durable materials – such as aluminium, and protective coatings are often used to enhance the system’s longevity. The ease of maintenance and repair of the curtain wall system should also be a consideration and access to the exterior for cleaning, inspection, and maintenance should be provided without compromising safety.

Crucial Engineering – Curtain Walling Experts

Are you are planning on a refurb for the exterior of your building? Or commencing design of a new building and are considering the inclusion of a curtain wall system? If so, it’s important to note that the very specific requirements of a curtain wall system mean that you should, without doubt, consult with design professionals, including architects, structural engineers, and curtain wall specialists. At Crucial, we are experts with decades of experience in curtain walling systems and can ensure compliance with the applicable standards and regulations. As well as providing a friendly, reliable service, we support our clients with every step of an installation and have an award winning team of engineers. Contact us today to talk through your requirements.


The Benefits of Automatic Doors for Schools

As technology continues to reshape our daily lives, all types of businesses and establishments are embracing the power of innovation to help enhance the safety, accessibility and efficiency of their buildings. And whilst not necessarily a place of commerce, Schools are no exception here. One innovation that is proving to be popular and increasingly utilised, is the installation of automatic doors in educational institutions. Looking beyond the simple act of their function of opening and closing, automatic doors offer a myriad of benefits that contribute to a safer, more inclusive, and seamless learning environment. With various types of automatic doors available on the market, from aluminium sliding doors to swing doors, here we take a look at the advantages that they can bring to schools.

Enhancing Safety and Security

It goes without saying that the safety of students is a number one priority in any educational setting. Automatic doors can be a great aid in bolstering security measures. With the option of installing them with advanced sensors and control systems, these doors can provide access management, greatly reducing unauthorised entry. By eliminating the need for manual door operation, automatic doors can also minimise the risk of accidents and injuries caused by slamming doors, trapped fingers, or crowded exits during emergency situations.

Promoting Accessibility and Inclusion

Creating an inclusive learning environment that accommodates individuals of all abilities is now a core principle for most modern schools. Automatic doors significantly contribute to fostering accessibility by removing physical barriers. Students, staff and visitors with mobility limitations or wheelchair users, can effortlessly navigate through entrances without depending on others for assistance. Schools and colleges can be busy places with many people coming and going throughout the day, such as delivery people and catering companies. Automatic doors assist with easy access for any individuals carrying heavy loads in these instances. Promoting independence, inclusivity, and a sense of equality within a school community is a priority today and automatic doors can be a great asset here.

Helping to Streamline Traffic Flow

The heavy foot traffic that schools experience during peak hours, such as morning drop-offs and afternoon pick-ups can be managed more efficiently with the installation of automatic doors. By swiftly opening and closing and allowing for the seamless movement of students, parents, and staff, congestion is reduced, and the overall efficiency of daily operations is improved. Additionally, automatic doors equipped with programmable schedules can adapt to varying traffic patterns, further enhancing the flow during specific periods of the day. If safety is of increased concern, additional security measures can be introduced, such as card entry and remote access control.

Managing Energy Efficiency and Sustainability

Lots of schools are now including environmental conservation as part of their annual goals and actions. Many are actively seeking ways to reduce their carbon footprint. Automatic doors contribute to energy efficiency by minimising heat loss or gain. Their quick closing mechanism helps to maintain a more consistent air temperature. By regulating the temperature inside the building, automatic doors help to reduced energy consumption and lower utility costs.

Improved Hygiene and Sanitation for Peace of Mind

With the most recent global health concerns, guaranteeing a hygienic and sanitary environment has become a priority for the Heads of Departments and Buildings managers of schools. Automatic doors eliminate the need for the frequent use of traditional door handles. This helps to limit the transmission of germs and bacteria that may reside on them. By integrating touchless operation or hands-free sensors, these doors provide an additional layer of protection against the spread of infectious diseases, contributing to the overall health and well-being of the school community.

