Category Archives: Educational Buildings

Washroom design for the well educated

With so many rules and regulations surrounding the practicalities of washroom design in educational settings, Daniel Ward, Senior Ceramics Product Manager for Twyford, talks us through the dos and don’ts of sanitary specification for the school environment.

Specifying products for washrooms within the education sector may seem like a fairly straightforward task, but there are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account to ensure not only that regulations are met, but that the space is well designed, comfortable and practical.

Lack of privacy, vandalism and inadequate cleaning and maintenance can make a visit to the toilet an unpleasant and unhealthy experience for students. In fact, recent research undertaken by charity Education and Resources for Improving Childhood Continence (ERIC) highlighted that the quality of school toilets has a huge impact on pupils’ health, education and happiness. Therefore the design of washrooms in education premises needs to be about a lot more than simply providing enough toilets and washbasins.

Laying out the order

The overall layout of school washrooms is a good place to start. As well as adhering to regulations regarding wheelchair accessible cubicles, all standard cubicles must have a minimum 450mm-diameter manoeuvring space that is clear of the door swing. And of course, when you are designing spaces for growing children, the sizes and fixing heights of sanitaryware must be suitable for the relevant user age groups too. Short projection WCs offer a good solution here, creating the necessary space while still ensuring user comfort. Wall-mounting the pan with a suitable framing system will enable the height of the WC to be easily adjusted during installation, to better meet the needs of the user.

Hygiene first

Aside from layout, hygiene in this environment is extremely important too, with ease of cleaning being key to students’ health and wellbeing. So much so that the Department for Education offers guidance on the issue, stating that to avoid build-up of dirt and germs, the toilets in schools should be wall-hung or back to wall.. This also offers a solution with regards to ensuring plumbing work is tamper-proof, a particular point of note when specifying for colleges and universities which serve older children and young adults. The cistern and pipework concealed within the framing system, preventing interference, while being easy to access for maintenance purposes. A dual-flush cistern sitting neatly behind the wall will also help to significantly reduce the amount of water used, while not affecting overall flushing performance. This is particularly important in educational establishments, which are high-traffic areas with the potential for toilets to be flushed literally hundreds of times in any one day.

It is also worth noting that in schools, particularly where younger users are present, the recommendation is also to avoid urinals, but where they are specified to opt for individual bowls rather than a trough, with modestly panels for privacy.

sanitaryware
Twyford offers a Rimfree school pans and Flushwise water-efficient WC flushing options.

Water-saving pays off

The washbasins in school washrooms should also be subject to a number of practical considerations. Of course, ease of cleaning for hygiene reasons remains imperative, making ceramics that are coated with an easy to clean glaze a particular benefit, while the choice of brassware is also important. Not only should mixer taps for washbasins be robust and tamper-proof, ideally they should be fitted with an automatic shut-off too, either through a built-in timed delivery feature or infra-red sensors.

Energy and water are a major proportion of non-staff costs in schools, colleges and universities and a major part of their environmental impact. While some schools will have greater scope for savings than others, overall more than 20% of energy is wasted, and a school that is equipped with water conservation devices, such as taps with automatic shut-offs or flow restrictors, plus dual-flush WCS, typically use less than half the amount of water used in schools where such features are not present.

Longevity guarantee

Keeping maintenance levels as low as possible is an important requirement in school buildings, where downtime in washrooms can be at best inconvenient for staff and students. This makes the specification of quality sanitary fittings that will be hard-wearing and durable, of particular significance. To limit the frequency of replacing such fixtures and fittings, their life expectancy should be around 15-20 years, with a manufacturer’s guarantee providing the best scope for this.

There are undoubtedly a lot of things to consider when designing washrooms for educational establishments, with all elements really carrying an equal weight of importance. The trick to ticking all of them off and achieving a successful design is to establish a strong relationship with a manufacturer who is able to respond to all aspects of a washroom’s design, from layouts and dimensions to styles and materials as standard, so that there is never any need to compromise.

For more details contact Twyford on 01926 516800 or visit www.twyfordbathrooms.com.

