Aluminium Copings and Cappings
Dales Fabrications offer bespoke secret fixed aluminium copings and cappings, designed specifically to suit individual project requirements. Aluminium cappings clip securely to bespoke brackets to provide a robust yet attractive finish.
Our weatherstruck aluminium coping system can be designed to accomodate most wall constructions.
Offering a more traditional appearance, our Ridgeway Aluminium Coping System can even be painted in a stone finish.
Our Meridian Aluminium Copings have proved very popular, with thousands of metres installed nationwide.
Our aluminium copings are designed and manufactured in-house so curves and facettes can easily be incorporated.
Design & Specification Service
Project Management Design & Specification Service
On receipt of project drawings, we assign a Project Manager to each project. They provide a single point of contact throughout the life of the project, from initial design to completion. Relevant criteria, including support methods, material requirements and budget are established with the specifier. The Project Manager can prepare CAD drawings, calculations, NBS Specifications and quotations, providing a complete specification service. To discuss the requirements for your project, our Project Management Team can be contacted on Tel: 0115 930 1521.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Dales Fabrications hold full Design/Professional Indemnity Insurance with a first-class security in the London market. This allows architects and specifiers to use our products with confidence.
BS EN ISO 9001: Design & Manufacture
Dales Fabrications have been working within the constraints of BS EN ISO 9001 accreditation since 1993. Our ISO 9001: Design & Manufacture certificate is available to view here.
Wall Copings & Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety
Following amendments to the Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety in buildings that were introduced in December 2018, materials in walls on residential buildings over 18m high must be either non-combustible A1 or A2 s1, d0 (Reaction to Fire Classification EN BS 13501-1: 2018).
Further to this the government has signalled its intention to further reduce the height of 18m on relevant building to 11m and consultation on that finishes on 12 April 2020.
For your peace of mind, Dales aluminium copings are manufactured in aluminium and are either:
• Anodised and A1: (Reaction to Fire Classification EN BS 13501-1: 2018)
• PPC and A2 s1, d0: (Reaction to Fire Classification EN BS 13501-1: 2018)
Aluminium Wall Copings: Standard or Bespoke
Dales have been producing aluminium wall copings to suit a wide variety of wall types to suit different building applications for many years. Whilst standard systems are most often required, Dales can design copings on an individual project basis and are not restricted in size by particular extruded parts.
Whilst secret fix systems are preferred by most specifiers, it is often the case that walls with increasingly substantial insulation require larger width copings and Dales can offer advice as to when a mechanically fixed coping will offer a more secure solution.
Best practice requires a suitable DPM be installed under any metal coping system
For more information and to discuss your project requirements, please contact our Project Management Team on Tel: 0115 930 1521 or download drawings here.
Coping Support Bracket: Strength Through Design
With their unique folded bracket design, Dales offer methods of support to suit walls that involve concrete, masonry or structural steel construction with claddings from curtain walling to traditional masonry. For advice on how our coping support brackets can integrate into your wall designs, please call us on Tel: 0115 930 1521 or email drawings to firstname.lastname@example.org
Sizing, overhangs & material thickness
The minimum size that Dales currently manufacture a wall coping for is a single skin brick wall. For anything smaller in width, please send your enquiry and drawings of the application to email@example.com
When designing a coping, due consideration should be given to the overhang on both sides of the wall and the materials used for the walls. To reduce or eliminate staining and algae growth on walls, caused by water dripping from the coping, a minimum of 25mm overhang to each side of the coping should be specified and up to 40mm may be considered best where copings are installed on rendered walls.
The thickness of aluminium that the coping is manufactured from is dependent on the overall wall thickness, which will include all materials that make up the total wall width and should include some tolerance:
|Total wall thickness||Aluminium thickness|
|Above 501mm||Call Dales on 0115 930 1521|
Typical coping components
Gutter Configuration : Hidden or Exposed
Traditionally, gutters have been exposed and Dales offer a wide range of decorative and functional gutter profiles, which can be used to compliment an exposed gutter configuration.
