A new offsite panelised system designed by architects Studio Anyo’s has been specified for the construction of a new horticultural education project.

Part funded by a Sir Roger De Haan charity, the initiative will see a new all-weather classroom constructed at Folkestone Academy for Key Stage 3 pupils, who will use the facility to participate in weekly horticultural and environmental science lessons as part of their regular studies.

The building, specifically created to support the education of horticulture in an eco-friendly low impact design, will be constructed from timber and pre-fabricated off site in panelised sections to minimise disruption at the academy and increase the speed of the final build.

Designed to industrial agricultural warehouse standards with the capacity for classroom growing stations to provide hands-on experience for pupils, the building supports the three strands of the Academy’s Green Plan: carbon reduction, re-wilding and climate education.

Also featuring photovoltaic roof installations to enable the classroom to be self-powered as well as demonstrate climate reduction strategies, the project will be a critical element in Folkestone Academy becoming a flagship eco-school and leading on local educational initiatives.

Studio Anyo has created an ambitious, contemporary building that will also provide new opportunities for engagement with the local community as well as mental health and wellbeing groups.

During school holidays, it will serve as a base for horticulture themed holiday clubs for children from disadvantaged backgrounds – children who become more vulnerable during holiday periods will be targeted together with those who are least likely to have access to outdoor space when at home.

CEO of Studio Anyo, James Walsh, who has overseen the design and development of the new classroom, said: “We are delighted to be working on this unique project, which sees the benefits that offsite and MMC can bring to education buildings. It shows how we can keep our carbon footprint as small as possible and work with subcontractors to deliver advanced construction projects.

Studio Anyo has been commissioned to design a new horticultural education project at Folkestone Academy


“As architects, we always want to see the creation of ground-breaking developments that will leave a long-lasting legacy. This project will undoubtedly have a big impact and contribute to a positive change for Folkestone Academy.”


Pupils in Key Stage 4 and 5 will also access accredited qualifications in a range of horticultural disciplines in partnership with local agri-businesses and college partners, the EKC group.


Turner Schools CEO, Seamus Murphy, who commissioned the project to bring environmental science and horticulture to life in Folkestone, said: “During lockdown I had time to reflect on the challenges facing our pupils in the 21st century and identified a significant gap in their learning- having a practical understanding of the environment around them. Hence the commission from Studio Anyo to design a 21st century flexible and sustainable learning space for our pupils.”


Steve Shaw, head of school at Folkestone Academy, added: “The new building will prove hugely beneficial to our plans to offer a great range of practical outdoor learning for our pupils. We also see this becoming a flagship building for promoting environmental issues and highlighting careers and progression opportunities in the horticulture and environmental science industries.”




As anyone who has stepped into a school washroom knows, students can leave quite the mess—leaving paper towels on the floors and standing water pooled on the counter. At Excel Dryer UK, we have worked hard to combat unsanitary conditions like these by providing touchless, high-speed and hygienic hand dryers to all types of facilities. But we don’t just stop at wall-mounted hand dryers: we’ve combined one of our innovative hand dryers along with soap and water in a single washbasin for a hygienic, intuitive and unified experience with the new XLERATORsync® system.


An all-encompassing hand hygiene solution with a cutting-edge design, the XLERATORsync system features our touchless XLERATORsync® Hand Dryer along with a motion-activated faucet and soap dispenser on a custom washbasin manufactured from HI-MACS® Natural Acrylic Stone. This sink system is the product of modern design innovation that will lead to cleaner and more hygienic washrooms, as users wash and dry their hands all in one location without ever having to touch the system.


Working behind the scenes in the sink system is a HEPA filtration system that is proven to eliminate 99.999% of viruses and 99.97% of potentially present bacteria at 0.3 microns from the airstream. That means that the XLERATORsync system is not only promoting proper hand hygiene but is also actively creating a cleaner restroom environment.


The XLERATORsync system comes equipped with adjustable speed and sound controls, adjustable heat settings and a patent-pending sound suppression and air delivery system.


There is no such thing as a standard system size, as everything is manufactured to order. In addition, the XLERATORsync Hand Dryer can be coloured and branded however you want—even the natural stone washbasin can be finished in 112 different colours.