Bespoke ceiling adds unique touch to university refurbishment

The University of Birmingham is one of the UK’s leading Russell Group universities, featuring in the top 15 of the University League Tables 2017.

The leafy Edgbaston campus is undergoing a series of major building projects and Hunter Douglas, the international leader in architectural building products, played its role in the refurbishment of a lecture theatre in the Avon Room.

Hunter Douglas

Designed by Birmingham-based Associated Architects, the overhaul included Hunter Douglas wall and ceiling panels in real Cherry wood veneer, plus motorised blinds for the room.

What made this scheme stand out was that the panels, which were manufactured from engineered solid wood (ESW), differed from the usual ceiling system.

Typically, these panels would come in sizes 600x600mm, 1200x600mm or 1200x300mm. However, to meet the design brief of the architect, Hunter Douglas produced six “wings”, each of which were 4x2m, made up of four 1x2m panels.

These were produced with 9mm “dummy” circular perforations, which allowed the panels to be invisibly fixed to the suspension system, says David Harris, General Manager of Hunter Douglas Architectural. “The ‘wings’ within the central ceiling are a very unusual feature and they also incorporate some linear light fittings,” he said.

Hunter Douglas

“We worked closely with the ceiling contractor, Elmsmere Engineering, as the installation of both the ceiling and wall panelling was very challenging and needed a great deal of care to ensure a perfect finish.

“The project demonstrates clearly that Hunter Douglas has the technical expertise to create tailored solutions for architects and specifiers, ensuring that every finished look is fresh and new.”

Hunter Douglas also provided 158m2 of wall panels for the front and rear of the theatre, made of the same MDF core with a real Cherry veneer.

Approximately 105m2 of the wall panels were non perforated, while the remaining 53m2 were produced with 7mm x 97mm slot pattern that helps to maximise acoustic absorption.

The panels were produced in a variety of dimensions, from 650mm x 800mm to 2240mm x 740mm, and were installed using invisible fixing clips around the perimeter of the panels. They also have a small bevel where they meet, offering a neat design detail.

Hunter Douglas also supplied 15 240v motorised blinds to the two side elevations of the lecture room. Each pewter-coloured blind is made from Star fabric, which has a 3% openness factor, and measures approximately 2.5m wide with a 2.5m drop.

https://www.hunterdouglas.com

BJ Waller Opens Doors at Alconbury Weald’s First School

BJ Waller

The doors are open at the first primary school built in Britain’s largest new housing suburb, thanks to high quality, long lasting architectural ironmongery supplied by BJ Waller.

Ermine Street Church Academy is the first of three primary schools being created for Alconbury Weald, an 18km perimeter development on the site of an old RAF base that will see nearly 7,000 homes built over a 20-year period.

The first stage – Ermine Village – is now complete.  The school sits at the heart of the new community.

BJ Waller was chosen as hardware supplier by David Smith Doorsets, who manufactured all internal doors for the school.  With 130 doorsets, this was a major project requiring careful scheduling to match the right architectural ironmongery to the door.

BJ Waller is a regular and trusted partner because of its expert knowledge and wide selection of high quality ironmongery.  BJ Waller’s specification team provided excellent advice to choose the best hardware for a new school that will see hundreds of pupils, staff and visitors using its doors through the life of the building,” says Marc Evans, Specification Manager at David Smith Doorsets.

The school opened in September 2016.  “Everybody is happy with the way the project went and with the quality of the doors.  BJ Waller has proven its ability to find the right product for the project,” says Marc.

“Alconbury Weald is a hugely impressive development, right on our and BJ Waller’s doorstep in Cambridgeshire.  It’s fantastic to have put our stamp on Alconbury Weald by supplying doorsets for its flagship school.”

http://bjwaller.co.uk

ROCKFON is The Word for stylish acoustics

Acoustic Ceiling Tile

The Word has set the standard for Design thinking in the UK.” David Lindley, Executive Director at Designing Libraries.