A choice of automatic doors

There are a variety of automatic doors that schools can choose from to suit their spaces and requirements. Aluminium sliding doors are aesthetically pleasing and don’t require any additional indoor space since they slide open against themselves. They are also fast opening so are great for educational settings that have a high footfall. Automatic swing doors are easy to install, are an economic option and can be fitted in existing doorways and on existing doors. Both these types of doors can be fitted with access control to support the safety of students.

Crucial Engineering – Trusted Partners for Automatic Doors

As experts in all things aluminium, automatic doors are no exception. Here at Crucial, we provide automatic door solutions for education settings, supporting their safety, security and sustainability aims. With trustworthy, DBS checked engineers, Crucial can be onsite to install your automatic doors without compromising the integrity and safeguarding of your school. If you are looking for a reliable, punctual and transparent service to install automatic doors at your school, contact our friendly team to arrange a chat about your requirements.

Warehouse Roller Shutters A Quick Guide

Warehouse Roller Shutters – A Quick Guide

If you are the owner or a building manager of a warehouse then the installation of industrial roller shutters will likely be of the utmost importance to you. Even if you are aware of their value in the security and safety of your building and its contents, there may be benefits to having them that you don’t know about. This handy guide to roller shutter will arm you with some helpful knowledge to enable you to make informed decisions when making some decisions.

Does my warehouse really need roller shutters?

We will answer this question with another question back: do you want to provide your building, its contents, the surrounding buildings and potentially, staff with a high level security solution?

If the answer here is yes, then the installation of industrial roller shutters is a no brainer. With a variety of styles and sizes of security roller shutters available on the market today, you will certainly find one suitable for your business.

Not only can they provide an extra high level of security, they can also look modern and polished, depending on the style sought

Busy warehouses need space and high levels of safety

If you have a busy warehouse then you will be all too familiar with the requirement to utilise every inch of space for your product. The beauty of industrial roller shutters is that they open vertically instead of into the unit space, unlike traditional garage or warehouse doors. This means that a vehicle can be parked right up to the doors and be loaded where necessary or stock and product can be stored right into the space next to the shutter without being concerned about access.

An additional, and perhaps hidden benefit of roller shutters is that they can prevent or slow a fire from spreading. This may be of particular interest to anyone who has multiple warehouses within one single building. Fast action fire shutters between warehouses can be deployed quickly, in the event of a fire to help protect staff, contents and even surrounding buildings by delaying the spread of a fire whilst waiting for fire fighters to arrive on the scene.

Protection from weather, crime and intruders

One of the most obvious ways industrial roller shutters can protect your warehouse is by preventing the entry of unwanted visitors. There may be occasions during the lifecycle of your business that one or more of your warehouses will be vacant for long periods. During these times, an industrial roller shutter will keep your warehouse safe from being broken into, vandalised or even inhabited. Surprisingly, squatters have been known to take up residence within unused warehouses where they have been able to gain access because of traditional warehouse doors that haven’t been substantially secure.

Keeping your warehouse and its contents and staff protected from the elements is also possible with the installation of roller shutters. Insulated, fast action roller doors can not only provide excellent weather protection, they can also help control the temperature of a warehouse in both warm and cold conditions.

Safe and easy to use

It’s easy to think that an industrial roller shutter could have the potential to cause injury if not operated correctly but modern systems can be fitted with additional safety measures such as safety brakes, safety edges, audible warning signals and traffic light systems. In areas of high usage, it’s essential to have these safety measures in place as well as a high speed door to keep operations running as smoothly as possible. Industrial roller shutters are super easy to use.

Once trained, almost anyone can operate them and they require little to no physical effort compared with traditional warehouse doors which can be incredibly heavy, require multiple locking systems and a host of keys to keep safe.

Once installed, industrial roller shutters are the best, strongest, most secure way to keep your warehouse safe and deter criminal activity. Providing they are maintained properly and looked after, roller shutters will endure and operate brilliantly for years.

Crucial Engineering – the number one choice for your Warehouse Roller Shutters

Crucial has a wide range of automatic security solutions for industrial environments, including industrial roller shutters. We customise all our secure roller shutter doors and sectional overhead doors to suit your needs so if you are in the market for some new or updated roller shutters for your warehouse or any building, then contact our team who will be happy to give expert advice. Or call +44 (0)345 193 0420 for a friendly chat.