If you are a school facilities manager who is looking to elevate your school’s restroom

by retrofitting it with our hygienic XLERATORsync system,

CLICK HERE and reach out to us today

Betafence is one of Europe’s top suppliers of quality fences, gates, gabions and more – and buying them from long-standing F.H. Brundle comes with a whole range of benefits.

Branches all around the UK allow for nationwide coverage, with large stocks for immediate delivery, while a fleet of over 60 vehicles gives the company the capability to transport even the largest panels. What’s more, all orders over £150 come with free delivery.

F.H. Brundle is able to offer an extensive array of quality Betafence products.

Betafence Nylofor mesh panel fencing is designed for rapid and efficient installation. Nylofor 2D is made from heavy gauge Weldmesh panels, with twin horizontal wires for increased rigidity and cutting resistance, and offers excellent through vision.

Nylofor 3M (also known as Nylofor 3D PRO XL) comes in large three metre panels, and requires 20% less posts, 20% less concrete and 20% less installation time compared to other systems available.

Nylofor 3D features V-shaped panels at the top, centre and bottom edges, both to provide extra strength and improve the overall aesthetics, while Betafence Paladin fencing is an ever popular part of the company’s Weldmesh range due to its unique mesh pattern, which allows for clear through visibility.

Paladin FX offers the same benefits, but with more rigid panels, and a universal fixing bracket system for easier assembly.

Securifor 358 excels in contexts where security is a priority, thanks to its toe and finger-proof mesh aperture and resistance to vandalism.

Zenturo is a range of versatile gabion fencing, that’s an excellent way to create a closed partition, or a natural alternative to a fence or wall in a garden.

The panels can be filled with a variety of natural materials to create boundaries, and are available in a contemporary anthracite RAL 7016.

F.H. Brundle also stocks Roll Top fencing, suitable for areas where safety is a consideration, because of its lack of sharp or raw edges.

The above products and other Betafence offerings are used extensively in the industrial, commercial, energy, public and other sectors.

If you’d like to learn more about these products

please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 01708 398048

or visit www.fhbrundle.co.uk


Learning environments are some of the most important places, and the way they function is just as important as how they look. Mark Johnstone, Head of Commercial – UK, Middle East and Ireland, at Altro, considers the key criteria when specifying for primary schools.

When it comes to specifying for education environments, there is a greater need than ever for durable, easy to clean, comfortable and attractive surfaces – and thankfully plenty of smart solutions to meet those demands. We have worked through the decades to develop solutions to age-old issues; safety floors to prevent slips; sustainable adhesive-free floors to reduce downtime; shoe and barefoot flooring for safer changing rooms; floors that reduce impact sound reduction for quieter working spaces; and walls and doors that impress, yet don’t compromise on hygiene and easy-maintenance.

Specifiers have a lot to balance. We’re aware of the changing views on learning spaces, for example the positive impact that biophilia – using natural shades, including wood-look options, and images of nature – has on learning. We’re aware of the benefits that adaptable learning spaces and effective way-finding solutions, among other design concepts, have for those with autism or Social Emotional Mental Health (SEMH) needs – and that, actually, these should not only be considered for specialist spaces, as the same things hugely benefit all children.

We understand the challenges of complying with regulations designed to keep our children safe, whether finding solutions that have the required 30-point light reflectance value difference between floors and walls, installing safe disability access ramps, or giving reassurance that our doors and walls meet the required standards for fire resistance.

We appreciate that education buildings are among the busiest public spaces, meaning durability and easy maintenance are essential. We know specifiers must also meet sustainability requirements – there is a lot to take into consideration.



Entrance and reception areas

In primary schools, this area has a variety of functions: it’s an office space, a waiting room and, as the first area of the school that parents and visitors see, a room that represents the school’s ethos. First impressions count here and, as a work space, it needs to be a calm oasis in the surrounding bustle. For ultimate design freedom, consider options such as Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) for walls and Altro Orchestra Custom floors to make your individual mark.

As most people in this area will be coming in from outside, the risk of walked in rainwater, and therefore a slip, is high, so a safety floor will protect students, staff and visitors from slips. There are plenty of great options, including sustainable adhesive-free floors which can halve installation time, and are 100% recyclable pre- and post-installation.


