Helping to deliver a world-class learning environment for young people

A range of extensively tested and fully warranted Thruwall® external envelope solutions offering speedy installation and high levels of fire resistance have ensured deadlines were met for an ambitious school redevelopment scheme.

Proposals for the new Saddleworth School, which involved moving the school to a new site in Diggle were put forward in 2015. However, due to numerous consultations and various revisions to the planning applications, construction could not start until July 2020.

In March 2022, the £27m Saddleworth School finally opened its doors to pupils and staff. In addition to featuring 80 modern classrooms, specialist teaching rooms and a state-of-the-art sports facility, the school is meeting the growing needs of pupils and the community by providing an additional 150 places. This means it can now accommodate up to 1,500 pupils aged 11 to 16 years old.

Innovative solutions to prevent further delays

We started talking to the contractor, Tilbury Douglas, about the project back in 2015 when the initial plans were proposed, but because of the consultations and revisions to the planning applications, it was not until July 2020 when work could pick up again on the new three-storey, 10,500m2 building.

Once the revised plans were approved, we worked closely with both Tilbury Douglas and the architect on the design and specification of the external envelope system and fire protection. This included developing a solution that would meet all legislation and fire safety requirements while ensuring that the project would not be delayed further during the wintry weather conditions.

Rigorous testing and full warranty for complete peace of mind

Our recommended solution was the installation of Thruwall®, our fully tested and warranted external envelope system which combines a non-loading EOS steel frame, Siniat Weather DefenceTM external sheathing, and internal wall lining.

Initially, the design specified the use of intumescent paint for fire protection to the external steel frame, however, Tilbury Douglas was unsure about using the sprayed solution during the cold wintry months as it could slow the project down. The company was also concerned about the possible environmental impact on the local wildlife and the nearby canal and brook.

We were able to address all these concerns through our PROMATECT®-XW fire protection board which has excellent weather resistance and offers up to 60 minutes of fire protection for structural steel. The board has been real-life tested as part of a whole system to assess its interaction with other building components, giving Tilbury Douglas the confidence to specify the boards for both the steel frame structure and the lower perimeter of the building.

PROMATECT®-XW also offers excellent weather protection which enabled internal work to carry on during adverse weather and whilst the external envelope was being constructed using Siniat’s Weather DefenceTM.

By being able to provide a complete, fully warranted and documented solution, we also overcame the need for Tilbury Douglas to deal with multiple suppliers which could have had an impact on the project’s completion date.

Expert technical support ensures deadlines are met during a pandemic

Our technical team worked closely with Tilbury Douglas and the subcontractor, AWH Ceilings & Partitions Ltd throughout the project and advised on any queries that arose during the installation. This included providing additional drawings on how PROMATECT®-XW should be installed around junctions between window reveals and multiple steel connections and the primary steelwork and cross bracing, which required a bespoke design. This involved the use of hot rolled steel sections so the boards could be installed in a way that worked alongside the EOS steel frame system and cross bracing.

As much of the work was carried out during the pandemic our site presence had to be limited so we arranged regular virtual design meetings and phone calls with Tilbury Douglas and AWH. These were supported by our National Business Development Manager who was able to carry out some site visits to check on the smooth running of the installation.

This continued support along with the proven qualities of our Thruwall® solution and PROMATECT®-XW enabled us to meet the required fire protection and rapid installation requirements of the project and ensure that it remained on track for the doors to be opened in March 2022.

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