Hidden gutter configurations provide a more contemporary appearance and allow more imaginative fascia profiles to be used, from plain fascias to trapezoidal, bullnose, raked and elliptical designs.
Dales are able to design and manufacture fascia profiles to almost any shape, size or proportion including curved and elliptical designs. As part of our specification service preliminary drawings can be prepared which can be inserted directly into your own drawings. All systems are designed on an individual project basis and a 25 year guarantee may be available, subject to terms and conditions. Example drawings can be downloaded here.
Dales offer a wide variety of different soffit types, from secret fix panels to secret-fix planks, more details are available here.
Dales design and manufacture aluminium rainscreen panels on a bespoke basis to suit each individual project, more detail available here.
More information of the various support systems that Dales can provide is available here.
Fire: Aluminium & Finishes
Dales Aluminium Products are non-combustible
Dales manufacture products in either plain aluminium, Anodised Aluminium or Architectural Polyester Powder Coating finishes, all of which are non-combustible (A1 or A2, s1 d0).
Building Regulations Part B: Fire Safety (June 2022 Amendments apply from 1st December 2022) require that only non-combustible materials that are either A2 s1, do or A1 must be used:
- for walls and ‘specified attachments’ of relevant buildings over 18m, and;
- on the external surfaces of external walls for all ‘residential’ purpose group buildings over 11m (Groups 1 & 2)
Suitable materials are only those that successfully achieve classification as either A2, s1 d0 or A1* non-combustible under Fire Classification: Reaction to Fire EN BS 13501-1:2018
A European Commission Directive* forms part of the structure of legislation**, that the English Building Regulations including Part B rests upon and that lists construction materials that belong to Class A and make no contribution to fire. This includes steel and aluminium and non-organic treatments of the same (such as zinc-galvanising for steel and anodising of aluminium).
Aluminium and steel and non-organic treatments of the same (including zinc-galvanising for steel and anodising of aluminium) are A1 non-combustible and make no contribution to fire. This is confirmed in a European Commission Directive that forms part of the UK legislation that the English Building Regulations including Part B rests upon and these materials do not require testing under BS 13501-1:2018.
Dales Fabrications Ltd utilise Architectural Polyester Powder Coatings from all the major manufacturers including Syntha Pulvin (Sherwin Williams), Interpon D (Akzo Nobel) , Drylac (Tiger), Axalta, Powdertech whose powder coatings are independently tested under Fire Classification: Reaction to Fire EN BS 13501-1:2018 and achieve A2 s1, d0. Independent test classification certificates are available, if required.
Dales Fabrications Ltd has also undertaken independent tests (Warrington Fire) – WF 432374 – EN 13501-12018 that confirmed A2 s1 d0 classification for an architectural powder coated Dales Fabrications Ltd system. A video taken during the test can be viewed above.
* https://www.legislation.gov.uk/eudn/1996/603 96/603/EC: Commission Decision
**https://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2019/465 SI 2019/ 465
Fire & Aluminium Copings
See also ‘Design considerations’ above.
With regard to all aspects of detailing for fire-prevention and prevention of spread of fire, as with all projects, specifiers, developers and their main contractors should employ and consult a suitably qualified and experienced fire safety engineer to ensure that all details submitted, specifically including those details which may involve Dales ppc or anodised aluminium products are considered appropriate, suitable and compliant with current building regulations & the overall fire strategy for the project.
Specifiers, Developers and Main contractors are further invited to consider the RIBA Fire resources web page at https://www.architecture.com/campaign/grenfell-tower
The design liability of Dales will be limited to the reasonable skill and care of a specialist sheet-metal fabricator.
Quotations provided by Dales include for the items expressly listed and do not include for the supply (or design) of any supplementary items such as, but not limited to; insulation, plywood, vapour barrier, fire protection, insect mesh or mastic/sealant (other than gutter sealant). Any reference to bill pages, specifications or drawings is listed for information only.
