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Around 3,000 square metres of Fermacell’s dry lining boards were used on the new build and refurbishment programme at Manorfield Primary School, which dates back to the 1950s.
Tower Hamlets has specified the Fermacell board on a number of occasions for a number of reasons, including its versatility. Previous educational-based projects include the Mowlern Children’s Centre in Bethnal Green.
John Burke, architect and consultant to Tower Hamlets Council, said: “Fermacell was specified for Manorfield Primary School by our Brazilian designer, Diogo Cunha. It was selected for a variety of reasons including its acoustic properties, the robustness of the product which enables it to withstand knocks and bumps; and the excellent hanging loads that allow staff to easily fix artwork to the walls.”
Another key consideration in the specification of Fermacell was the board’s sustainability aspects – it is made from over 90 per cent recycled materials and is recyclable – meaning that it helps contribute to the BREEAM rating of the building.
Matthew Barker, Director of Essex-based Visual Interiors, which installed the Fermacell boards, said: “We installed the external and internal walls on the project and internally combined Lindab steel frame partitions with Fermacell board.
“The school was originally built in the late 1950s and was typical of the prefabricated conditions of that time. Now, with a vibrant multi-colour scheme comprising yellow, blue and red render alongside natural timber, pupils now have a much more uplifting environment in which to work.”
The main contractor for the year-long project was Higgins Construction and the existing school continued to operate throughout this period. The two-storey new build element comprises an open front entry into the main reception area with a secure lobby.
The first floor is flooded in natural light from roof glazing. The classrooms have been designed to accommodate the early age year groups with open flexible spaces.
Ross Jenyon from Higgins Construction said: “A good surface finish to the internal walls was obtained using Fermacell which is ideal for use in schools and large common areas. Its robustness means that you don’t get the same level of damage on site as you would with plasterboard and its strength provides excellent load hanging capability – ideal for fixing pictures and other fittings to the walls.
“The Manorfield Primary School development is quite a departure on the design side – it’s very open with no ceilings so all the services including the suspended lighting track and sprinkler popes are visible all the way round.”