The Word, National Centre for the Written Word, is the iconic centre piece of a multi-million pound regeneration project in the heart of South Shields. Arranged as a modern rotunda, The Word offers innovative facilities designed to inspire creative ideas and nurture a love of learning. ROCKFON® Mono® Acoustic seamless ceiling system is installed throughout to meet both the aesthetic and acoustic requirements which helped the project win the prestigious Public Sector Interiors Project of the Year award in the 2016 Mixology North Awards.

The Word is designed to be South Shields’ gateway to cultural, social and business knowledge, and to be exciting. The area’s industrial heritage plays a role in helping to realise this ambition and is woven into the fabric of the building. Salt harvesting in the 3rd century is represented in the fine quartz aggregate of the white pre-cast concrete. The circular glass patterns are symbolised by the feature chandelier in the main atrium. Coal mining is expressed in the external black scrapped concrete plinth. And shipbuilding is portrayed in the large glass window structures and the red oxide primer used throughout the building.

Inside, the circular façade is likened to the pages of a book inviting the reader into the depths of creative writing, of knowledge, of delightful storytelling, of individuality and ideas. The interior has an engaging and open plan design to encourage visitors to explore all the areas available and interact with the different activities on offer. Large group informal pursuits are arranged in the central forum space with more studious and individual spaces arranged towards the perimeter of the building.

Visitors to The Word are welcomed in the building’s triple height central atrium which forms the focal point of the building. Inside the atrium, visitors can take in excellent views of all four levels of the building and beyond towards the water front and the River Tyne. A stunning feature staircase sits in the heart of the atrium and leads to circular galleries on all floors. The atrium is a busy area which has a number of functions: library teams advise customers, there’s a tourist information point and AV monitors provide access to social media and event programmes.

Steve Dickson, Senior Director at FaulknerBrowns Architects, specified ROCKFON for the project and explained why:

In terms of selecting ROCKFON it really was a natural progression for us as we’d used the product successfully in a previous project. The key to our specification was that we wanted a monolithic product that is also Class A rated acoustically, so Mono Acoustic was perfect.

ROCKFON Mono Acoustic is installed around the perimeter of the galleries to help create a homogenous and continuous ribbon around the circular atria of the building which enhances the atrium’s stylish, contemporary interior design.

ROCKFON Mono Acoustic is a unique product which combines the elegance of a seamless ceiling with high performance sound absorption, previously thought only possible with modular suspended ceilings. To create a continuous finish, the ceiling tiles are installed and then finished with an impressive acoustic render to create an elegant, smooth-white, monolithic surface.

John Osborne, Senior Project Manager at Bowmer & Kirkland, was impressed with how well ROCKFON Mono Acoustic enhances the design scheme. “Aesthetically it sits so comfortably in the building and complements the surroundings, specifically how it curves around the central atrium space seamlessly, almost like a halo.”

The atrium’s interior features a mixture of surfaces including glazing and concrete which have the potential to generate unwanted noise. To counter this, Mono Acoustic provides Class A sound absorption which significantly decreases echo and reverberation levels, creating a relaxed environment where visitors can converse with ease.

John Osborne is also impressed with the acoustic performance offered by ROCKFON Mono Acoustic which exceeded the demanding requirements stipulated in the building specification. ‘The system’s acoustic performance is unrivalled. We carried out stringent post completion acoustic testing with our acoustician and all areas tested passed with flying colours. The client team are over the moon with the building and have been quoted saying the quality is the best they have ever had, which is testimony to our Client and Architect’s vision.”

Daniel Reilly at Reilly Ceiling and Drywall installed ROCKFON Mono Acoustic and was impressed with its versatility: “The ROCKFON Mono acoustic ceiling was chosen for this project because it offers the best performing sound absorption with a monolithic finish on the market. It is a ceiling system that provides complete flexibility and design freedom. Approximately 1100m² ROCKFON Mono Acoustic were fitted around the curved bulkheads which mirror the shape of the concrete building to create the central atrium.”

ROCKFON Mono Acoustic tiles are installed using a Chicago Metallic suspension system or can be directly mounted on existing ceilings and walls. The ceiling offers Class A2 fire protection and dimensional stability at up to 100% relative humidity, and allows for easy incorporation of lighting, air conditioning and ventilation systems. It is suitable for new builds or refurbishment projects.