Constantly in use by both little and large feet plus equipment trollies, floors for corridors and general circulation areas need to be tough while looking good. These spaces can be noisy as pupils move from one space to another, so impact sound reduction is welcome here, reducing distraction for those still concentrating.

Ease of cleaning is an important consideration, as is downtime in an area that’s in constant use. Ranges such as Altro Operetta, Altro Orchestra and Altro Serenade offer multiple attractive, natural colours and finishes that are robust and easy to clean, with a custom option for a bespoke approach too. Consider adhesive-free options with installation time halve that of a traditionally adhered floor: you can weld and walk the same day, even over fresh concrete. There are no rucks or movement when down, and at the end of its life the entire floor can be uplifted and reused or recycled.

For walls, consider systems such as Altro Fortis wall sheet combined with corner protection – dense, impervious and resistant to bumps, it is ideal for use in these busy, vulnerable areas.


Primary school classrooms go from calm to chaos and back again throughout the day. The floor you choose contends with constant use from 30-plus pairs of feet, activity debris and chair-scraping. It needs to support quiet learning, tired feet, act as the occasional seat and play its part in creating an inspiring space to work and learn in.

A good option here is a vinyl floor with acoustic properties for impact sound reduction and comfort, as well as ease of cleaning and durability.

With a wide variety of activities taking place in the classroom, a sink is a common feature, making splashes and spills and therefore slips, likely. With so much going on, it’s not always possible for teaching staff to spot or wipe spills straight away.

You probably won’t need to install a safety floor for the whole room; you can install just around the sink. Altro safety floors mean you can reduce the risk of a slip to one in a million in that space. You can choose to match the shade to the rest of the floor, or deliberately create a contrast to remind pupils that it’s an area they need to be careful in.


Prepping and cooking hundreds of meals, all to be served within an hour, or less, means school kitchens must operate efficiently and quickly, without compromising on safety. As staff work to get multiple dishes ready, there’s no time to worry about oil splashes or food debris on the floor, which increase the risk of a slip accident. Once prep and service are over, clean-up and next day prep mean there’s no rest for staff feet, so a floor solution that can take the burden of a day spent standing will be welcomed.

Kitchens need a specialist safety floor such as Altro Stronghold 30, designed specifically to deal with these challenges. They also benefit from hygienic wall systems – grout-free, easy to clean and impact-resistant.

Multi-purpose halls/canteens

A primary school hall masquerades as gym, restaurant and conference room. A versatile space needs a versatile floor that can handle changing needs, looks good and provides a comfy seat. This key area for a school can’t be out of action for long, so is an ideal area to opt for our sustainable adhesive-free floors with quick and straight-forward installation over an existing floor, or over new concrete.

An option such as Altro Wood adhesive-free meets each need: a slip risk of one in a million for those lunchtime water spills; 14dB impact sound reduction to help keep outside noise out, inside noise in, and to lessen foot and chair noise within the room; comfort underfoot to go easy on jumping and dancing feet, and on little bottoms; shades to create a warm, comfy look; and no adhesive, halving installation time, with no associated adhesive odours. What’s more, you can reuse it elsewhere or recycle i: the perfect sustainable solution.

For walls, Altro Whiterock Digiclad (Custom) enables a school to put its own stamp on its main space, with durable and scratch resistant properties to look good long-term. Choose from the school logo or photographic images of the children playing sport, or of local landmarks, to inspire knowledge and pride: the possibilities are endless. In addition to photos or art, this walls system can be used to support wayfinding, featuring signage or instructions.


Primary school libraries are no longer the intimidating, quiet rooms they once were but, as a space where story-telling comes to life or a pupil curls up to enjoy their first novel, there’s a need to reduce noise distractions, so an acoustic floor that’s thick enough for comfort underfoot is a good option here.

Staff rooms

Staff areas are well used; lots of feet, chairs, desks so the floor needs to be durable. As a space used for work, meetings and well-earned breaks, it needs to look homely and feel comfortable: the floor plays a central part in creating a space where staff are happy to be. With staff areas in constant use, installation or refurbishment needs to be quick and easy, so this is another area where adhesive-free floors can be used to great effect.


