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Brick slip cladding – a modern construction method used in education buildings

November 6th, 2020

Bob Coleman, Stofix UK Technical Sales Manager discusses why brick slip cladding meets the demand for modern construction methods in education buildings.

“Prime Minister Boris Johnson is releasing £1bn to fund 50 school building projects in England next year. It will form the first part of a new 10-year school multi-wave modernisation plan and kick-starts wider plans to speed up the Government’s infrastructure spending plan designed to revive the economy. Construction on the first sites will begin from September 2021. The Government also announced £560m will be released in 2020 to repair crumbling schools and £200m for further education colleges. They have also outlined that rebuilding projects will be greener, helping meet the government’s net-zero target, and will focus on modern construction methods to create highly skilled jobs and boost the construction sector.

Meeting growing demand

The Department for Education recently announced an extra 750,000 school places will be needed in England by 2025 to keep up with the population bulge.  Many schools will build new classrooms and others will extend or refurbish. With even more pressure on budgets, specifiers look cost effective, efficient solutions.

The majority of school buildings in England are more than 40 years old, with 60% of them built before 1976. In a 2017 report, the National Audit Office (NAO) said that “deterioration in the condition of the school estate is a significant risk to long-term value for money”, according to the Guardian (September 2020).

Backlog of repairs

The NAO estimated that England’s schools needed £6.7bn to meet the backlog of repairs and rebuilding needed to bring them up to satisfactory or better condition, and a further £7.1bn to bring all school buildings from satisfactory to good condition. The NAO found that the most common major defects are problems with electrics and external walls. Older buildings need to be addressed, as these buildings struggle with heat loss, damp and condensation issues.

Stofix benefits

Applying Stofix brick slip cladding can rejuvenate tired-looking buildings, minimise impact on site,  and reduce energy bills. With many schools being centuries old, Stofix brick slip cladding can also utilise almost any brick, so can be designed to blend in with the original brick.

Sustainable buildings

15% of the UK public sector carbon emissions are contributed by school buildings. The previous ‘Building Schools for the Future’ programme outlined a significant drive to make schools more sustainable – demonstrating best in practice in sustainable construction. The current Priority School Building Programme has a greater emphasis on standardisation, cost reduction and energy efficiency.

Brick slip cladding – suitability for education projects

The following should be considered:

  • Stofix brick slip panels are prefabricated and pre-mortared therefore require less time on site. This minimises site impacts, noise and disturbance, including deliveries, number of site personnel, etc.
  • The importance of quality, robust materials – specification of performance requirements and maintenance, factoring in whole life cost and performance
  • Stofix has no height limit – when space is limited, building upwards could be the solution
  • Stofix does not require additional groundwork due to its weight. Over 50% lighter than traditional masonry, substantially reducing structural load. (48kg/m2 brickwork is 189kg/m2)
  • Use of cranes for heavy lifting can be scheduled over weekends/school holidays

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Sector Focus – Growing popularity of Stofix throughout residential projects

November 5th, 2020

Alex Porter, Stofix UK Operations Director outlines why Stofix brick slip cladding is so popular with specifiers for residential projects in the UK.

“Tradition brick remains hugely popular throughout UK home builders, and this shows no sign of decline. However …