Isaac Newton Academy, Ilford Essex

Building Schools for the Future programme

In 2012, Clark & Fenn Skanska chose 15mm LaDura for the internal linings and partitions for Isaac Newton Academy. It was chosen because of its strength - it can carry various wall fixtures without the need to install plywood pattresses - and its ability to withstand high levels of wear and tear.

In 2016, we revisited the Academy to see how the internal walls had held up to four years of wear and tear. Brian Bowry, the Estates Manager for the Academy confirmed that no repairs had been required over this time, which meant the Estates team could concentrate on refreshing the paintwork when required.

The academy is made up of an11,500m² of space divided into four buildings. LaDura is a high performance gypsum board, with excellent all-round properties including strength, robustness, finishing quality, sound insulation, fire, moisture and impact resistance. Due to its high density and the 8% hardwood particles contained within its core, LaDura is Siniat’s strongest ever plasterboard. 

This means it is ideal for spaces that could be prone to vandalism and abnormally rough use and are intensively used by those with little incentive to exercise care.

Sub-contractor Clark & Fenn Skanska chose GTEC LaDura partly because it can be used throughout the project, negating the requirement for different types of plasterboards for different areas of the project. They used 20,000m² of 15mm LaDura for the internal partitions and linings and 5,000m² of 15mm GTEC Universal Board to upgrade the external wall panel system. The 15mm GTEC Universal Board was fixed to GTEC Dryliner frame with 50mm insulation in the cavity.

This system was specified not only to augment the acoustic performance of the external wall construction but also to maintain the internal wall performance by reducing any flanking transmission. 

Clark & Fenn Skanska’s Estimating Director, Vic Cooke said: “The main reason for using LaDura
on this project was its ability to carry various heavy weight items with a range of different fixings –meaning there was no need to install plywood pattresses. The original specification included plywood pattresses, therefore, changing to LaDura meant only a single layer was required.”

Another benefit of using LaDura is the ability to save time. Siniat Technical Specification Manager, Steve Warriner said: “Although LaDura is considered more expensive, the fact that only a single layer of board is needed means the contractor is able to plan the build without the
requirement for plywood pattresses, so the extra labour time incurred with installing plywood pattresses is omitted, reducing installation time, materials and costs.”

Vic Cooke added: “I believe that the installation time was approximately 25% quicker through using LaDura. The fixers also commented that they liked using LaDura because of the ease of cutting and the superior finish quality due to the paper liner.”

Of the project itself, Paul Heather,
Managing Director of Skanska Building (London & South East Operating Unit) said: “We are delighted to be involved in the creation of Isaac Newton Academy, which will become a focus for the whole community. Students, staff and parents will be able to enjoy the benefits of an inspirational and bespoke educational establishment plus the wider community will have access to new and exciting facilities.”

As well as educational buildings, GTEC LaDura’s strength and robustness makes it ideal for other public buildings such as hospitals, sports and leisure centres, museums, cinemas and art galleries. 

Environmental considerations

The project was constructed to meet strict environmental standards, in particular energy efficiency.

“The use of GTEC LaDuraoffered a number of environmental benefits. By not using plywood we cut down on the use of timber, and of course we only needed to bring half the materials on site, reducing the transportation requirement. Skanska is a very green company - we were top of the Sunday Times ‘All Green Companies’ in 2011 - so a product like GTEC LaDura is very suitable.” 
Vic Cooke - Estimating Director

As well as educational buildings, LaDura’s strength and robustness makes it ideal for other public buildings such as hospitals, sports and leisure centres, museums, cinemas and art galleries.