Why is aluminium the material of choice in the commercial sector

Why is aluminium the material of choice in the commercial sector

Aluminium is now widely used throughout the building industry due to a series of natural properties and commercial benefits. It has become the dominant material in many aspects of building construction because of its flexibility and ability to meet highly custom requirements.

Many new building developments including office space, public buildings and shopfronts will now feature aluminium throughout the structure including aluminium windows and doors, roofs and walls. It could also be the dominant material in stairs, railings, shelves and gates - plus many other applications.

This is due to the benefits that aluminium offers in building construction:

Aluminium is lightweight and strong

Aluminium has an excellent weight to strength ratio so it’s ideal for many purposes. Aluminium window frames are thin but also incredibly strong so they can comfortably and securely hold large windows in place. This makes aluminium ideal for modern building design including curtain walling and entrance doors.

Due to the strength of aluminium doors and windows, frames can be made much thinner than more traditional materials such as timber or PVC. This allows more space for glazing which brings further benefits such as increased natural light and eye-catching aesthetics.

Create a modern and eye catching building design

The fact that aluminium looks fantastic makes it an extremely popular material with architects and building designers. Adding aluminium window frames and doors instantly creates the look of an incredibly modern building with clean lines and flexible finishes.

This gives building designers much more freedom to create original structures that can include imaginative curves and angles. Aluminium is flexible enough to bring any idea to life and can be coloured matched to perfectly fit with a company’s branding.

Aluminium is naturally resistant to outside elements

Aluminium naturally has weather resistant properties which makes it highly durable compared to other materials. Timber and other materials are likely to warp or change shape when exposed to long periods for direct sunlight or moisture from rain.

Changes in shape such as warping or damage from corrosion can firstly make doors and windows hard to open, but can also lead to expensive repairs and maintenance. Once manufactured and installed Aluminium will look great and not lose quality with only minimal checks.

Aluminium can be recycled without losing quality

If a commercial building development is conscious about its impact on the environment then aluminium should be the material of choice. Not many people know that aluminium is 100% recyclable and can be re-used for any application many times without losing quality.

Using sustainable materials is important in today’s society and the use of aluminium is a guaranteed way to reduce the overall carbon footprint.

Aluminium increases energy efficiency

Aluminium is not only fantastic at keeping elements out, it is also a fantastic insulator so will keep heat in, and make indoor temperature regulation much easier. So in addition to low maintenance, this makes it highly cost effective through further cost savings from reduced energy costs.

The team at Crucial Engineering are national commercial aluminium fabricators. We manufacture, install and maintain commercial aluminium products to create high quality and secure access solutions. When you work with us you can be sure of a fantastic long term relationship including expert aluminium fabrication services alongside the very best customer service.

Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study

The perfect partnership Unite Students x Crucial Engineering

Unite Students are experts in student accommodation. They have been providing safe and secure homes for students for 30 years. At one of their sites in London, the timber framework around the windows in part of the building had become tired and in need of replacement. Understanding not only the importance of safety for their residents but also how this could impact the warmth of the building, they began to research for a supplier to restore both the framework and windows in these areas.

The many benefits of curtain walling for buildings such as the Unite Students site, are why increasing numbers of developers and architects are opting to use it as part of their building designs. Unite Students did their research to find that not only does aluminium curtain walling have superior strength and durability, but that it also has excellent thermogenic properties, is highly economical and is an environmentally friendly choice since aluminium and glass can be recycled easily and repeatedly.

Having made a decision about the type of glazing required as part of the window restoration, Unite Students felt that Crucial Engineering were the perfect choice for the work required. As specialists in aluminium curtain walling and with a portfolio of well-respected clients, it was clear that Crucial could fulfil the brief to a high standard.

Upon visiting the Unite Students London site, The Crucial Engineering team quickly identified that the existing timber frame was rotten in various sections and that the glazed units weren’t performing as they should be. Curtain walling would be the perfect choice for the sizes and space of the restoration work required with the benefit of providing light and warmth in open and communal areas of the building. Manufacturing and Project planning of the aluminium curtain walling commenced.

