Marley Eternit future proofs new school

A new primary school designed to be future proofed against climate change is using Marley Eternit’s Thrutone fibre cement slates, for both the roof and vertical cladding, to help it meet ambitious sustainability targets.

The œ8.9 million project to demolish the Westbrook Primary School and rebuild a new sustainable building on a different part of the site was awarded funding from the Government’s Climate Change Technology Strategy Board.

Situated just two miles from Heathrow and directly under the flight path, the school site poses some difficult energy efficiency, acoustic and thermal challenges. Pollard Thomas Edwards specified the Thrutone fibre cement slates for the main two storey section of the school, not only for the roof but also for vertical cladding, to help address these demands.

Jordan Wang, project architect from Pollard Thomas Edwards, said: “Westbrook Primary School is seeking to run a low energy building that also minimises ongoing maintenance and running costs. We chose the Thrutone fibre cement slates for their sustainability, cost and low maintenance benefits which meet the school’s criteria perfectly. Using the slates vertically has enabled us to create continuity between the roof and fa‡ade and create a striking design for the main building.

“The use of fibre cement slates as cladding also helps to protect the building from the elements, as well as contributing to the overall sustainability targets.”

Charlotte Hughes, product manager at Marley Eternit, added: “We are seeing increasing interest from specifiers in using fibre cement across the whole building envelope because of its design flexibility and sustainability credentials. As we start to see more extremes of weather in the UK, it is important that developers consider future proofing their roofs and buildings and we are proud to have been involved in such a pioneering climate change project.

“A key benefit of using Thrutone slates is that they are naturally secure through design, with a low profile leading edge which incorporates both a nail and rivet fixing, which means they could help to protect against the extremes of wind and rain expected over future years.”

Thrutone is a lightweight fibre cement slate in a blue / black colour with a smooth surface and square cut edges. Testing at Marley Eternit’s research and development centre has shown the slate can be used at a lower pitch of 15ø, and also boasts good sustainability credentials, including certification to the BES 6001 standard and the ability to achieve  an A+ rating in the BRE Green Guide.

Marley Eternit says fibre cement also offers sustainability benefits throughout its whole life cycle, as it can be fully recycled at the end of its use.  Waste fibre cement can be ground down and used to replace limestone and shale in clinker production, the essential ingredients for Portland cement.

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