Saudi Review

Jabal Omar ... Technal’s Géode MX curtain-wall system installed.

Jabal Omar ... Technal’s Géode MX curtain-wall system installed.

35 years of success

May 2014

TECHNAL Middle East (TME), part of the France-based international architectural aluminium systems supplier Technal, is reaping the benefits of the long presence of the Technal brand in the regional markets.

The brand, which marks more than 35 years of success in the Middle East this year, has recently added the prestigious Jabal Omar Development in Makkah and the National Guard housing projects to its list of landmark projects in Saudi Arabia. Over 80,000 sq m of its Géode MX curtain-wall system have been installed for all external façades and building envelopes of the Jabal Omar Development, where the company was required to provide some bespoke solutions to meet the project’s design criteria.

“Technal delivered the materials to all the 11 towers in package two of this major landmark project in Makkah,” explains Hesham Kameshki, marketing and business development manager of TME. “While this was a fast-track project – as is the case with all landmark developments surrounding the Grand Mosque – Technal has successfully delivered materials of consistent quality on time and as per project schedule.”

The towers range between 16 and 37 floors and sit on top of a common podium. The aluminium and glazing works for this project were executed by a single Technal-approved local aluminium fabricator, namely Alumaco.

Meanwhile, for the massive National Guard housing projects that spread across the kingdom, Technal is providing special customised versions of its Topaze system B series for all the doors and windows of the villas, to meet the design requirements whilst maintaining costs within budget, according to Kameshki.

He continues: “This project is spread over all regions of the kingdom, and involves the construction of an estimated total of 11,000 villas. To date, Technal has received and delivered materials for nearly 2,000 villas with further units expected to be supplied over the course of this year and next.”

The aluminium and glazing works for this project were implemented through three local Technal-approved aluminium fabricators, namely Binladin Group Aluminium Divisions (UAAC and UCTC), Suhem Projects, and Alfatech. Other fabricators are expected to join in the efforts for additional villas, he adds.

Among other projects in the kingdom, Technal’s unitised façade solutions have been supplied and installed at the elegant United Tower, one of the tallest towers in Jeddah.


Product development

Notéal and Sunéal (below).

Notéal and Sunéal (below).

The company is gearing up to launch additional new advanced aluminium building solutions in the Gulf by the year-end, including the award-winning Air Active Door, and the Sun Active Color fixed frame, which changes colour in tune with outdoor temperatures.

These follow the introduction in the region in 2012 by TME of the Soléal,  Luméal, Notéal and Sunéal series of architectural aluminium concepts that boast high performance at competitive budgets.

Air Active Door is a swing door based on Technal’s Soléal range of casement door systems. Designed primarily for expansive office buildings with heavy foot traffic, the solution facilitates circulation whilst optimising ease of opening. It features a system that ensures water-tightness through the use of a compressible gasket, which provides for excellent, lasting performance whilst being easy to open, Kameshki explains.

The Air Active Door, which retains the minimalistic aesthetic appeal of the Soléal range, provides greater tolerance in installation and maintenance, and no longer requires the installer to use a door threshold. The product is suitable for applications such as entrance doors to all residential, office, institutional and public buildings, where higher levels of air- and water-tightness are needed.

Sun Active Color fixed frame is said to combine aesthetic originality with efficient energy control. It is based on using sections powder-coated with dark thermochromic paint and dynamic solar control glazing that change in appearance according to outside temperatures, Kameshki says, adding the sections retain their colour up to an adjustable threshold (between 0 and 60 deg C), determined prior to manufacturing.

“Once this threshold is reached, the thermochromic paint becomes transparent, revealing the colour of the underlying, lighter layer. This variation makes it possible to change the heat absorption coefficient. For example, with a black colour the coefficient is 0.9, whereas with white it is reduced to 0.3,” he says.

In winter, the joinery has a dark colour but the glazing is completely transparent, thus maximising solar gain inside the building. The light transmission factor (LT) is 55 per cent and the solar factor is close to 0.35 (for fixed frame application, based on electro-chromic SageGlass glazing from Saint Gobain).

In summer, the opposite occurs. The sections become light-coloured and the glazing darkens, protecting the building from heat. Light transmission drops to one per cent and the solar factor drops to 0.05. As a comparison, for a standard fixed frame, the solar factor is 0.568 for traditional double glazing and 0.245 for double glazing with solar control, he points out.

The use of thermochromic paint also provides a solution to the problem of thermal bending, which can occur in sections with thermal breaks. “This is a pure technological concept that can be used on most of Technal applications in all sustainable buildings, residential, commercial, public and private, where energy savings is a criterion. The cycle for commercialising such technology will take a bit of time, beyond 2014,” says Kameshki.

TME also launched its new concept unitised façade solutions, which has already been supplied and installed in landmarks such as the United Tower in Saudi Arabia, which features a unique glass replacement technique and the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank headquarters, where another unitised solution was developed based on the fully capped concept and virtually silicone-free application with a TPE (thermoplastic elastomer) central barrier that has attained a super U-value, says Kameshki.

This hi-tech product is being further enhanced with innovative features and versatile design concepts by Technal’s research and development (R&D) department, he adds.

Technal has also acquired certification for its engineered solutions for blastproof aluminium façade and window applications, which have been installed in a major institution in Kuwait, with a further order lined up for Bahrain.

It has also succeeded in developing special solutions for fire-rated aluminium façade applications which provide resistance during more than one hour of exposure to external and internal fire. “This has made Technal Middle East one of the – if not, the only – leading providers of such product applications in the region,” claims Kameshki.

He stresses that concepts such as these put Technal at the forefront of all architectural aluminium systems providers in the market place and give its products a competitive edge in the industry, which in turn will boost Technal’s market share and TME’s sales.

“Technal architectural aluminium systems are renowned for their quality, innovative French design, durability and technical performance. All over the world, Technal’s aluminium systems give architectural projects intelligence and performance, right from the design stage and are increasingly specified and utilised in landmarks across the Middle East,” says Kameshki.

Technal offers a wide range of technically advanced proprietary and bespoke products for all types of architectural aluminium façades, skylights, sunshades, windows, doors, office partitions, balustrades and blast- and bullet-proof applications.



Kameshki says Technal has never stopped investing in reinforcing its organisation and logistics capabilities, as well as localising its services and support teams in key regional cities, thus enabling it to grow its market share despite the 2008 global financial crisis.

The high-quality products produced by the leading French brand – which has more than five decades of experience behind it – are backed by efficient support both to architects as well as its clients such as metal builders – or aluminium fabricators.

“Our design and technical support teams are on hand to work closely with designers, architects, consultants, specifiers and metal builders in order to achieve the best qualitative application solutions for all kinds of residential and commercial buildings,” he says.

To the architects, TME can provide assistance with concept designs, engineering solutions and services, wind-load and other static calculations, Uw values, and CAD drawings.

TME has one of the largest customer network of metal builders across the region, all fully supported technically, commercially and logistically, ensuring best and consistent services are delivered and stringent international standards and norms are met, he says.

The company supports its customers in many ways, including training and workshop programmes, factory and site audits, technical assistance – all to guarantee high standards of quality in fabrication and installation, Kameshki adds.

“Our customers can rely on a strong Technal Middle East logistics operation that includes a sizeable integrated central distribution warehouse, which delivers all products to every country consistently and on time,” he concludes.

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