SFS fastening solutions deliver superior envelope quality for Dundee’s new V&A

High performance A4 austenitic stainless fasteners by SFS will play a vital role in ensuring that the stunning new V&A Dundee will retain its superb visual appeal throughout its lifespan.

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The market-leader in building envelope fastener systems has partnered with Sika Sarnafil and Q9 Cladding Solutions to deliver a secure and durable warm roof for the highly acclaimed museum, which is the first V&A outside London and explores Scotland’s design heritage past, present and future. Their comprehensive building envelope package will ensure the visually stunning façade delivers on the architect’s aesthetic goals throughout its lifespan.

Opened in September, the V&A is the centrepiece of the Dundee waterfront regeneration programme, a £1 billion project designed to reconnect the city with its river. The 30 year redevelopment scheme (2001-2031) stretches 5 miles along the Tay riverside and is expected to help create more than 7,000 jobs. Designed by globally acclaimed Japanese architects Kengo Kuma & Associates, following an international competition, the V&A Dundee is an eye-catching 8,000m2 building.

A total of 2,466 huge cast stone panels, weighing 3000kg each and spanning up to 4m wide, wrap around the museum’s façade, the design of which was inspired by the coastal cliffs of the North East of Scotland.

As part of the building envelope package, SFS worked closely with membrane manufacturer Sika Sarnafil to ensure that the innovative design of the V&A warm roofs could be delivered sustainably, and to a superior build quality for maximum longevity. This typifies SFS’s dedication to providing industry-leading support and guidance along the entire supply chain.

Colin Black, Technical Sales Manager for SFS in Scotland, worked closely with Sika Sarnafil and Q9 Cladding Solutions, providing multiple pull-out tests at various stages of the project and technical backup during the installation phase. With the building’s exposed waterfront location, and a design which features an impressive cantilever over the River Tay and a roof height of 18m, it was crucial that no risks were taken with the long term reliability of the fastening solutions for the warm roofs.

Wind load calculations confirmed that membrane and insulation layers needed to be mechanically fixed, and the building’s location in an exposed saline environment demanded the highest level of corrosion resistance achieved through austenitic stainless steel grade A4 (316) fasteners.

Their application will ensure that the life of the fastening system will meet or exceed the life of the roof system and eliminate the risk of premature failure. Sika Sarnafil S327 membrane was installed with the Sarnafast fastening system, which includes thermally broken SFT sleeves and SFS’s BS-S-4,8 austenitic stainless steel grade A4 (316) fasteners.

The tapered insulation system was also installed with BS-S-4,8 fasteners which were combined with Sika SBT sleeves and SBIW insulation washers. Being A4, grade 316 austenitic stainless steel, the SFS BS-S-4,8 fasteners are available with a 25 year warranty and have been proven in environmental conditions worldwide. This is due to the material characteristics of A4 austenitic stainless steel which is recommended for industrial and coastal regions where design life requirement exceeds 15-20 years.

Colin Black says “It was great to work with both Q9 Cladding Solutions and Sika Sarnafil on this prestigious building. This was a very complex build, which inevitably threw up some problematic fixing applications for the installers, so site visits were necessary to understand the issues being encountered, in order to provide practical and workable solutions to the problems. It’s a building that means a lot to the redevelopment and growth of Dundee and we are very proud to have been able to assist with our products and expertise.”