Architect: Space Group
Main Contractor: Willmott Dixon
Installer: Indbuild Limited
System:Optima XPC Extruded Interlocking Plank
Material / Finish: PPC Aluminium
Specialising in performing arts and sports, Outwood Academy is the second of Middlesbrough’s new generation of schools completed under the BSF programme to feature 2500sqm of Sotech’s Optima secret-fix, aluminium extruded X plank rainscreen system. Full height panels 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.
The robustness of the Sotech Optima aluminium 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 aluminium extruded XPC plank provided an optimum weather performance for oakfields and by fixing at 1 metre centres rather than 600mm, the reduction in substructure requirements contributed to cost savings and installation efficiencies.
In addition to the comprehensive weather testing achieved by the Sotech 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 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 XPC 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 and beneficially recyclable.