The promise of good quality, safe and warm accommodation that Unite Students provides is one of the reasons why they are a trusted partner of over 60 Universities in the UK. They understand that for many students, feeling at home during their years at university can be the difference between achieving moderate results to excellent ones, knowing that much of a student’s study is conducted within their residence. For this reason, the timeframe for the restoration work to be completed by the Crucial Team was super important to ensure minimal disruption to the students’ home and studying.

Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study 01

The Crucial Team went onsite with a plan to install the aluminium curtain walling to span 4 floors of the building in three separate areas. To stay within the projected timeframe, excellent project management of the task was required. The team got to work and efficiently delivered installation of the aluminium framework and curtain glazing.

The resulting finish is one that is sympathetic to the building’s existing aesthetic and colour scheme. Bringing a wealth of light into the building, the aluminium curtain walling will help create well-being for the students who live in the building. In addition, the spaces with the curtain glazing will be energy efficient and well protected from any adverse weather conditions.

An added benefit of the aluminium curtain walling for Unite Students is that it does not require specialist cleaning or maintenance. Any window cleaner can be used, which reduces any extra hidden costs that comparable materials for this type of work might incur.

Unite Students were very satisfied with the work carried out by Crucial Engineering and with the finish of the aluminium curtain walling. The building has had a face lift and now has a chic, modern feel as well as being secure, warm and economic.

Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study 03
Unite Students Crucial Engineering Perfect Partnership Case Study 02

Top benefits of aluminium doors for commercial buildings

Top benefits of aluminium doors for commercial buildings

Commercial aluminium doors are now one of the most popular choices for building installations, and for good reason. If you’re involved in any kind of industrial or commercial property development then you’re likely already familiar with aluminium doors.

When it comes to building aesthetics it’s surprising how often the entrance doors are overlooked. Entrance doors to any retail business or office block are not just a pathway in and out, they can also have a positive (or negative!) impact on things like ventilation, available space and general building design. The doors can very much set the tone of any building and you’ll want to make a bold statement.

Aluminium offers a series of advantages when compared to other materials. As a leading aluminium door manufacturer, we’ve put together the top benefits of investing.

1. Aluminium doors are strong whilst also being lightweight

Aluminium offers an excellent strength to weight ratio compared with virtually any other materials used for manufacturing doors. This makes it an excellent choice for any business premises as it can withstand a fair bit of punishment without showing signs of damage. It’s the go to choice for building designers or planners because it’s highly versatile and strong.

2. Aluminium is a highly durable material

Aluminium is not easily corroded. Changes in temperature as well as other outside elements such as wind and rain don’t have anywhere near the same effect as it has on other materials. Other options such as iron or wooden doors can easily change shape when exposed to the elements which quickly makes them hard to open and close.

Plus, continuous exposure to any moisture can result in the corrosion of iron or the warping of wood. These can lead to expensive repairs. With aluminium you don’t need to worry about these factors.

3. Aluminium doors are robust and provide high grade security

Aluminium doors introduce a robust and secure entrance to any commercial building. For enhanced protection, they can also be used in conjunction with aluminium windows or curtain walling. When compared to wood and or uPVC, aluminium doors really are the best option for security.

4. Aluminium doors are easier to maintain

Compared to most other materials, aluminium is easy to maintain. For example, wooden doors need to be regularly checked to prevent warping or rotting. Plus, any change in temperature can cause wood to expand or contract, which results in needing regular repairs. Iron doors can easily be corroded due to moisture, which again requires regular maintenance.

Aluminium does not require any polishing or painting and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. When you utilise aluminium doors there’s no need to worry about time consuming or costly maintenance.

5. Aluminium is the eco-friendly choice

In today’s eco-conscious society it’s important that any new commercial building or installation use sustainable materials where possible. The use of aluminium reduces the overall carbon footprint as it is 100% recyclable. It can also be reused many times over without losing any of the original quality.

The team at Crucial Engineering are aluminium fabrication specialists. We manufacture, install and maintain commercial aluminium products to create high-quality and secure access solutions.