With no time for staff to constantly monitor the state of the toilets, the floor needs to prevent slips from sink splashes, walked in water and any little accidents, so safety floor is ideal here. It has to be easy to clean, whether a quick wipe or the thorough end-of-the-day clean. Look for slip resistance that lasts the lifetime of the product, to give peace of mind that pupils will be as safe from slips when they leave school as when they started. There is a huge range of colours now available, so it’s possible to make the bathroom more fun, theming the space, or using different colours for each cubicle and the hand wash area.

Hand hygiene is more important than ever, and can be a challenge at primary school age. When it comes to school toilet walls, they can play a role in reducing the number of places bacteria can lurk. Walls need to be easy to clean. Tiled walls are popular, but problematic – with grout present and cracks common, tiles will not support effective hygiene and maintenance. Look to a hygienic walls system, such as Altro Whiterock, that can be wiped clean. Grout-free, impact-resistant, quick to install and backed up by lengthy guarantees. And plenty of colour and design options on offer too.


CLICK HERE for a wide range of tools and resources for specifying in education.

About Altro – www.altro.co.uk

With heating being a school’s primary use of energy, leading independent building services specialist Gilberts is taking steps to help the educational estate optimise its carbon footprint.


The move coincides with updates to the required technical standards and performance criteria for schools’ mechanical services, within the Department for Education’s Facilities Output Specification(1). The updates are encouraging specifiers to consider utilisation of heat pumps as the most efficient way of warming, ventilating and cooling the building. When powered by electricity from a renewable source, with their high COP verses oil, gas or direct electrical options, heat pumps offer the school long-term benefits and lower energy bills.

However, it is important to ensure the heat pumps are installed with support building services systems that can work efficiently with them, so the school has a healthy internal environment for the pupils and staff.

Gilberts’ MFS hybrid ventilation units do just that.

Integrated into the heat pump system, Gilberts’ MFS can utilise the warmth brought into the school from the ground or air to maintain a comfortable internal environment in each individual classroom, year round, appropriately balancing warmth and ventilation as needed.

Typically, LTHW (low temperature hot water) is circulated around the school from system boilers at mean temperatures around 50-60°C. With heat pumps, the water is cooler at around 35°c for heating but there is also the option of 9°C for “free cooling”. Gilberts’ MFS has been designed such that these options can be used to heat the classroom during the cold weather or temper it during the warmer months.

Gilberts’ MFS hybrid, stand-alone ventilation system is recognised as being fully compliant with Environmental Funding Agency, Facilities Output Specification and BB101 requirements for school ventilation.

Strategically located at high level through the external façade, the unit efficiently ventilates each individual space with no need for ductwork, plant, fire dampers, associated penetrations into adjoining spaces (a growing consideration for schools to minimise Covid) and building work. The core MFS appliance provides natural ventilation and uniquely blends the incoming fresh air with the warmth from the exhaust air.

MFS can also be configured to run on 100% fresh air, using the coil to temper the air to provide Covid compliant ventilation without compromising the internal temperature.

Just 2 Mistrale MFS128’s or 1 MFS256 single-sided units will ventilate a standard 32 person classroom, achieving the 8 litres/sec/person fresh air required and within the particulant levels for Covid currently set by the Department of Education Building Bulletin (BB101) and PBSP guidelines. It brings compliant control over temperature, pollutants and CO2 levels and maintenance of a comfortable internal environment for occupants.

There is no need for radiators nor all their associated ancillary capital expenditure, installation, operating and maintenance cost. As the heat is supplied at high level, the risk of low surface temperature (LST) issues is also eliminated.

As a solus ventilation unit, MFS costs as little as £5/classroom/year(*) to operate. Using it as the means of classroom heating adds just £2.19/ classroom/year(*). Energy consumption and thus energy costs are reduced. Schools account for around 2% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, roughly the same as all the energy and transport emissions of Manchester, Newcastle and Bristol combined; this is equivalent to 15% of the country’s public sector emissions(2). Energy is also a school’s second biggest expenditure (after salaries) according to the Institute of School Business Learning(3): improving energy efficiency helps deliver best value against budgetary considerations.


Roy Jones, Technical Director @ Gilberts, observes, “Throughout our 60 year history, we have been at the forefront of innovative ways to make a positive difference to our use of energy while creating the best internal environment for building occupants. Evolving our MFS unit to include capability to work with heat pumps is a natural step on that path. It’s a win-win for any school in making a positive contribution towards reducing its carbon footprint.”


