The Innovaré Offsite Ltd school construction programme is part of the Department for Education’s Modern Methods of Construction Framework, a large-scale initiative aimed at providing high-quality, energy-efficient schools using offsite construction techniques.
This case study will focus on Thames Park School in Grays, Essex, the cladding used in the project, including the cladding fabrication and how the cladding supply contributed to the overall construction.
Thames Park is a new £24m secondary free school for 900 pupils aged 11-16, with future potential for a sixth form. It is one of the country’s first schools to be built
The school utilised Innovarés patented large format SIP panels which fit together easily and precisely, offering a quicker way to create a thermally insulated and watertight structure. Working with Innovaré, Benx supplied its A1 fire-rated Multipurpose sheathing board as an integral part of the Structural Insulated Panel. Externally, the school build programme utilised a comprehensive cladding solution consisting of Benx’s A1 fire-rated weatherboard, Supertech, and its A2 fire-rated Swisspearl façade. These cladding panels were chosen for their fire resistance and durability . The choice of this combination of façades gave the school a unique and timeless façade.
All Benx products supplied to this presigious project carry Third Party certification.
The cladding panels used in the Thames Park façade were sized and shaped in controlled conditions at Benx’s fabrication plant in Newcastle Under Lyme. This process was designed to ensure greater precision and accuracy, demanded by modern offsite manufacturers. The computerised panel cutting regime incorporates an optimisation programme which ensures minimal material waste.
The Swisspearl panels were designed to be lightweight, which made them easy to transport and install. The Supertech timber cladding panels were treated with an A1 fire-resistant coating at Benx’s state-of-the-art painting facility, which helped to reduce the risk of fire spreading between floors and classrooms when installed onsite.
Contribution to Construction:
The use of prefabricated cladding panels in the Innovaré Offsite Ltd school construction programme provided a number of benefits to the overall construction process. The cladding panels were designed to fit together seamlessly, which reduced the need for on-site cutting and shaping. The lightweight nature of the cladding panels also made them easy to transport and install on-site, reducing construction time and costs.
Successes of the Programme:
The Innovaré Offsite Ltd school construction programme has been successful in providing high-quality, energy-efficient schools using offsite construction techniques. The use of prefabricated cladding panels has helped to reduce construction time and costs, while still providing a high-quality finish to the buildings. Taking the majority of the build offsite and using scaffold-less installation improved onsite health and safety. The project was 100% safe with zero hours lost to RIDDORS and accidents.
Utilising offsite manufacture also allowed for a higher quality finish, with a robust testing and quality checking system to reduce ongoing maintenance.
Basing the design on CIBSE, BS – U-Values as low as 0.21w/m2k were achieved, reducing energy requirements for the lifetime of the school. Insulated wall panels and precast concrete floors also allowed enhanced temperature management, reducing heating and cooling costs and associated carbon output.
The project was delivered under ‘Configure Offsite 3.0’ – a long standing, standardised yet flexible school solution, designed to exceed the stringent requirements of the DfE’s output specification and also reduce construction duration by 30%.
The collaborative approach taken during the project culminated in enhanced Pre-Manufactured Value, reduced onsite construction time and minimised environmental impact. This further improved construction quality and health and safety.
The use of prefabricated cladding panels in the Innovaré Offsite Ltd school construction programme provided a number of benefits, including reduced construction time and costs, a high-quality finish, and reduced environmental impact. The cladding panels were designed to fit together seamlessly, reducing the need for on-site cutting and shaping. The lightweight nature of the cladding panels also made them easy to transport and install on-site. The programme has been successful in providing high-quality, energy-efficient schools using offsite construction techniques.