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Case Study: Oakfields Community College, Middlesbrough

Part of a new generation of schools in Middlesbrough, Oakfields Community College is the second building of the Building Schools for the Future programme to include 2500 sqm Sotech’s Optima secret-fix, aluminium extruded XPC plank rainscreen system.

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With full height panels incorporated into the building envelope, the use of polyester powder coated in grey on the rainscreen creates a visually striking contrast against the bright, bold orange and purple of the inner windows. This project was designed by Space Group Architects, and installed by Indbuild Ltd.

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Tested at Vinci’s Technology Centre in Bedford, the rainscreen used on this project performs to an optimum level against weather, in that it is manufactured to 200mm width and is fixed vertically; the system also helped cut costs and increase installation efficiency in that it is fixed at 1 metre centres rather 600mm, which caused a reduction in substructure requirements.

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We also ensured the longevity of the rainscreen system used on the Oakfield Community College by carrying out intensive stringent impact testing, which is essential for a full-height, low-level to eaves installation. Tackling the potential issue of vandalism and damage to the joints of the rainscreen, we incorporated an interlocking joint detail; this helps safeguard the quality and integrity of the façade for the future.

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This was a fantastic project to be involved in, and provides a modern environment for the development of sport and performing arts in Middlesbrough.

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