MFS is just part of Gilberts’ diverse range of ventilation systems, grilles, louvres and diffusers which, coupled with its in-house expertise, have established it as the leading independent supplier of air movement solutions in the UK. Family-owned, Gilberts is unique in the sector in its ability to design, engineer and supply its products with all processes undertaken in-house at its 85,000ft2 head office and manufacturing facility in Blackpool. Its Technical Director Roy Jones is also a member of TAPAS (Tackling air pollution at school).




Working on a brief to deliver a first-class facility for students and teachers at St. Patrick’s Special School in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Zumtobel Group brands Zumtobel and Thorn have supplied a number of luminaires throughout the €14 million project.

In conjunction with building engineers Semple and McKillop Ltd, the project involved the supply of custom made linear SLOTLIGHT infinity light lines that had to be the exact size of the radiant panels and be able to incorporate 3rd party lighting control sensors. The lighting installation was carried out by electrical contractor, Ronan Burke Electrical Ltd.

Designed for students with special educational needs, the 5,940m2 building, mainly single-storey and part three-storey, consists of 20 classrooms with ensuite toilets, junior and senior dining areas, a general-purpose hall, specialist teaching rooms, and clinician facilities. The school provides a much needed, high quality facility for 400 students from Enniscorthy and the surrounding areas. In addition, the building incorporates a hydrotherapy pool with an extensive range of support facilities onsite, including a fully equipped speech and language suite, horticulture room, ICT suite, home economics room, and physio services.

To achieve the required light levels and customised client requirements, Zumtobel’s SLOTLIGHT infinity has been installed extensively throughout the facility – custom versions for the main classrooms, corridors, and the GP Hall. The SLOTLGHT infinity modular light line offers practically unlimited options, with freedom and flexibility of design, not just in straight lines but even around corners. The unmatched, consistent light quality with virtually end-to-end illumination is available in runs of up to 20 metres in length without any joins to fulfil every lighting requirement. An unusual and eye-catching, customised SLOTLIGHT infinity ‘ring’ was created primarily to illuminate the main foyer.

Zumtobel’s CLEAN recessed linear luminaires have been installed in the swimming pool area to meet the exact specification requirements of swimming pool and clean area lighting, using the latest lighting technology with a three-level luminaire concept. An important feature of CLEAN is the cover which has a high-quality anodised aluminium frame and toughened glass to ensure maximum safety for pool users. Zumtobel’s versatile CAELA illuminates the changing rooms, with a depth of only 55 mm and a diffuse cover that delivers the perfect light distribution.

Thorn’s Beta 2 LED luminaires have been used to illuminate the office spaces, providing low glare (UGR 19<) and ensuring a comfortable ambient light.

Other luminaires installed in the interior of St. Patrick’s include Zumtobel’s HELISSA in the toilet and stairwells, Thorn’s Duoproof LED in the kitchens, ForceLED in the plant rooms, and Linn modular, wall recessed luminaires in the interconnecting space. Thorn’s long life and low maintenance Voyager Star provides the addressable emergency lighting throughout the school, thanks to its specialised optics, Voyager Star sends light exactly where it is needed in the event of an emergency. Its wide spacing values reduces the number of luminaires required compared to other solutions and therefore reduces the costs involved.

External illumination is provided by Thorn’s Isaro Pro robust and high-performance LED street luminaires, D-CO LED Bollards offer comfortable visual guidance, and square recessed Linn LED luminaires the pathway lighting. Thorn’s Eyekon energy efficient, robust, and impact resistant LED bulkheads and Olysys LED floodlights with asymmetric distribution have also been incorporated into the exterior lighting design, including illumination of the amphitheatre space.

“From start to finish, we partnered with ZG Lighting Ireland, as we have done for many of our educational projects in Ireland. The brief was complex, and we needed to ensure that we delivered a state-of-the-art lighting solution for a state-of-the-art school, and ZG Lighting Ireland did not disappoint. The bespoke circular fitting that greets you when you enter the school is a testament of the hard work undertaking by all parties involved. I very much look forward to working with Niall and his team on future projects in Ireland,” comments Declan Smyth, Senior Associate and Project Engineer at Semple & McKillop Ltd.