Colour & Finish
Anodising vs Architectural Polyester Powder Coating
Anodising is a low maintenance, high performance product with practically no UV fade that is ideal for aggressive environments. These include locations with high levels of UV light such as marine and coastal areas. With a wide range of colours and an attractive metallic sheen that changes with the angle of view, anodising is a fantastic premium product that many aspire to. Whilst it may stretch, or even break the budget, the low maintenance characteristics and lifetime guarantee offered means many clients will choose anodised finish in preference to architectural polyester powder coating.
Anodising is a naturalistic finish, which means every anodised item will vary in appearance and a consistently uniform finish is almost impossible to achieve. This echos the way pieces of natural stone, wood or slate will vary. This is a fundamental characteristic of anodising and is a primary difference between it and paint finishes such as architectural polyester powder coating.
In fact, the variance and shading differences that occur across anodised products are a primary reason to choose anodising to protect your building. The key point is that if a uniform colour finish is wanted then anodising is probably not the right finish for you.
Architectural Polyester Powder Coatings:
If you want a low maintenance, robust finish in a staggering colour pallette offering different gloss levels even for relatively small production runs of bespoke products, then architectural polyester powder coating is what you need. The colours and finishes for polyester powder coating are developing all the time and now there are even special effect powders providing the appearance of timber, stone, corten, verdi gris and even more.
Dales use only Syntha Pulvin powders in their second factory, which houses their Syntha Pulvin Approved Applicator facility, but are happy to provide our products in Interpon D1036 & D2525, Tiger Drylac, Axalta and Powdertech Special Effect powders using each manufacturer’s Approved Applicator, as necessary.
Dales products, whether supplied in anodised or architectural polyester powder coated finish can usually be provided with guarantees, dependant on their geographical location and specific environment and subject to terms and conditions.
It is the specifier’s responsibility to ensure that Marine Specification is specified in the contract particulars, and our Project Managers can assist by advising on and providing appropriate NBS Specification clauses.
As noted in the comparison between Anodising and Polyester Powder Coating in the “Colour” section above, in locations with high levels of UV light, such as the coast, anodised finish is recommended purely from a performance criteria. Once budget, contract size and production issues are brought into play however, marine specification polyester powder coating may be the more modest answer.
If architectural polyester powder coating is to be used in a coastal or marine situation then a marine environment paint specification should be considered where the development is in an aggressive environment, especially industrial and marine environments, ie. within 2km of the sea or tidal estuary.
In a non-marine environment, polyester powder coating is applied to give an average 60 microns paint film to visible faces only and that can be guaranteed for up to 40 years, terms and conditions apply. For a Marine Specification guarantee to be considered, a minimum of 60 microns of paint must be applied to both internal and external surfaces and A2 stainless steel fixings used.
Any guarantee which the polyester paint manufacturer or anodiser will offer is determined by them on an individual project basis upon completion of a questionnaire submitted by the customer and possible site visit, both of which must be completed prior to any order being placed. It should be borne in mind that if the goods are on the seafront or within 1km of the seafront then a paint manufacture may not offer a guarantee, but anodisers might.
Acutely Exposed or Industrial Environments
For acutely exposed marine or industrial environments Marine Specification can be further upgraded in several ways, which includes one or more of the following:
• changing the base aluminium alloy to a ship-building alloy,
• changing the powder coating to Qualicoat 2 specification,
• amending secondary supports to all aluminium,
• changing fixings to A4 stainless steel (provided such suitable fixings are available) or
• moving to an anodised finish.
If you consider that your project may be located in an acutely exposed marine or industrial environment, please contact one of our Directors or Project Managers to discuss this further. Please bear in mind it is not always possible to guarantee products installed in harsh environments.
Durability, Loadings & 3D Modelling
Dales systems are designed to give a low maintenance life of 60 years in rural and suburban conditions & up to 25 years in industrial conditions, dependant on the exact environment. For marine environments see above.
Operation & Maintenance Information
As part of the Dales Project Management: Design & Specification Service a full technical guide is issued to site that includes A3 copies of all Dales detail proposal drawings in full colour and generic system fixing instructions as a comprehensive Technical Guide. This also includes a comprehensive ‘Fixings Identification List’ that identifies where each fixing is supposed to use, the same information is noted on the detail proposal drawings too.
