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New Boro school features Sotech system

Outwood Academy is the second of Middlesbrough'¬ôs BSF schools to feature Sotech'¬ôs Optima rainscreen system

Posted by Dave Higgitt | January 13, 2014 | Technology

Part of the £100 million Middlesbrough BSF programme, the £27 million project designed by architects Space Group and constructed by Willmott Dixon was completed in September 2012 and caters for 1,350 pupils. Incorporating a performance hall, extensive sports facilities and large central atrium together with an outdoor street theatre and dedicated cycle route, the external elevations are clad in grey polyester powder-coated Sotech extruded IPC X plank rainscreen.

The robustness of the Sotech Optima aluminium IPC X plank rainscreen was comprehensively demonstrated under test conditions. Tested at Vinci’s state-of-the-art Technology Centre in Bedford, the system showed no wind deflection under test when fixed back to the substructure at 600 centres and significantly, withstood wind loads of 2kN at 1 metre centres.

Manufactured to 200mm width and fixed vertically, Sotech’s IPC aluminium extruded X plank provided an optimum weather performance for Outwood and by fixing at 1 metre centres rather than 600mm, the reduction in substructure requirements contributed to cost savings and installation efficiencies.

Installed by roofing and cladding specialist Indbuild, over 2,500 square metres of full-height engineered Sotech Optima IPC aluminium X plank rainscreen were incorporated into the building envelope. Polyester powder coated in grey, the rainscreen provided a striking contrast to the vibrant palette of colours specified for the recessed window pods.

In addition to the comprehensive weather testing achieved by the Sotech IPC system, the extruded plank rainscreen also successfully undertook stringent impact testing, essential given the potential vulnerability of a full-height, low-level to eaves installation. And to prevent vandalism through the ingress of potentially damaging items between the joints of the rainscreen, a problem experienced with some plank systems, Sotech incorporated an interlocking joint detail, helping ensure the integrity of the façade well into the future.

To offer the optimum aesthetic flexibility, the Sotech Optima IPC aluminium extruded rainscreen can be installed horizontally, vertically or diagonally and the joint detail can be specified recessed in a choice of widths from 10mm to hairline. Available in a range of widths and offering long spans, the system integrates seamlessly with other building elements. Suitable for all wall constructions, the secret fix IPC X plank is a low maintenance, long life system independently tested and accredited to CWCT standards. Available in a wide choice of colours and finishes the system is fully recyclable.



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