The Word has been very well received. Over 23,000 people visited in the first week. Local author, Ann Cleaves recognised its contribution to the town saying, “thanks to the architects, councillors and librarians who created The Word – performance space, exhibition hall and my dream library.”

ROCKFON specialise in manufacturing ceiling systems that provide acoustic control whilst at the same time enhance the character of the architecture and interior design. For more information, visit www.rockfon.co.uk or email info@rockfon.co.uk.

Commercial Doors Made Easy, in Jack Aluminium’s New Brochure

Jack Aluminium

If you need an aluminium commercial door, just ask Jack.  Fabricators can find everything they need to create high-quality, secure and thermally efficient commercial doors, in the new TD68 Jack Door brochure from systems specialist Jack Aluminium – available to download at www.jackaluminium.co.uk.

“As part of our marketing support for fabricators, we’ve launched the brochure so they can give their customers a simple, at-a-glance reference to the benefits of the Jack Door system,” says Ash Pearson, Sales Manager at Jack Aluminium.

 “The Jack Door gives fabricators an easy route towards meeting PAS 24 and Secured by Design.  It’s the ideal choice for schools and colleges, hospitals, local authorities and other commercial buildings where security is essential.”

The brochure covers the most comprehensive range of PAS24 commercial doors available, including controlled access, emergency exit and remote access, and a wide variety of hardware and colour options.

All door profiles have in-built strength, security and thermal efficiency, backed by extensive independent testing.  “The Jack Door helps fabricators to meet robust specification guidelines.  The TD68 system has passed PAS 24 and is fully Q marked, so it is ready for fabricators to attain Secured by Design status.

“The Jack Door also gives fabricators real design flexibility.  It has been tested up to 1300 mm wide by 2480 mm high to comply with DDA (Disability Discrimination Act) clear opening directives and we’re constantly testing new sizes. We have also tested sidelights & fanlights to PAS 24, allowing customers to build SBD compliant screens.

“When it comes to thermal efficiency, we have achieved a U-value of 1.7 W/m2k on a 1230 mm wide door.”

Jack Aluminium maintains extensive aluminium stock holding for fast delivery, and offers expert service & support to fabricators and their customers.

www.jackaluminium.co.uk

Altro Xpresslay brings fast turnaround and cost savings at 27 new build schools

The proven cost and time saving credentials of award-winning Altro LooselayTM technology has lead to Altro XpressLayTM safety flooring being selected for installation in 27 new schools being built in the North East of England.

Galliford Try is building the new schools as part of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP). Galliford Try has a longstanding Supply Chain Agreement with Altro, so when it came to specifying flooring for the PSBP schools, both companies worked closely together to select a high quality, cost-effective flooring that was also quick to install.flooring

Roy Perry, Galliford Try Contracts Manager, said: “We chose to work with Altro on the PSBP scheme due to the strength of our supply chain relationship and their array of appropriate products for the schools.

“We selected Altro XpressLay because it’s a cost-competitive option that would also save us installation time on all the priority school schemes in this region. In many instances we require a quick turnaround, as Galliford Try is under pressure to deliver the schools within set timescales.

“We have been pleased with the service we have received from Altro and the flooring contractors, which has enabled us to complete the work to the customers’ satisfaction.”

Altro XpressLay is the world’s first ever adhesive-free safety flooring, and features Altro Looselay technology. Altro Looselay technology allows any subfloor moisture to escape. It has been designed to lie flat, without the need to be adhered. Altro Looselay doubled-sided, moisture-tolerant tape is used to secure the flooring in place while you weld. As there is no adhesive you get same-day welding and can walk on the floor straight away. Altro XpressLay can be easily removed post-installation, re-used elsewhere and then recycled at the end of its life.

The range boasts 42 colours, featuring bright and subtle, sparkle-free designs and decorative chipped options to choose from. The Altro XpressLay palette matches with Altro WalkwayTM 20 safety flooring, enabling both ranges to be combined to suit the application.

