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The distinctively clad Vector arena feature materials from Composite Insulation, instaled by Insite Aluminium

GIMME SHELTER

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DOWNTOWN AUCKLAND is enjoying a renaissance. First the Viaduct Basin, then Britomart and now the Vector Arena. Three positive steps that are transforming downtown Auckland from crusty to contemporary.

Like Britomart and the Viaduct Basin's Hilton Hotel, a premium development site requires a design that adds to a city's architectural heritage. At the Vector Arena, the design team chose a rainscreen exterior that utilises EuroFox Facade technology and Exterior Max-on-top HPL Boards to deliver the required combination of performance and aesthetics, says John Gibbons, director of Composite Insulation.

"If rainscreen methodologies are embraced by the architect or planner, a wide range of materials may be integrated safely onto a facade. As well as providing effective thermal and sound insulation, rainscreens create a watertight wall in even the most adverse circumstances. The benefit of EuroFox is that it allows on-the-job alignment and levelling. It can also be configured to accommodate up to 260mm differences between fastening planes," he says.

Although lightweight, EuroFox can support heavy cladding materials, such as stone and terra cotta, with facades of up to 100kg/m2 safely supported.

"The corrosion-resistant EuroFox system is an ideal retrofit for defective exteriors, such as leaky buildings, or facades needing a facelift. Using EuroFox from the start allows you to update or modify without major impact on existing tenants," says Gibbons.

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"Internationally, Eurofox's installation flexibility, adjustability on site and high strength-to-weight ratio separates it from other cladding products. In New Zealand, there is no similar product."

The Exterior Max-on-top HPL panels used at Vector Arena feature a timber-like finish.

"Exterior Max-on-top is a tough material manufactured from fillets of natural fibre and synthetic resins, which are coated with an acrylic PUR resin. The panels, which are suitable for any exterior applications, are available in ninety pre-finished decor styles and format sizes of up to 7.59m2," says Gibbons.

The panels are weather, UV, scratch, solvent and impact resistant, and impervious to frosts and heat. The are also free from heavy metals, easy-to-install on EuroFox rainscreens, and ecologically sound.

Max Alucompact, another Composite Insulation product, was chosen as the opaque canopy element at Vector Arena because of its high flexural strength.

For more details, contact Composite Insulation, phone (+64 3) 348 8015 or (+64) 21 614 373. Email: john@composite-nz.co.nz or visit:www.eurofox.com orwww.maxontop.com/e/ex_fasadenplatten.shtml .

THE BEST way to keep future maintenance costs to a minimum is to use high-quality, weather-resistant materials and install them with exact attention to detail. Embracing superior new products and technology is also a way to achieve win-win outcomes for all parties involved in a project.

At the Vector Arena, Insite Aluminium was chosen to install the EuroFox Facade Technology and the Exterior Max-on-top and Max Alucompact panels that give the arena its distinctive look. It was the company's demonstrated capability on complex facades, such as the Sky Tower, Vero Tower and NRM Tower, that made it an obvious choice, says the company's director, Jonathan Calder.

"The Vector Arena project allowed Insite Aluminium to demonstrate its capability as a proactive facade contractor through the development of specific installation techniques and quality control systems that are unique to rainscreen exteriors," he says.

Insite Aluminium is a specialist installer of commercial facades, including high rise curtain wall systems, apartment windows and doors, and rain screen cladding systems. The company employs a large, stable team which has more than 18 years experience, and a management team keen to embrace any technological advances.

During the Vector project, Insite Aluminium received highly detailed installation drawings from EuroFox, says Calder.

"The accuracy of the installation was aided by the use of AutoCAD on site, which made it possible to check minute details in real time. The fully adjustable EuroFox system design also minimised man hours during installation, while the Exterior Max-on-top HPL panels proved to be fully compatible with the EuroFox support structure, achieving near-perfect visual alignment."

A rainscreen system allows the ingress of air at the top of the system and the egress of air at the base. The cavity allows any water which penetrates the panel joints to be partly removed by natural ventilation and partly removed by running down the rear face of the panels and out of the base.

Svetlana Reiter, director of EuroFox Europe and the supplier of EuroFox technology to New Zealand, expressed admiration for the quality of the installation at the stadium.

"The Vector Arena Eurofox and Exterior Max-on-top facade has been installed at a quality equal to anything achieved in Europe – the home of this technology."

For further information, contact Insite Aluminium, phone 021 950 704, fax (09) 521 4204. Email: jonathan@insitealuminium.co.nz.

First published date: 12 December 2006

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