Seveme’s expertise in metal structure works combined with Pyroguard’s multi-functional range of toughened fire safety glass, Pyroguard Protect, enabled the build of the new Algeria Gulf Bank headquarters. Through the informed specification of additional counterpanes, the curtain wall of this futuristic building was able to achieve an EI120 fire rating, as well as effective solar control. Meanwhile in the internal lobby, where safety and style were key, a unique composition that combined both requirements was used.
Home to one of the country’s leading banks, Algeria Gulf Bank (AGB) HQ comprises a pair of 25-storey twin towers rising from a shared base with five underground basement levels. Located on the El Biar district roundabout in Algiers, the architectural structure forms a pivotal landmark in the city’s skyline. Due to the scale and significance of the building, it needed to create the wow factor from both the outside and the inside. However, it was important that the aesthetically pleasing design and other practical benefits did not compromise on the building’s safety.
Tasked with designing, manufacturing and installing the external glass façades was specialists, Seveme. Miguel Sousa, Project Director, commented: “There were a number of factors that needed to be considered for this project. Firstly, because it is a bank, the building requires high levels of safety and security. As a country in North Africa, Algeria experiences high temperatures all year round therefore solar control was also important for the external application. The main challenge for us during the planning phase was to source a glazing system that could meet both of these specific requirements.
“The client had high standards – not only in terms of glazing performance but for all aspects of the project. The goal from the beginning was to create a solution that combines safety, functionality, comfort and aesthetics – and we needed a curtain wall system that was certified to the highest EI120 classification. The capabilities of Pyroguard’s products and the research and development that goes into them, along with the knowledge and support from its technical team ensured that we were able to achieve this vision.”
One of the major benefits of Pyroguard’s toughened range of fire safety glass is that it can be combined with additional counterpanes, whether acoustic, solar control, decorative or attack resistance, and can be used in various applications to meet individual project requirements. For the 24-floor lift shaft which runs up the spine of AGB headquarters and connects the two towers, Pyroguard T-E120/47-3 from the Pyroguard Protect range was coupled with a solar control IGU to create a truly multi-functional glazing system.
Approximately 800m2 of the Pyroguard T-EI120 glass panes with the solar control layer was installed inside fire rated steel curtain wall, which will provide the lift shaft with integrity and heat insulation for 120 minutes in the event of a fire. It also delivers 1B1 impact classification, UV stability and strong acoustic performance. All Pyroguard products have been approved by Certifire, UK and Efectis, France. An Avis de Chantier project assessment was also provided and certified by Efectis to justify the conformity of Pyroguard T-EI120 in relation to this specific project.
Moving inside the building, the well thought-out design offers the end users spacious and high-quality modern facilities. In the lobby on the ground floor, Seveme installed the same Pyroguard Protect product in the internal partitions. However, in place of a solar control counterpane, a black tinted screen was used for a decorative effect in line with the architect’s interior vision. This once again demonstrated the multi-functional benefits of the flexible Pyroguard toughened range and proved that safety does not need to compromise on aesthetics.
Miguel Sousa concluded: “This was the first project that Seveme had undertaken with Pyroguard and it was a pleasure to work with them from beginning to end. The team advised us on the composition of the products and were able to manufacture them according to the bespoke requirements needed. They also supported us to obtain the necessary certificates and approvals.
“We have really enjoyed working with Pyroguard and we are already in talks about using their solutions for another project. This next project will be completely different to AGB headquarters; it will be in Portugal, where we are based, showing the company’s ability to provide fire safety glass solutions for projects across various sectors around the world.”
For more information about Pyroguard Protect range, please visit www.pyroguard.eu/en/fire-glass-products/pyroguard-protect/