Six colours of translucent polycarbonate rainscreen cladding have enabled architects to create a “unique shop front” to a new-look school.
More than 100 PC 2540 double-height 4mm Kristall wall panels as outer and inner faces were specified by Jacobs architects in varying hues of blue and green for a new £3.2million sports and music building at Mandeville School in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
The steel-framed two-storey building comprises a new entrance foyer, four changing rooms, dance/fitness and music studios and administration offices. Part of the brief from the county council was the requirement for wheelchair access throughout and this involved connecting two existing buildings with a height difference of 1.3m without the use of steps.
Jacobs masterplanned the 1.5-hectare site with constant input from faculty staff and the board of governors and specified the Rodeca panels, which they had never used before, as an alternative to glass which they are 200 times tougher than as well as potentially half as light*.
Architect Anthony Corke said: “The dance, fitness and staff areas all face the main entrance to the school. We wanted to provide these spaces with as much light as possible but still retain privacy. The Rodeca product allowed us to achieve both of these factors. The colour change in it also allowed us to create a unique shop front to the school.
“The Rodeca product is connected to a curtain wall system which maintains the full light requirement sought from the outset.”
Developments in the thermal performance of Rodeca panels mean they can now be manufactured with U-values as low as 0.71-0.77 W/m²K as a single-wall construction and 0.36-0.43 W/m²K as a double-wall construction. As such, they can be used to allow natural daylight (with light transmission of up to 66%) into a building without compromising its thermal integrity and are capable of reducing energy losses by up to 80%.
The 200m² of Rodeca panels at Mandeville secondary modern school, featuring graphic silhouettes of sports people, were installed over one month of an 18-month build programme by specialist sub-contractor Roclad Systems for Kingerlee Ltd. It was one of four projects awarded at the time to the main contractor by the county council.
Oxford-based main contractor Kingerlee Ltd said: “The three-phase project commenced with essential service diversions and the formation of a new entrance crossover and parking area to facilitate the scheme’s planning conditions.
“The main works included demolition of existing buildings and the construction of a new steel-framed building with external envelope incorporating significant areas of glazing and curtain walling. The extensive external works package provided for a new frontage and welcoming reception to the school.”
Rob Oliver at Roclad Systems said: “The polycarbonate panels were fixed to Rodeca’s standard details and have performed very well.”
The 3,430mm-long panels used at Mandeville School are relative small fry for Rodeca as the tongue and groove coupling of a polycarbonate panel proves an exemplar of modern and lean construction methods, with large-scale building widths of up to 500mm enabling facades of more than 200m long to be erected and panel heights of up to 25m to be mounted in one piece.
*(m² of double-glazed 4mm glass + spacer bar + sealant at a total 22kg V a 60mm polycarbonate panel system of 8kg/m²).