Altro XpressLay also features Altro Easyclean technology with superior chemical and stain resistance, to ensure it stays looking good for longer.

The flagship school for the PSBP scheme, and one of the first to be built, is the £18.6 million Hessle High School and Sixth Form College in East Yorkshire. Previously Hessle High was split over two sites, with 1,450 students, including 200 students in the sixth form.

The new build, designed by DLA Architecture Ltd in Leeds, has created a combined, fit-for-purpose school that operates from just one site, with new science labs, ICT and teaching areas and sports facilities for up to 1,550 pupils, including 230 students in the sixth form.

Phoenix Flooring Division installed 5,500m2 of Altro XpressLay throughout Hessle High School in four different shades; Waterfall on stairs and corridors; Blizzard in laboratories; Fog in wet areas; and Roof Garden in the stores.

The easy-to-fit capabilities of Altro XpressLay meant big savings in time and a trouble-free installation, as Phoenix Flooring MD Matt Brown explained.

“With Altro XpressLay there is no need to lay a dpm, and it can be fitted without adhesives,” said Matt. “This makes it very cost and time effective, and fitter friendly too. We know that every time we use this flooring we save a lot of time on a project, so for us it’s a great choice all round.

“Prior to fitting at the school, we prepared the substrate with a smoothing compound to create a true, flat surface. We then fitted Altro Looselay double-sided moisture tolerant adhesive tape to all perimeters and areas where the flooring would have joints. This helps the flooring to stay in place.

“Then it was simply a case of cutting the sheets of Altro XpressLay to fit, laying them into position, removing the backing from the adhesive tape, and rolling the flooring back into place. Joints were finally hot welded to finish off.

“We were on site for three months, with eight fitters working at the busiest period. We had excellent support from Altro throughout the entire project, but they always deliver a very high level of back-up.”

Mark Owen, Facilities Manager at Hessle High School is happy that Altro XpressLay is ticking all the right boxes. “We had a mixture of lino and tiles in the old school, which looked very old fashioned and was neither safe underfoot nor easy to maintain. This new flooring looks superb, colourful and modern, and it’s a proven safety flooring that can stand up to the rigours of busy school life.

“There has been no rucking or movement at all. It’s as firm and reliable as any flooring fitted with adhesive. So for a school it’s a great product, because we have the flexibility to repair or reuse the flooring in the future if required.

“Maintaining the flooring is proving easy as well, and it cleans up very nicely. We mop as and when required, and for areas which get the most traffic and dirt we use a walk-behind scrubber regularly. During school holidays we give everything a much more thorough going over with a circular scrubber, which brings the floors back to their very best.”

www.altro.co.uk

Primary school pupils see the benefits of non-slip decking

An eco friendly school in Liverpool has used Marley Eternit’s JB Citideck® for the walkways surrounding its new innovative eco POD, due to its non-slip properties.

The wooden-clad eco POD at Rice Lane Primary School is part of a number of green initiatives the Eco Stars (a select group of green fingered pupils) at the school have taken responsibility for. The POD is currently being used as a classroom whilst the school is undergoing major building work but will eventually be used by learning mentors as an inspiration space. It will also be used for specialist support and wider training, such as initiatives involving parents in learning.

The wooden structure can easily accommodate a class of 30+ children and has become an instant hit with all 750 pupils and teaching staff alike, as it has a very calming atmosphere.

POD Living Ltd always specifies JB CitiDeck® for its projects because it is assured of the quality and performance. JB CitiDeck® was used for the walkways at both the front and behind the eco classroom – with steps leading to the front doors and a ramp for wheelchair access at the rear.

The safe use of the walkways all year round was the prime concern for the school’s leadership team, so the non-slip timber deck board from Marley Eternit was ideal. JB CitiDeck® is also one of the most sustainable and environmentally-friendly hard landscaping products available, perfectly complementing environments that use a range of other natural products. The smooth profile of JB CitiDeck® is easy to clean, which is ideal in areas of heavy usage such as a busy school.

