The John Taylor free high school in Burton-on-Trent is a complete newbuild development on a greenfield site, commissioned to meet the growing needs of the Staffordshire education system. The £25 million PPP funded complex by Glancy Nicholls Architects includes a state-of-the-art sports hall and caters for 1,400 secondary and sixth form pupils.
When Perkins Plasterers were contracted by Seddon Construction to ensure the integrity of the building envelope, with particular regard to airtightness, it soon became apparent that a cheap or inferior solution would do neither the project, nor the reputation of a group of proud professionals, any good.
Gareth Jones of Perkins Plasterers explained: “The original material that had been considered presented a high risk of failure in our view, and we were not convinced it would perform as needed, particularly for the scale and complexity of this project. So, in consultation with Seddon we decided to upgrade the specification. It soon became clear that we had made the right decision in choosing the Tyvek and AirGuard products. Being a school building it needed to function for the long-term, in a way that would keep costs down, so there was no point in cutting corners in the short-term. And in fact, ‘corners’ were one of the key places where this material came into its own, as together with its special tapes and sealants, it has a flexibility that works brilliantly with windows and doors, or wherever there are cuts or penetrations that need to be completely sealed.”
Gareth and team says they were impressed by the experience of working with DuPont: “The customer support from start to finish was second to none. We had a full day’s training, plus further site visits, and very clear guidelines which helped us understand how easy the system was to work with. It was obvious even during the build that everything was performing as it should because it helped to keep out some awful weather conditions. Once fully installed and tested it gave us excellent results. The school is now open and the airtightness of the envelope is performing very well. We would definitely work with these products for similar projects in the future.”
Tyvek Housewrap breather membrane was applied to the sports hall, and Tyvek AirGuard Control which was used on the main school building as a vapour control layer. These function as part of a holistic system together with specially created accessories Tyvek FlexWrap EZ concertina-style tape and Tyvek double-sided tape, thus ensuring the integrity of the airtight seal even around awkward corners, servicing ducts and structural penetrations.
Tyvek breather membranes are said to be unique because of their high-quality single layer construction and are naturally vapour open while also being dependably – and lastingly – watertight, as proven by comprehensive field tests. Tyvek AirGuard Control is described as a ‘lightweight, easy to install’ AVCL which offers ‘superior’ mechanical strength and is designed to reduce uncontrolled air leakage and minimise convective heat loss in roofs, walls and floors.