‘Sent to Coventry’ – and delivered on time and in full!

We know the UK road network can be a nightmare, so the more time building products spend on it, the less they are likely to end up on site, on time. Throw in access issues to the mix and delayed deliveries can lead to big delays and increased project costs. 

Identifying this as a potential risk to a high-profile project in the centre of Coventry, Acorn recently adapted its delivery process, a model its now rolling out to other schemes because of the benefits the approach delivers.

The scheme

Designed by architects Chapman Taylor, Coventry Hotel Indigo is a 100 room, 5-storey, 4-Star hotel including a 100-cover fine dining restaurant, gym, bar and guest lounge at ground level.

Curtain walling forms a key element of the design and is used extensively at ground-level to create a sense of openness and light. 

It’s also used by the architect to define the overall appearance of the building, with darker ‘columns’ of recessed curtain walling, contrasting with silver-blue metallic cladding.

Acorn Aluminium was appointed to supply 815m2 of SF52 Curtain Walling from Senior Architectural Systems to the scheme, SPW600 windows and SPW501 doors, plus automatic entrance doors. 

Curtain walling, windows and doors, were supplied in a dual colour finish in RAL7016 Anthracite Grey, externally and RAL5008, Grey blue, internally. 

The boutique hotel project is being jointly Funded by Coventry City Council and Friargate LLP, as part of plans to redevelop the entry points to the city from Coventry train station and will open late this year (2023).


The site is situated within a stones’ throw of Coventry Railway Station. Making up a key element of the City’s Station Square and the Friar Gate development and surrounded on all sides by high rise office buildings and bustling roads, plus pedestrianised spaces, access to the site was identified as a potential challenge early in the project.

“We had spoken with the main contractor and we had an awareness right at the start of the project that access to the site was going to be challenging”, explains Craig Key, Operations Manager. 

“Working with them we took a decision to deliver everything in only two drops. We operate from a 30,000 sq ft purpose-built manufacturing facility, giving us the capacity to hold high volumes of stock, fabricate at volume and the store product ready for delivery.

“That meant that we could work with a specialist logisitics company to deliver all 815m2 curtain walling, doors and windows to the scheme in just two deliveries, using full artic for each drop.” 

The advantages of getting materials to sight sooner

Delivery in two larger deliveries overcame challenges surrounding access but also brought additional flexibility to installation teams, allowing them to work around other trades more flexibly.

“It’s also a statement of intent”, continues Craig. “We put a line in the sand and committed to deliver to the site to it, and I think that gave a lot of confidence to the main contractor that we were committed to, and were equipped to deliver, to site to comparatively tight deadlines.” 

Following exceptionally positive feedback from the developer Acorn Aluminium has reviewed its delivery process and where sites can accommodate product, is extending the model pioneered on the Hotel Indigo Coventry project to other schemes.

“There are some very obvious benefits to the approach”, adds Craig. “We’re committed to continuous improvement of our processes to deliver a better service to our customers. 

“We’ve reviewed the approach, spoken with the main contractor to get their feedback and its clear that getting product to some sites early and in full can support more effective project delivery as a whole by getting things weathertight sooner, and bringing more flexibility to work around other trades. 

“Large artic deliveries won’t always be viable on all sites but for those that it is, it delivers big benefits all round.”

Energy efficient aluminium windows and curtain walling

The SF52 curtain walling system from Senior Architectural Systems, is defined by a consistent slim 52mm sightline. It also offers an exceptional level of flexibility and is suitable for both ground floor and high-rise applications, with full weather testing to CWCT and EN13830. 

Senior Systems SF52 aluminium curtain walling:

  • Can be assembled in any combination of capped, vertically capped, horizontally capped or silicone glazed to create a unique external facade. A variety of caps allows even more aesthetic possibilities.
  • Choose from Zone drained or Mullion drained (fully capped only).
  • Large range of transom & mullion sizes with additional reinforcing sleeves and boxes from 50-250mm plus the option of concealed steel reinforcing to allow larger spans.
  • Raked heads for a range of apex angles can be achieved using a specially designed shear block.
  • Fully compatible with any of our windows (including frameless vents) plus both manual and automated doors.
  • Available in an almost unlimited choice of colours and finishes both externally and internally.

Senior Systems SPW600 aluminium commercial window system

The Senior SPW600 is a highly versatile 75mm window system, while its also available in the SPW600e enhanced thermal option, which uses additional thermal inserts on top of the latest polyamide thermal breaking technologies used across the range. 

  • Energy efficient three chamber 75mm system using Polyamide thermal breaking technologies to deliver an enhanced level of thermal performance
  • Available in top and side hung casement options including inward opening and tilt-and-turn options
  • Achieves a BFRC A Rating
  • U-values as low as 1.3W/m2K
  • Enhanced security Secured by Design compliant option

In addition to an advanced level of thermal performance and solar control, the glass specification also includes a high level of acoustic control with a 42RW+CTR rating, significantly reducing traffic noise.

For more about Acorn Aluminium please call 0115 928 2166, email info@acornaluminium.com or visit www.acornalumnium.com

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