The Kraanspoor building in Amsterdam is like no other. Constructed on a concrete craneway in a redundant shipyard, it is a lightweight office block that is glazed on all four sides from the ground to the top of the third floor. The climate inside the structure is controlled and is by driven louvres but the original specification had not factored-in the effects of the harsh coastal environment. Indeed in just twelve months after installation, the rack and pinion drives responsible for louvre actuation were failing through corrosion.
To rectify the problem at speed, the facility’s management contacted drive specialist Framo Morat, a company with a great deal of experience in window actuation. Although the company offers several proprietary products for such a task, the special requirements of the Kraanspoor application resulted in a bespoke drive being designed and manufactured by the German company.
The award-winning Dutch building has a double layer glass façade, on the outer hull of which are the electrically adjustable glass louvres with a silk-screen coating. The rack and pinion drives function is to open the louvres between 0 and 90◦ to limit direct sunlight and glare from the water’s surface.
The first consideration for Framo Morat in designing a replacement for the failing, first generation drive, was clearly the product’s corrosion resistance. What the company recommended however was much more than just an appropriate housing.
Inside the salt-water resistant cast aluminium alloy casing is a worm shaft and rack made from hardened stainless steel. Maximum input speed is 70U/min, static and dynamic forces are up to a maximum of 15,000N and 1,600N.
All 1,320 replacement Framo Morat drives are now installed on the Kraanspoor building and working well. Indeed, thanks to the build quality of these products they are expected to remain a reliable means of louvre actuation for many years to come. And the good news is that this special weather-resistant drive is now available to industry in the UK and Ireland from Framo Morat’s exclusive representative, R. A. Rodriguez, in Letchworth.