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Equitone suits modules at Newcastle College


Being a modern and durable material that retains its appearance made fibre cement EQUITONE [natura] and [textura] from Marley Eternit the ideal choice for Newcastle Sixth Form College’s modular architectural facade.

The 11,000m² new building designed by RMJM Architects opened in March and is the only dedicated sixth form college in Newcastle city.

EQUITONE [natura] panels allow the texture of the fibre cement to show through, which gives the building a unique, attractive visual appearance. Light coloured EQUITONE [natura] panels were predominantly used for the facade along with feature panels of EQUITONE [textura] with its textured surface finish.

An aluminium framing system was used to carry the Marley Eternit fibre cement facade, with a secret fix hanger method used for the panels. An unusual aspect of the design was a 55mm gap used to accentuate the facade modules.

The facade design consists of an engaging non-linear layout with randomly arranged windows, which required a planned and methodical approach by the installers European Roofing Systems.

The architectural layout developed by European Roofing Systems gives a crisp, clean alignment of the panels that integrates with the extremely close measured tolerances of each of the window locations.

David Murphy, Director at European Roofing Systems, said:

“We had to work to extremely accurate tolerances both in the carrier system and the fibre cement panels because of the random spatial arrangement of the windows. The EQUITONE materials suited the modular approach and could be sized to extremely accurate tolerances, which ultimately resulted in us being able to recreate the architect’s innovative facade design.”

A steel frame system was used to construct Newcastle College with the wall being made up of plasterboard internally, 60mm Kingspan K15 and 12mm exterior grade sheathing board. The wall achieves a U value of 0.35.

Chris Walsh, Senior Designer at RMJM, said:

“The modular nature of the architectural facade from Marley Eternit helped deliver our original design concept. This is a stunning example of how fibre cement can create a modern, crisp facade, whilst still retaining a natural look.”

An EQUITONE facade solution from Marley Eternit has an installed life expectancy of at least 50 years, requires no routine maintenance and is resistant to rot and fungi, making it a highly cost effective material over the whole life of the building. EQUITONE materials have fire classifications A2-s1, d0 to EN 13501-1.

EQUITONE played its part in helping the college aim for a BREEAM ‘Very Good’ rating because a Marley Eternit fibre cement facade can achieve an A+ rating as defined in the BRE Green Guide to Specification based on generic rating for autoclaved fibre cement single sheet – (Element Ref: 80623042, 806230422, 806230447, 806230450).

For further information on Marley Eternit’s full range of EQUITONE facade materials just ask ME at www.equitone.co.uk or call ME on 01283 722588. You can also follow ME on Twitter @MarleyEternit. If it matters to you it matters to us, that’s why with ME it’s all about you.