It is the customer’s responsibility to request a full O&M pack from Dales, which will include a complete detail drawings pack and the relevant generic fixing instructions complete with the maintenance schedule and any guarantee originally requested in the original customer order.
Copings installed in excess of 10m above ground level will require mechanical fixing due to increased wind loads and the thickness may also need to be increased. Dependant on the design, the fixings may be visible or recessed.
Any coping will transfer loads to the structure, so it is vital, for example that if the wall is made with brick that the top courses are tied in adequately. Similarly, where uneven surfaces are to be capped, or where perforated bricks are utilised, it is recommended that 18mm minimum of exterior grade ply is installed (subject to the amendments to building regulations Part B: Fire safety). Best practice requires a suitable DPM be installed under any metal coping system.
To discuss how to design copings to withstand potential abseil or wind-loadings please contact our Project management team on Tel: 0115 930 1521.
Loadings: Finite Element Analysis FEA/FEM Modelling
As part of its overall design process Dales may be required to provide a computer-generated Finite Element Analysis (FEA) or similar report that may indicate whether a system designed by Dales is likely to withstand specific wind or other loadings. In the case of wind-loadings, it is the customer’s responsibility to ensure that they correctly inform Dales of the “local wind pressure design cladding load for the specific element of the works” as well as the height and location of the detail that Dales are to supply.
Please note that Dales reserve the right to pass on any costs incurred in producing any such report or calculations, as well as any additional product costs that the conclusions from the report deem necessary. Since it is not possible to fully predict all the dynamic factors that may arise, any report generated through a computer-model will always be limited to some extent in its ability to predict real-life outcomes with absolute accuracy.
It is therefore the customer’s design and financial responsibility to ensure that any such FEA/ FEM report that Dales may provide is deemed adequate, sufficient and compliant with the project design specification by the Project Structural Engineer in terms of the; model, loadings and physical properties of the materials used.
Where Dales are required to design their systems, for whatever reason, using 3D modelling software, typically AutoDesk Revitt, lead times for the preparation of detail design drawings (Dales proposal drawings) or 3D models are likely to be increased. This may on occasion affect overall lead times for the provision of manufactured products and Dales are not liable for any costs however they may arise due to the increased design time that results from the need for 3D computer modelling. Dales reserve the right to charge for any such increased design time incurred in their design office that results from the need for 3D modelling.
Dales design all systems to accommodate the extremes of temperature typical in the UK. For overseas projects, please contact Dales to discuss the requirements of your project.
Curves, Joint Modulation & Fixings
Curving Coping Systems
The visual effect of a finished curved system whilst technically demanding and costly always gives a finished project a ‘landmark’ quality. Dales have a long heritage of designing and manufacturing curved products since the business was first established in 1977. When specifying curved systems, it is recommended that one of our Directors or experienced Project Managers meet with the project design team to discuss the possibilities, use the chat facility or call us on t.0115 930 1521
Modulation to Grid or Curtain-walling
Wall coping systems are most often supplied in standard lengths, usually 3m, but can be designed to modulate with grid or curtain-walling mullions. If modulation is required, it should be identified in the NBS Specification clause and Dales Project Managers can assist and advise on any costing implications that may arise due to modulation.
Fixings present a potential weak link in any system, as such Dales take the process of fixing selection as seriously as the design of the system itself. All fixings have been selected after careful consultation with manufacturers and rigorous testing for both ultimate strengths and potential incompatibility issues. All necessary fixings are supplied as part of the complete package from Dales.
Aluminium: The sustainable choice
Aluminium is recognised as one of the most sustainable materials for use in the building industry. This is due to the vast natural deposits of bauxite (aluminium ore) and product longevity, combined with low recycling costs. Around 98% of the aluminium used in UK construction projects is recycled.
Preferred Installer Network
Our network of carefully selected preferred installers are on hand to provide a full supply and fix package. These companies specialise in the installation of our materials and fit them on a regular basis and vary in size from large facades installers to smaller eaves and rainwater goods specialists.