Zumtobel and Thorn have delivered a flexible and adaptable energy efficient, low maintenance solution to create a 21st Century learning environment for the pupils of St Patrick’s Special School. Principal Lee Rogers commented, “Because of the difficult year that everyone has had in terms of activities and outings being curtailed by COVID 19 restrictions within the school, the new campus is effectively ‘a light at the end of the tunnel’”.

For more information on Zumtobel, please visit the website https://z.lighting/en/zumtobel/ and for Thorn www.thornlighting.co.uk



The benefits of replacement, energy-efficient aluminium windows and doors for school renovations include savings on energy bills while providing a bright, secure and comfortable learning environment explains Russell Wallbank, Architectural Project Manager at window and door system supplier Schüco.


A pool of water on a window sill or a blind flapping in a cold draft are the tell-tale signs that a window has reached the end of its life. While you may not need an expert to tell you a window has failed, it is worth talking to an expert when it comes to selecting the best value product for its replacement. Often, a school will employ a building surveyor to assess the problem. They will then contact a window and door system supplier, such as Schüco, for advice on the most appropriate and cost-effective replacement.

A reputable supplier will select the most suitable product from their range. This may involve visiting the school, writing a specification for the job, producing preliminary window drawings and even recommending an approved fabricator and installer.

One concern often raised is whether planning permission is needed when replacing a failed window or external door. Generally, planning permission is not required, providing the aesthetics are not being changed significantly and the replacement window and door’s thermal performance is equal to or better than the unit it is replacing.

While planning permission may not be required, replacement windows and doors must comply with current Building Regulations, which apply to the unit’s thermal performance and other areas such as safety, air supply, means of escape and ventilation.

A big advantage of using a leading system supplier like Schüco is that a school will benefit from a quality, cost effective solution. For example, it is good practice to ensure the new window provides at least the same amount of natural light as the one it is replacing because high levels of natural light reduce the need for electric light, saving energy, while aiding students’ concentration.

Ventilation too is important. Additional opening units can often be added without significantly changing a window’s appearance. Window systems can also incorporate passive or active ventilation to ensure outside air can always enter the classroom, even with the windows closed.

Furthermore, where solar gains are likely to cause overheating, the glazing can be treated with a heat-reflective coating. Or, if the budget and the planners allow, you can also install other methods of solar control offered by Schüco, such as external louvre blades or brise soleil.

Often the best solution is to replace failed windows and doors with units made using a thermally-broken aluminium frame and energy efficient double glazed units, such as Schüco AWS 70 SC. These will have a significantly better thermal performance to improve classroom comfort in both summer and winter while helping reduce the school’s heating bill.

When replacing external doors, particularly in high traffic areas, these will need to be robust and high quality units, such as the Schüco GFT 50 entrance system. Replacement doors may need to comply with the Equalities Act 2010, which means they should have a low threshold and be wide enough to allow wheelchair access. It is worth pointing out that, should an external door opening need to be widened, planning permission may be required.

Replacement fire exit doors need to be secure yet easy to open in an emergency. Door hardware therefore needs to be positioned so as to ensure ease of operation. In fact, all windows and doors should be fitted with high security hinges and locks complying with Publicly Available Specification 24 (PAS 24) or with Secured by Design.

Schüco offers the seamless integration of door and window systems for schools. For example, the AWS 70 SC window system can be combined with the Schüco GFT 50 external door system for high traffic areas which includes an anti-finger trap solution.


For more information on Schüco systems visit the website, email mkinfobox@schueco.com or call 01908 282111 and ask for Russell Wallbank.




Rapid Ramp, the UK’s leading modular ramp and step manufacturer continue to offer a nationwide supply and installation service.

Their modular products are off the shelf systems, available from stock with fast service and construction.

With a fully reusable and adjustable design, the products can fit various sized spaces and buildings. Plus, they can fully comply with Building Regulations.

Installations remain flexible and organised around the specific needs of each project, and existing wooden ramps can be dismantled and replaced.

An in-house designer creates 3D drawings with each quotation, and site surveys can be arranged.


 School Access Ramps & Steps


Unlike wooden ramps and steps that will burn if exposed to fire, the Rapid Ramp system is non-combustible and can fully comply with building regulations.

Installations remain flexible with fitters often working during the holidays to accommodate around the teaching timetable. Plus, fitters can dismantle and remove existing wooden ramps.



