• Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Rainscreen
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Rainscreen 2
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Cladding 3
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Rainscreen 4
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Cladding 2
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Facade 2
  • Leeds Beckett University - Hook on Secret Fix Cladding 3
  • Leeds Beckett University - Hook on Secret Fix Cladding
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Cladding
  • Leeds Beckett University - Secret Fix Facade

About This Project

Leeds Beckett University, Carnegie School of Sport


2000sqm Optima FC Concave Panels in PPC Aluminium has been used on the brand new Carnegie School of Sport, along with 600sqm of flat Optima FC in PPC Aluminium and 1200sqm Optima FC in Anodised red etched panels.


Optima FC concave rainscreen panels were designed to suite the architect’s vision – something unique and something far from a flat facade. To assist in the decision making process, a mock-up of the panels were manufactured with three different gloss levels and positioned outside of Sotech’s training showroom to show the reflectivity.


The main feature of the striking new sport’s building is the 60m indoor running track viewing box, encased in red anodised Optima FC panels. The anodised red on red etched panels are contrasting tones to replicate muscle fibres under the microscope. The five red anodised patterns were chosen to replicate a section of muscle under a telescope.


In addition to the unique patterns chosen for the anodised area, the PPC concave panels had their own challenges. The panel faces were rolled to create the concave feature, and deep folded side returns added to give the panels a square back. This meant a straight lined and levelled rail system could be used to hook the panels on, and resulted in no additional fixing time compared to a traditional flat panel system.


Providing a brand and iconic home for the Carnegie School of Sport, the £45m project provide a focus for the School’s undergraduate, postgraduate and research and enterprise programmes, and will also act as a hub for elite athletes, sports and industry partners.


The new and improved Optima FC+ system has just been launched, after successful fire testing to BS8414 and BR135 Classification, Optima FC+ is safe to use on high rise buildings in conjunction with Euroclass A1 and A2 – s1, d0 fire rated materials.


Sotech has always been at the forefront of testing in the rainscreen facade industry, fire testing since 2006.  For more information on how Sotech can help with large scale fire tests click here.


Sotech Specification Manager Charlie McLaughlin ‘I have been involved with this project from early design stage. It is a credit to everyone within Sotech that we were able to embrace all the aspects of a complex design, work through and rationalise them, without compromising the end result. This was a great team effort from all parties, resulting in a spectacular building we can all be proud of’.










In June 2020, Sotech unveiled an evolution of its original hook on secret fix rainscreen solution, Optima FC. Featuring an innovative slide and lock adjustment mechanism, carrier rail hooks can now be locked in position on site by installers, rather than in the factory, leading to significantly reduced lead times for all parties. Named “Optima FC+”, the improved system is an evolution of Optima FC – a hook-on secret fix rainscreen system. Here are the improved benefits:


  • Suitable for large and bespoke panel sizes.
  • Improved ventilation & drainage as the ventilation paths are much bigger than the original FC.
  • Precision fit and finish with 20mm joints in both directions.
  • Mechanical fixing methods and no use of adhesives, providing true A1 and A2 cladding systems.
  • User friendly with quick and easy adjustment on site.
  • Reduced lead times with slide and lock hook adjustment mechanism.
  • Can be fixed top down, or bottom up.
  • Individual panel removal and replacement.
  • Fire tested to BS8414, and classified to BR135 for high rise buildings.
  • Full range of Euroclass A1 and A2 – s1,d0 panel materials from 2mm – 4mm.
  • CWCT tested and certified.
  • NBS specifications available tailored to your project.
  • Full technical back up throughout.
  • Details available in PDF, DWG and BIM packages.
  • Designed to work in harmony with Siderise OCSI products.



Project Details:

Project name: Leeds Beckett University, Carnegie School of Sport

Location: Leeds

Sector: Education

Installer: Sheppard Robson

Main Contractor: Galliford Try

Architect: Sheppard Robson


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If you require advice with design detail, assistance with a specification or to discuss your project in detail contact our technical department who have over 38 years’ experience in the construction industry. The team is on hand to provide knowledge and support at every stage of your project.


Photography by John Kees Photography


PPC, Leeds, Yorkshire, FEATURED, FC Secret Fix, All Case Studies, Education