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Powering up Lincoln University – J&C’s bespoke fabrication solution

When Leighs Construction needed a support frame for 168 solar panels being installed at Lincoln University, their first call was to J&C.

“Sometimes on a job we have a challenge that needs a unique solution. This was one of those times, but we were more than confident calling in J&C to help,” says Leighs Project Manager Simon Chambers.

The challenge was how to design and attach a solar panel support frame to a glazed façade on the north and east elevations of the Lincoln University research building, being constructed as part of the University’s science building development.

The answer? Bespoke designed and made aluminium frames from J&C.

“Leighs came to us with a problem, and we helped find a solution,” says J&C Managing Director James Adair.

“The sub-frame we’ve designed and made sits on top of the glazed façade, and the solar panels are installed within that frame. It’s definitely one of the more unique jobs we’ve been asked to help with and required careful design and teamwork between all those involved,” says James.

Construction and installation of the frame was a big job – the frame on the north elevation is 16 metres high and 48 metres wide, with the east elevation frame measuring 15 metres wide.

The J&C crew installed the frames and solar panels, which will act like a louvre to block the sun while collecting the energy to generate electricity. J&C has also designed and made vertical louvres to fit around the outside of the building.

“At J&C we’re about creating beautiful, functional outdoor spaces – and while this job was a bit different, we loved using our skills and knowledge to develop a solution that doesn’t just make this building look great but provides solar shading and power generation at the same time. It’s a win win win!”

Simon says they’re delighted with the result, as is their client.

“We’ve got a great relationship with the J&C team and that’s why we chose to get them involved in this project. They are superb to work with, think out of the box to create unique solutions, and their products are always top quality,” says Simon.

The science building development at Lincoln University is due to be completed in mid-2023.

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