San Clemente High School


  • Architect: Austin McFarland Architects
  • Builder: North Constructions
  • Fabricator: PCW Commercial Windows

About the project

Tackling a complex project often brings out the best in a team. This was certainly the case when PCW Commercial Windows took on the challenge of San Clemente High School’s new Multi-Purpose Hall, defined by its inventive application of high-performance materials.

The school project included a new multi-purpose school hall, along with several new classrooms. While some minor work took place on existing structures, most of the construction was new. ‘We worked with North Constructions on San Clemente,’ says Leigh Spinks, Managing Director of PCW Commercial Windows. ‘While there were a variety of challenging materials used, the most challenging was the late 2018 completion date. There was extensive rain during the early stages. The pressure to make up for lost time kept us on target, and everyone pulled together.’

The project’s logistics were complex. ‘Installing the extensive range of Capral window suites required having to work at heights, in an awkwardly cramped location with the aid of a boom and scissor lifts,’ says Leigh. ‘There’s nothing clear or easy about working at heights, and San Clemente was a perfect example!’

The architect’s demands added another layer of complexity. ‘The Sports Hall was a particularly difficult nut to crack,’ Leigh says. ‘It was patterned in timber, steel and brickwork, with mammoth glazed panels breaking them up, encased Capral 419 window suites.’

Much discussion was had about ensuring the building was waterproof, calling for close collaboration between PCW staff, the architect and builder. ‘We had to devise a way of combining these intricate details in a sturdy and rain-impervious structure, which we decisively achieved in the end,’ Leigh says. ‘The reliability and integrity of the Capral suites was central to this process.’

The unique nature of the classroom created further challenges. ‘The architects wanted to split one classroom into two parts, with an operable (i.e. movable) wall in between,’ says Leigh. ‘To create this, we used the Capral 900 Series sliding doors with low profile sill tracks to eliminate the trip hazard for students.’

The other Capral products chosen for the school were carefully selected. ‘As well as the Capral 900 Series, we used Capral ‘s 419 Flushline 100mm in both single-glazed and double-glazed formats,’ says Leigh.

Capral’s compatibility with the project’s ambitious yet functional aesthetics is clear. ‘Capral’s 419 Flushline aluminium suites worked ideally for the architectural intent’ says Leigh. We got the building completed by the due date, in time for Term 1 … and I’m proud to say the builder picked up the $5–$10m Commercial Building award in the process!’


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