Construction Industry Today

Steni cladding helps colour landmark BSF project

Rainscreen cladding panels from Steni UK feature on a redeveloped community college in Cambridgeshire
Published 09 August 2012

Three shades of rainscreen cladding panels from Steni UK were specified for the redevelopment of one of Cambridgeshire's two first - and last - BSF projects for their aesthetics and robustness. More than 1,000m² of Steni's Colour panels, in blue, grey and white, feature horizontally on the second floor facades of the new-build main hall, dining hall, kitchen and classrooms at the Neale-Wade Community College in March. They were specified in a pattern of alternate inverted triangles by main contractor Galliford Try's design team RH Partnership Architects and installed by specialist sub-contractor Task Contract Services.

Manufactured from a fibreglass reinforced polymer composite, they feature a surface of electron beam cured acrylic that is applied without the use of solvents. RHPartnership advised: "We specified the Steni panels because of the good selection of colour which gave us the aesthetic appearance we desired as well as the robust performance, specifically excellent scratch resistance, which is required for the severe education environment.

"They create a colourful, modern appearance via graduated colour changes through careful choice of blue, grey and white in feature diagonal jointing, giving movement to the elevations." The £26million project caters for 1,500 11 to 16-year-olds and 280 sixth-formers as well as the local community who have access to the refurbished sports centre. The 30-month build is being completed in three major and almost 20 minor phases as the school had to remain operational throughout. The new buildings were constructed lightweight of steel frame and cross-laminated timber panels with curtain walling, feature window panels and dark engineering facing brick with the Steni rainscreen system fitted above.

With financial close on the Cambridgeshire BSF programme being reached in May 2010, a month before work started on site with the demolition of some existing buildings, the scheme avoided the cull from the Government's review of the school building programme. ENDS

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