Contact details:  E: sales@rapidramp.co.uk  –  T: 01424 714646  –  W: www.rapidramp.co.uk




The University of Nottingham’s Advanced Manufacturing Building used TECHNAL GEODE MX 52 Visible Grid Curtain Walling, SOLEAL FY 65 Windows and PY 55 Doors. Selected by architects Bond Bryan, the TECHNAL aluminium systems offered a cost-effective, thermally efficient solution that was backed by outstanding technical support both prior and during construction.


The state-of-the-art training and research facility, located at the entrance to the Jubilee Campus, has enhanced the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering. The building features teaching facilities, laboratories and workshops, and houses the Rolls-Royce University Technology Centre in Manufacturing Technology.


Costing £23 million, the 9000m2 facility, built by contractor GF Tomlinson, plays host to pioneering research that could shape the future of UK manufacturing. Since its completion, the structure has been awarded a RIBA East Midlands Award in recognition of its architectural excellence.


The building was designed by further education sector specialists Bond Bryan Architects, in a form that would work around the site constraints of the River Leen and the campus entrance road. Design inspiration was also taken from the adjacent, Elizabethan Revival style, Lenton Lodge, with the anodised cladding panel system selected to resonate with the colour and tone of the lodge.


On the glazing aspect of the design, a representative of Bond Bryan commented, “The masonry plinth at ground level combined with high-level glazing were designed to give the impression that the upper storeys are floating. Extensive internal glazing and the use of open walkways also allow visitors a sweeping view through and out of the building. This design visually links the activities within the faculty whilst also creating a dramatic and exciting work environment.”


It was down to TECHNAL’s project consultant to interpret the glazing requirements set out by Bond Bryan and recommend products that would meet the required thermal efficiency and safety standards of a university building, whilst also providing the desired aesthetic effects sought by Bond Bryan.


When combined with the highest performance glazing, the GEODE MX 52 range curtain walling and its integrated thermal break enables Ucw coefficients as low as 1.1 W/m2K to be achieved. The curtain walling is also easily integrated with the thermally broken FY 65 windows and PY 55 doors, both of which offer outstanding thermal performance. In terms of security, both the FY 65 windows and PY 55 doors, have been tested in accordance with BS EN1627, achieving RC2 and up to RC3, respectively and PAS 24.


With regards to the assistance received from TECHNAL, Bond Bryan Architects added, “We work with TECHNAL regularly because its solutions are cost effective and the team offers great design and technical support throughout the process.”


Tim Hubner, Project Manager for GF Tomlinson commented: “We are very pleased with the final outcome of the building. It is a credit to all the contractors and suppliers involved.”


TECHNAL is part of the Hydro Group, a world leader in aluminium solutions that also encompasses sister brand WICONA. Through its globally renowned Hydro Technology Hubs, the group is shaping a sustainable future, with innovative products that satisfy and surpass customer expectations, in line with demands of CSR and increasing environmental regulations.


For more information, please visit www.technal.com/en/uk/.

Regency Design, the design and manufacturing business, has launched a bespoke series of automatic hand sanitising stations which come in a variety of sizes to help prevent cross contamination challenges as schools and universities reopen.

Complying with the Equality Act, the automatic hand sanitising dispensers have been created to accommodate schools and pupils of all sizes, from nursery and pre-school to senior and secondary schools.

To teach younger children especially about the importance of hygiene, Regency Design has created a specific nozzle that dispenses sanitiser in a foam bubble, to make the concept of hand sanitising more fun.

Zak Manhire, Chief Commercial Officer at Regency Design, says that the team has used innovation and imagination to make the sanitising units suitable for schools: “We have adjusted the heights of our sanitising units as well as creating a variety of nozzles to make dispensing the sanitiser fun and interesting,” he says. “They can also be fully customised with a school’s coat of arms or colour schemes, to make them an integral part of the environment.”

As well as schools and early education facilities, the sanitising units are also being delivered to colleges and universities, with positive feedback already received from campuses in Sunderland and Edinburgh.

The sanitising units are 100% Made in Britain, which as well as supporting the UK economy, also means they are quick to manufacture and deliver.

Along with their hand sanitising units, Regency Design has created a full range of PPE, including face visors, which can help keep teachers and children safe when interacting in the classroom.