JB CitiDeck® was originally developed for use in the Olympic Park, where safety, inclusivity and accessibility were all of paramount importance to the organisers of London 2012. It is now specified for many urban applications and public spaces – from schools and hospitals to housing developments and restaurants.

Rice Lane Primary School Head Teacher Cheryl Chatburn said “The POD has been a revelation for the school, and knowing that pupils can access it safely on JB CitiDeck® non-slip decking provides real peace of mind.”

Dylan Howie from POD Living Ltd said that JB CitiDeck® is the only decking the company will use. “Our PODs are built to the highest possible standard, and we demand the same of everything that goes into the installation – and that’s why we have complete faith in JB CitiDeck®.”

To find out more about using JB CitiDeck® for heritage and conservation projects, contact the technical team on 01427 675588 or

www.marleyeternit.co.uk 

ROCKFON creates the perfect learning environment

Set in a picturesque village in County Clare, St Joseph’s Secondary School is a new state-of-the art learning facility created as part of an ambitious multi-million Schools Bundle PPP Programme – Bundle 4 Project.

ROCKFON ceiling solutions were installed to help create the ideal conditions for learning and enhance the architect’s contemporary design.ROCKFON

Pat McManamon from BAM Building Ltd, Ireland, was involved in the selection of ROCKFON ceilings for this project “We chose ROCKFON because their ceiling systems met (and exceeded in most cases) the acoustic requirements set out by the Department of Education. Fire safety is paramount in schools and ROCKFON ceiling systems conform to the safest fire classification, Class A1 fire resistance.”

Education buildings need to be functional and pleasant spaces. Major contributors to this are light and sound. ROCKFON Artic satisfies these requirements and was installed in classrooms, offices and circulation spaces. The tile’s smooth, white surface offers optimum light reflection, contributing to a comfortable environment with low glare and reduced eye disturbance. Artic also provides enhanced sound absorption (0.8aw) – ensuring teachers can communicate – enabling students to perform at their best.

ROCKFON
ROCKFON Tropic D concealed edge ceiling tiles were chosen for the special needs unit. ROCKFON Tropic provides Class A sound absorption which helps create an environment that offers optimum speech intelligibility – essential for all children, but particularly those with learning difficulties.

Pat McManamon expands on why ROCKFON Artic and ROCKFON Tropic were the preferred choice: “The tiles have a very white and attractive finish which fits with the school’s minimalist design. The availability of a concealed grid system in the same range and finish was also a deciding factor in selecting ROCKFON for these projects.”

The white, smooth surface of ROCKFON Tropic ceiling tiles offers 85% light reflectance and full light diffusion helping make effective use of available natural light. These excellent lighting conditions help improve the working environment and contribute to a reduction in energy costs.ROCKFON

ROCKFON Koral was fitted in the shower and wet rooms at St Joseph’s as it has a wipeable, micro-textured surface that can cope with increased humidity and the need for regular cleaning with a damp cloth or sponge.

SIG Ireland supplied the ceiling tiles. A leading distributor, SIG can deliver a range of ROCKFON acoustic products from stock via its branches in Ireland and across the UK.

ROCKFON ceiling tiles remain dimensionally stable even at humidity levels of up to 100% relative humidity. This unique performance characteristic enabled the contractor to reduce the original specification of 7-8 different ceiling tiles to just three – saving on installation time and material costs.

Hyland Contracting installed ROCKFON ceilings at the School. Director, Mark Hyland was impressed with the technical support he received from ROCKFON. “Having a representative from ROCKFON here in Ireland made a big difference to the job. He was on site, and offered advice and assistance at every stage, which ensured the ceilings looked perfect. We plan to use ROCKFON for the next three school projects.”

ROCKFON has unrivalled experience in the education sector. With an impressive track record backed by in-house technical support, ROCKFON area managers can provide advice on how to create a school building that satisfies regulations and is an inspiring place to learn.

