Top Marks In Education | School Design Possibilities With Precast
Exposed precast concrete offers plenty of scope for architects and designers working on schools projects.
Techrete worked on the Burntwood School project in Wandsworth, south London, which won the RIBA Stirling Prize of 2015.
“One key advantage of precast and the manufacturing process is the ability to create a high-quality finished surface to both the internal and external faces, subject to the architectural requirements,” says Russell.
There are numerous finishing options. “The panels can be faced with brick, terracotta, natural stone or an etched concrete finish to a very high standard of workmanship,” says Morgan.
Thorp’s Loxford School project used 500 panels covering an area of 5,000 sq m, the majority brick faced panels.
“All manufacturing is undertaken in factory-controlled conditions and the completed panels can be viewed off-site by the client and design team prior to delivery to site,” says Morgan.
“Project specific detailing that may be required by the client to the external façade can easily be incorporated at time of manufacture using bespoke CNC produced mould liners. These liners are produced to replicate
coats of arms, crests, school names, patterns and even photographic representations within the finished concrete surface.”
Creagh’s Toronto Primary School in Livingston, Scotland, used bespoke mould detailing to create the school’s crest on a precast panel, while Sterling has picked out the name of the school on wall sections for the Hackney Academy City of London at Shoreditch Park.
10 Reasons to Specify Precast In Schools
- Buildings can be manufactured during term time then erected quickly during the school holidays, to minimise disruption.
- Increasingly, windows and services channels are pre-fitted in the factory, adding further speed to the site programme.
- The ‘repeatable’ nature of classrooms and education facilities add efficiency to the precast design and manufacturing process.
- There is a wide range of design possibilities, including the potential to pick out the school crest and name in bespoke precast panels.
- Robust and durable, precast is ideal for a bustling school environment, while offering long-term operational savings through reduced maintenance.
- Precast offers strong acoustic performance – vital in a noisy school environment building and for schools located near busy roads.
- The excellent thermal properties of precast – the UK’s first Passivhaus-rated school in Exeter was delivered with the help of precast units – mean further operational savings.
- Minimal noise levels during construction and reduced trades mean a safer, less disruptive site.
- Precast concrete is inert with no harmful “off-gassing” emissions during use and A1 fire ratings.
- Precast products are installed to long-established industry standards and come with long warranties and guarantees. Precast cladding is fitted using British Standard BS8297, typically with a 12-year warranty and a 50-year design life guarantee.