Get yourselves an education with this week’s products for schools, colleges and universities

Cement fibre facade system


Kingspan Benchmark cement fibre facade systems have been used at the Holy Trinity advanced learning centre in Barnsley. Over 1,100m² of the engineered systems, developed in partnership with Marley Eternit, were installed on the sports building and performance hall. The system was chosen by architect Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (AHMM) for its style and the ease with which it can be installed. AHMM specified the product in two textures. The majority was installed in white cedral, using a face-fixing method. For contrasting detail, a smaller quantity of Operal was installed in dark grey at ground level.

Kingspan Benchmark

Concrete mix for secant piling


Hanson has launched a concrete mix design for secant piling, called EasyPile SP. The system can be used for ground stabilisation work prior to the installation of structural piles, particularly in difficult ground conditions. It is used to construct retaining walls using interlocking bored piles.

EasyPile SP offers three mix designs: hard pile is a reinforced concrete mix for the secondary piles, while soft pile and firm pile provide two options for primary piling.


Recycled building modules

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems has handed over a new teaching block at St John Rigby College near Wigan. The system was chosen as recycled building modules allowed the sixth form college to benefit from a larger building and more classrooms for the budget.

The two-storey scheme, which provides 11 classrooms, was craned into position in three days during school holidays, minimising any disruption to the college. The modular solution reduced the programme time to just 30 weeks.

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems

Granite-like block paving


Block paving manufacturer Tobermore has launched a range that emulates natural granite surfaces.  Fusion is available in sizes ranging from 100mm
to 600mm.

The concrete paving will meet a BREEAM rating of A, while A+ could be achieved when used with a recycled sub-base in accordance with the Green Guide to Specification. The company adds that the paving is manufactured using recycled aggregates, water and renewable energy.


Automated bi-parting doors

Record UK has launched a range of automated bi-parting doors, featuring a gearless drive system with an overall height of 95mm.

The company says the Blasi bi-parting door is suitable for linear, telescopic and mitred units with an opening width of up to 3,000mm. Door leaves weighing up to 100kg each (bi-parting) or 150kg (single leaf) can be supplied with a choice of single or double-glazed laminated safety glass. Bespoke solutions are available on request. The firm adds that each door incorporates the company’s microprocessor control.

Record UK

Cladding boards

Rockpanel is launching cladding boards manufactured to their new FS-Xtra grade, which comply with European fire classification level A2. Rockpanel facade boards in European fire classification level A2 will be available in all the company’s designs from March 2013.

Available in the new non-combustible grade are the monochrome Colours/Rockclad range; and the Chameleon range with crystal-effect coating; the Woods range; and the Metallics design range.


Energy-efficient windows


Halo has launched its latest addition to the System10 range of PVC-u profile systems for windows and doors - the TwinSash - which is said to achieve U-value performance ranges from 1.2W/m2K down to 0.38W/m2K, depending on the type of glazing, spacer and gas used. The 1.2W/m2K performance is achieved
using air-filled double-glazed units with float glass and aluminium. Maximum sizes range from 900mm x 2,100mm for Tilt ‘n’ Turn and 1,250mm x 1,250mm for casements.


Modular primary school


Portakabin has announced that it has handed over the first complete primary school in England to be built using modular construction.
The scheme, for Leeds council, is also the first project to be constructed using the new Portakabin modular building system. Facilities at the school include seven classrooms, each with a sheltered outdoor play space; a sports and dining hall; reception area and foyer; hygiene room with hoist; special educational needs room; catering kitchen; offices; staff room; library; and food and science technology room. Trees have been retained on the site and green areas extended, thereby allowing the school to develop outdoor classrooms.


Movers & makers

A round-up of news from manufacturers

  • Armstrong Ceilings has brought out a brochure covering its portfolio of suspended ceiling systems. The products can be used in the construction of schools and colleges. The CE-marked portfolio contains up to 25% post-consumer recycled content and is part of Armstrong’s End-Of-Life recycling scheme.
  • The Association of Interior Specialists has brought out a guide looking at best practice, which focuses on the installation of partitioning. The Best Practice Guide: Installation of Partitioning covers everything from initial tendering and planning through to installation. The publication can be downloaded from
  • Knauf Insulation’s Polyfoam ECO range of extruded polystyrene products has achieved a certified BRE Green Guide rating of “A”. The company says the range are the only extruded polystyrene products to be independently assessed by the BRE, and are free from CFCs, HFCs, HCFCs and any other material with ozone depletion potential in its manufacture and content, as well as being 100% recyclable.
  • National ventilation specialist Breathing Buildings has created a guidance paper to help contractors and engineers comply with the new criteria and cost targets. To see the Priority School Building Programme guidance, visit Breathing Buildings’ website.
  • Off-site construction company, Yorkon, has launched a video to demonstrate the latest developments in modular technology. The video, which can be viewed online at, follows the launch of the new Yorkon building system.