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Zig Zag pattern rainscreen cladding - LUSOM

300m2 of Optima FC+ in 3.0mm Aluminium PPC Interpon D2525 Y2217F has been used in the completion of Lancaster University’s School of Mathemtatics.

Lancaster University’s School of Maths

Optima FC+ was specified in order to create the feature `Zig-Zag` pattern. The expert team at Sotech manufactured multiple panel depths, engaging with carrier rails set to irregular angles to create the architect’s vision.

The four-storey building, featuring a rooftop terraced area for students to relax and study, has a unique and iconic look, making it an immediate landmark for people travelling into Preston City Centre. Lancaster University School of Mathematics (LUSoM) is a specialist school that will deliver world-class mathematics education for 16 to 18 year-olds.

Lusom - PPC Rainscreen in Aluminium

Optima FC+ is an evolution of Sotech’s original secret fix hook on rainsreen. Featuring an innovative slide and lock adjustment mechanism, the rainscreen system now features carrier rail hooks, which can be locked in position on site by installers, rather than in the factory, leading to significantly reduced lead times for all parties. Its versatility is such that a multitude of materials and thicknesses (from 2.0mm to 4mm) used on one universal carrier.

Zig Zag pattern rainscreen cladding - LUSOM

Optima FC+ has been fire tested to BS8414-2:2015, and classified to BR135 for high rise buildings. A full range of Euroclass A1 and A2 – s1,d0 panel materials from 2mm – 4mm are available. Mechanical fixing methods and no use of adhesives, providing true A1 and A2 cladding systems.

Click here to view an interactive 3D model, animation, substructure information and panel sizes for Optima FC+.
Aluminium PPC is a type of dry coating, rather than a conventional liquid paint, and is applied to metal rainscreen as a free flowing, dry powder. The powder is applied to rainscreen panels electrostatically and is then cured under heat to allow it to form a ‘skin’. This electrostatic powder process means we can ensure complete coverage of the panels, even on more complex shapes.

Powder coating can produce a much thicker coating than conventional liquid coating leaving PPC rainscreen cladding with a hard finish. This is much tougher than normal paint and its strong abrasion and corrosion resistance properties make it extremely durable and long lasting.

To learn more about this finish, and specify it in your next project, click here.


Jamie Brown, Estimator at Sotech, noted: “This was an extremely difficult layout to accommodate onsite. Early-stage discussions ensured that all queries were actioned before the design commenced to ensure a streamline process of transferring information. The team at Saxon Contracting have done a fantastic job in bringing the concept to life!”

Naveen Sandhu, UK and Ireland Specification Manager: “A distinct tapered cladding design needed to be complemented with a finish equally befitting it. The Pozzoni team wanted to replicate the look and feel of anodised aluminium but without the associated practical pains. They identified our D2525 Anodic Collection as the perfect solution, proposing a sleek metallic bronze finish, offering strong depth and naturality to the aluminium surface. D2525 Anodic boasts a strong track record in decorating a wide array of higher education establishments which instilled future confidence with the end client.”

Lee Banks, Design Manager at Saxon Contracting: “The secret fix panels on this project needed to be completely bespoke to the Optima FC+ standard details, working with the Sotech team they highlighted any production issues early in the design which avoided any un-necessary re-design work or unsightly site fixes. The complexity in the setting out and the majority of time taken building this project is hidden behind the panels with the support bracketry so the site team deserve a special mention for their expertise.”

Project Details:

Project Name: Lancaster University School of Mathematics

Location: Preston

Sector: Education

Installer: Saxon Contracting Ltd

Main Contractor: Galliford Try

Architect: Pozzoni

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