Etex transforms vacant site into valuable community hub

Etex transforms vacant site into valuable community hub

High performing PROMATECT®-XW fire protection board with excellent weather resistance and fast installation ensures deadlines are met for new social infrastructure.

The community of Sandymoor was established in the 70s as part of the Runcorn New Town Masterplan which aimed to provide housing and a community for people from Liverpool and North Merseyside. However, it was only recently that planning permission was granted for the creation of a district centre with local amenities. Due to open in Spring 2023, the Sandymoor District Centre is being built on a vacant site surrounding the existing Community Hall and will provide a valuable social infrastructure for the local community.

Value-led advice for the ultimate fire and weather protection We became involved in the project at an early stage, advising the architect, PRP Architects on the most appropriate solution for the development’s requirements. The primary requirement was for a fully tested fire safety solution for the steel frames of the centre’s retail units that would be fully compliant with current Building Regulations.
A further consideration was the need to ensure build times remained on track, particularly during the winter months. As with any construction project that involves multiple suppliers and trades, timing was critical so it was essential that our solution could be installed quickly and that build timelines could be met.

A fully-tested, innovative solution Our recommended solution was PROMATECT®-XW, an A1 non-combustible board offering up to 60 minutes of fire protection for structured steel and excellent weather protection qualities.
PROMATECT®-XW is fully tested as part of a whole system to assess its interaction with other building components. This robust fire testing to real-life conditions gave the architect the confidence that our solution offered the highest standard in fire safety and met all legislative and fire safety requirements. As well as the certified fire protection properties, the boards have the further major advantage of having excellent weather protection which enabled them to be installed early on in the project before the building’s external envelope was constructed, despite the wintry weather conditions.

Collaboration is key to success We worked closely with the architects during the initial design and specification phases to provide technical support and detailed project packs with specification clauses, as well as clear product and installation details, which were then shared with both the contractor and subcontractor. When it came to the installation of the PROMATECT®-XW boards, we provided the fire protection installer, Firetech, with additional drawings and details. Normally we would provide multiple site visits, however Firetech is a longstanding specialist installer of Promat products, so this was not necessary for the Sandymoor project. Finally, by working in partnership with our local distributors SIG Insulation and Encon we were able to minimise the risk of stock or supply issues that others in the industry were facing at the time and guarantee that the boards could be delivered on time and to the correct quantities.

Remaining on track for Spring 2023 PROMATECT®-XW has enabled us to meet all the critical fire protection, performance and installation requirements of the project, while our strong supply chain relationships have helped to ensure that Sandymoor’s new community hub is on track to open safely, and on time. Darren Hughes, Project Manager at contractor, Lane End Developments Ltd (UK), said: “PROMATECT®-XW allowed us to clad the steelwork for its fire rating before the building was watertight, allowing the brickwork to commence, hence reducing the programme and helping to keep to project timelines.”

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