University of Liverpool Refurbishment Project
A £90 million university redevelopment scheme on Merseyside has received a facelift following the installation of an innovative superhydrophobic façade cladding solution from Sto UK.
The Roscoe building in the Greenbank Student Village at the University of Liverpool was completed with the installation of 5,500m2 of StoVentec R ventilated rainscreen cladding, and finished with the company’s Lotusan external render.
The site contains a rich mix of significant and interesting buildings, including Derby Old Court which opened as the first hall of residence on the site in 1939. The materials chosen for this project had to perform reliably and effectively, but also be sympathetic to these surroundings, and to the fact that the site sits in a conservation area.
StoVentec has a fire classification of A2-s1, d0 and was able to meet all the required performance standards, while also permitting the creation of the visually striking, smooth exterior surfaces which harmonize with the surroundings and give the building its distinctive new appearance.
Ventilated rainscreen cladding also facilitated creation of the new façades as it utiliises an easily-adjustable stainless steel and aluminium sub-construction that supports fixing of carrier boards that can be partially filled with mineral fibre insulation to provide highly effective thermal insulation and excellent fire protection, while still protecting walls by keeping them dry.
StoVentec boards are made of 96 per cent recycled expanded glass granulate, and reinforced on both sides with glass fibre mesh for superior impact resistance. These boards do not expand or contract with temperature change and induce far less stress in the screws, enabling the boards to be butt-jointed with no risk of cracking – crucial for producing large-area façades.
Special profiles and jointing pieces were also used in the university project to overcome large joints due to the construction method, and a layer of cement-free base coat was applied to the exterior surface of boards to create a surface with outstanding crack-resistance characteristics.
The installation was completed with external renders in different colours to provide protection and enhance the design of the façades. StoLotusan is a superhydrophobic render finish with a patented Lotus-Effect® microstructure surface that offers water and dirt repellence by causing rainwater simply to roll off the façade, taking dirt particles and grit with it as it goes.
Steve McGowan of Precision Façades which installed the Sto system, says: “Right from the design stage, the whole supply chain worked really closely together, including the University’s own construction company, ULCCO (Special Projects) Ltd. This helped eliminate any problems before work began.
“Sto performed extremely well. They provided all the necessary calculations and managed their staged deliveries to site according to a very demanding schedule.”
When complete, the 5-year, two-phase redevelopment project will see the demolition and replacement of the University’s Derby, Rathbone and Roscoe student accommodation buildings, plus the refurbishment of the existing Annex Building and Derby Old Court properties. The project will increase the University’s student accommodation capacity by 40% and also provide a wide range of new social spaces, sports facilities, and administration areas.