Kawneer Secures Sunesis School Building Joint Venture

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Nick Dardalis

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Kawneer Architectural aluminium systems have been widely supplied in commercial buildings for several decades in the UK.  One of the sectors that have regularly featured Kawneer products is the education sector for schools, colleges and universities.

Kawneer to provide windows to pre-design school buildings.

construction of school buildings
Sunesis provide complete school buildings at fixed budgets.

Sunesis is a joint venture between Scape Group and Wilmots Dixon.  They provide pre-designed education buildings at a fixed price, specification and construction programme. As well as school buildings, Sunesis also provide leisure developments.

The Sunesis construction model isn’t a portakabin or set form of construction.  It’s come about following research and finding out the common designs used in many school buildings.  For modern schools these are remarkably similar throughout all types of schools.  This has enabled Sunesis to develop a new type of product for schools.  Since the start of Sunsis in 2010 over £100m of new education facilities have been built creating over 8,500 new primary school places.  Standard designs for school buildings exist such as Keynes2, Paxton2 and Dewey school models.

A fully functional school is constructed. All internal and external building elements are included in the price.  Internal and external finishes are allowed for, fixed furniture where required is provided as well as full kitchen facilities.  The build can also include school halls, car parking, playgrounds, perimeter fencing and play areas. A typical cost of a Sunesis complete build is between £3.5 and £5.5 million.

What does Sunesis with Kawneer windows provide?

commercial aluminium doors feature heavily in high use buildings such as schools.
Commercial aluminium doors feature heavily in high use buildings such as schools.

When ordering a school building under the Sunesis programme, clients receive:

  • A pre-defined layout and specification
  • A fixed cost.
  • A guaranteed construction programme
  • All regulatory approvals such as Building Regulations and other specifications.
  • The benefit of a full Level 2 Building Information Model (BIM).

Kawneer is now the preferred supplier for Sunesis and will provide their slimline AA100 curtain walling system and AA541 aluminium casement windows.  As commercial doors are the correct product in a high use building such as a school the series 190 heavy-duty external entrance doors are also provided.

As part of the new two-year framework agreement Kawneer will deliver technical support at every stage, from initial concept design at BIM Level 2 and the preparation of specifications, through to installation through the manufacturer’s national network of approved specialist subcontractors.

Sunesis work with many established names in construction. These include Velux for roof windows, Mitsubishi Electric, British Gypsum, Ideal Standard for bathroom fittings and others.  Technal Systems are also listed as a preferred supplier.  What is unclear is whether Kawneer are an approved contractor alongside Technal or are the new nominated contractor for windows, doors and curtain walling.