What is a Spandrel Panel?

Spanning safety and style is the principle at the heart of our innovative product line, but what is a spandrel panel and why do safety and style matter? Where do our products fit into the construction landscape and why are they so vital?

A render of Speedpanel A2®

Spandrel panels complete the outer building envelope in the gap between the vision areas of windows, ensuring aesthetic consistency from the outside, and concealing the floor slabs, structural columns and shear walls within. Whilst historically spandrel panels were primarily used simply to fill or hide these spaces, modern construction demands that they deliver more. Today, spandrel panels, such as our Speedpanel A2® range, are also designed to play an important role in meeting requirements for thermal efficiency, water control and fire safety.

Why are spandrel panels important?

The very first spandrel panels seen in early neoclassical architecture involved countless layers of wood, plaster, stone and the all-important decorative outer finish. They would encapsulate unused space by filling the gaps between the outside of an arch and the side walls of a building.

In contemporary architecture, bright open spaces have become more than a passing trend, increasingly favoured in the construction of everything from office and retail spaces to high-rise housing. When incorporating large scale glass sections into ground-up architectural designs and challenging retrofits, it’s essential that the space between these areas is thermally efficient, in-keeping with a building’s design, and maintains the safety and integrity of the building envelope.

Our Speedpanel A2® range represents the next generation of spandrel panel. In the past, the constraints of traditional spandrel panel designs have meant compromising architectural visions or utilising a complex built up system which is neither time nor cost efficient. By opting for our modular, premanufactured solution with a wide spectrum of non-vision glass and aluminium finishes, challenging design can once again be embraced in the spandrel zone.

What makes a Speedpanel A2® spandrel panel unique?

We have reimagined what a spandrel panel should be.

Speedpanel A2® is manufactured as a complete unit in our dedicated UK facility, ensuring consistent quality every time. Avoiding the hazards of applying various layers and finishes to panels on a construction site, which is subject to temperamental weather conditions, and varying skill and understanding of product requirements, we have designed a product grounded in our expertise as installers.

This means a contractor no longer has to judge levels of material, fixing tightness or fitment, and can now simply glaze in a complete unit into the spandrel zone. Aside from the practical benefits of installation quality, installers can benefit from lower fitting times and higher overall efficiency.

Unique to Speedpanel is how we chose to test and ensure its fire performance. Many other products chose to test elements of a spandrel panel, such as the core or outer face, and combine those results to reach fire ratings. We believe this is not a realistic representation of how a spandrel panel performs in the real-world on real buildings. We test Speedpanel A2® independently via Warrington Fire as an entire system, achieving an A2-s1, d0 rating in real fire conditions. This ensures that the places we live, work and socialise are as safe as possible, whilst retaining excellent thermal performance and improving the experience of job-site installers.

Achieving unparalleled design freedom, Speedpanel A2® is selectable in either an aluminium or non-vision glass finish. These can further be tailored to a specific shade or colour, so architects and specifiers can choose a spandrel panel which best fulfils the initial building vision without sacrificing other areas of performance. Our technical team also work towards bespoke variations of Speedpanel A2®, meaning tight sizes, odd shapes and specific design requirements can be met in challenging scenarios by our team.

Get in touch to find out how Speedpanel A2® could help achieve your project vision.


27 January 2022