George Dixon Academy, Birmingham

Project: George Dixon Academy, Birmingham

Kalzip’s low cost FC rainscreen system was specified in vertical formation by Glenn Howells Architects for two new schools in Birmingham - George Dixon Academy and the neighbouring George Dixon Primary School. Lend Lease was the principle contractor for the imaginatively designed buildings and the 1,300 sqm of Kalzip’s quick-fit FC rainscreen panels were installed by experienced cladding contractor, Stoneleigh Services Ltd.

Glenn Howells lead architect, Paul Miller says, “We wanted a cost effective, flat surfaced single skin cladding system with neat joints to integrate with the tall vertical windows on the multi-purpose main hall at George Dixon Primary School and the main hall at George Dixon Academy. We worked collaboratively with Kalzip to develop a set of details which utilise the Kalzip FC rainscreen system in long slender modules. The FC’s versatility proved ideal as the panels had to be fixed vertically to the timber subframe of the Primary School's main hall and the steel structure of the Academy's main hall and sports hall."

The FC rainscreen system is available in an extensive range of stylish colours and finishes - PVDF coated panels to RAL 9006 (White Aluminium) were specified for the George Dixon schools. Kalzip worked closely with Stoneleigh Services on the detail design of the FC rainscreen to ensure that the desired aesthetic effect was achieved and the phased installation executed smoothly.

Kalzip’s ingenious FC rainscreen system is ideal for both new build and refurbishment projects and the robust panels can be configured either horizontally or vertically to suit the specific design requirements of each individual project. The lightweight panels are installed on aligned, vertically or horizontally fixed modular click rails - a key feature of the system is that each panel is simply hooked at the top (or side in this instance) and then quickly ‘clicked’ into place at the bottom, or on the opposite side, as appropriate.

This unique multi-directional installation capability (top down, bottom up, left to right and vice versa) is not only innovative, but also means that the FC rainscreen system is extremely quick and easy to install. This feature can have a really positive effect on the site programme and allow for more flexible project scheduling - and so when working around onsite obstacles such as scaffold connections, individual FC panels can be omitted and simply affixed once the scaffolding has been removed.

Similarly, in the event of unforeseen damage occurring in future, the requisite Kalzip FC panels can be easily removed and replaced without affecting adjacent components, thereby negating the potentially time-consuming and costly task of renewing large areas of the façade.

Being a non-penetrative rainscreen system, no rivets or screws are used to install the Kalzip FC panels and so no fixings are visible. Openly available to all cladding contractors and suitable for installation onto all common substructures from existing masonry to lightweight steel or timber framing, this high quality, rear-ventilated, metallic rainscreen system is equally suitable for internal applications. Supplied with edge folding as standard, panels are available in various cover widths ranging from 250mm - 500mm and in lengths of up to 8 metres.