For more information or samples call 0800 389 0314 or email info@rockfon.co.uk.

http://www.rockfon.co.uk/

Accoya® cladding scores full marks at performing arts school

  • High performing school choses Accoya for cladding
  • Impressive sustainability credentials and BREEAM rating key to specification
  • Over 1200m2 of Accoya used throughout project in SE England

Accoya®, the world-leading modified wood, has been used to clad a new creative centre at one of the UK’s highest performing schools.

Pipers Corner School, an independent day school in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, chose to clad its new Performing Arts Centre with wire brushed Accoya to give the new building a striking, textured finish.

Achieving a 100 per cent pass rate at A Level in 2016, Pipers Corner School’s new performing arts wing will play host to the artistic expression of its cohort, aged between 4 and 18.

Over 1200m2 of Accoya cladding, soffits and trims were used throughout the project for phase 1 of the build, with the wood supplied by Accoya distributor James Latham.

Designed by Nichols Brown Webber Architects and Landscape Planners, Accoya was chosen due to its Class 1 durability and low maintenance upkeep. The final cladding was factory coated using Teknos to provide an impressive, uniformed finish.

Accoya Acetylated Wood

Aside from its aesthetic appeal, Accoya was also used due to its sustainability credentials as the building has been targeted to achieve a BREEAM ‘very good’ rating.

Manufactured by Accsys Technologies, Accoya is produced using a proprietary acetylation process, creating a modified wood product which exceeds the high-quality and aesthetic attributes of tropical hardwoods.

Laura Keily, Head of Marketing at Accsys Technologies, said: “By choosing Accoya to clad its new performing arts wing, the school has really invested in the future of the new building, and ensuring that it remains fit for purpose for many years to come. Accoya, although regarded as a premium product, can be very cost effective, especially in its raw form. It also has the huge advantage to customers of being low maintenance, exceptionally stable and long-lasting with an above-ground guarantee of 50 years.”

Richard Mosson, Group Cladding and Decking Manager at ‎James Latham Ltd, commented: “The new performing arts centre needed to be built to last decades and remain in good condition with relatively low upkeep, so Accoya was the obvious choice. The cladding provides an impressive, striking finish to the new building.”

Accoya has proven popular with architects and joiners across the world, especially where quality, stability and aesthetics are important. Compared to competitor wood products, the use of Accoya has been proved to reduce shrinkage and swelling by at least 75%.

Offering exceptional durability and stability, Accoya is an attractive wood product which is perfect for a variety of uses from windows and doors to external cladding, structural projects and decking.  Accoya also boasts excellent environmental credentials by using wood sourced from FSC® certified, sustainable forests and Cradle to Cradle Gold certified.

https://www.accoya.com

ECEX overcomes university challenge

access safety

ECEX has successfully solved a roof safety and access problem for the University of Oxford by custom-fabricating and installing a galvanised steel sub-frame and non-slip grating designed to provide consistent, level and safe access to rooftop HVAC equipment.

Access across the roof of a complex of laboratory buildings at the university was obstructed by the pipework, cables and supports serving extraction and HVAC units, including chillers and condensers.

This caused a series of significant trip hazards to employees working on the rooftop, so the University’s engineering team called in an ECEX specialist to survey the area and improve access. The University was already familiar with the company and impressed by its work because ECEX has previously supplied and installed Air Intake Screens widely across the university’s 300-plus building estate.

ECEX uses the hierarchy of control measures determined by the Health & Safety Executive to decide the optimum solution in each specific case. John Grenville, managing director, explained: “In other words, the ultimate measure is to remove the hazard completely if this is practical. If not, the next measure down is to use collective fall protection such as guard railing so that someone without specialised training can move around the roof safely. The next level down would be the use of personal protective equipment such as a harness, and so on.”

ECEX’s means of access for the University of Oxford project was through occupied parts of the building so the company installed its gantry system out of hours to avoid disruption.

ECEX surveys, designs, manufactures and installs bespoke and off-the-shelf access safety solutions, including:

  • Walkways and step-overs
  • Access ladders and platforms
  • Guardrail and edge protection
  • Stairs
  • Mesh security caging
  • Other fabricated metalwork

www.ecex.co.uk