Student accommodation, De Montfort University, Leicester

Project: Student accommodation, De Montfort University, Leicester

Cembrit PB and Cempanel building boards have been chosen as part of the construction of the façade of a brand new student accommodation block at the De Montfort University in Leicester. The Abode development on Newarke Street consists of sixty one student flats, located a short walk away from Leicester city centre.

De Montfort University is a public research and teaching university and it required new student accommodation for its growing student numbers. The accommodation is comprised of 143 rooms and students can benefit from being in close proximity to the beautiful River Soar and Bede Park. The Abode development is the second phase of new student accommodation, following on from the successful construction of the first phase which completed in September 2013. The Abode development opens in July 2014.

Derbyshire-based DS Insulation was the cladding contractor on the project and specified Cembrit PB and Cempanel Boards. The building boards have been fitted on every level of the seven story block, creating an insulating render system. The Cempanel was used as an inner lining board with Cembrit PB installed as an outer layer render backer for the façade of the building. The building has an attractive finish of which combines smooth white walls and red brick.

“The Cembrit building boards were the perfect choice for this project” commented Barry Bradbury, Site Manger from J A BALL LTD who worked with DS Insulation. “I have never worked with Cembrit before but I was really impressed with the quality of the boards. We could have used plasterboard on the flats but Cempanel is a much stronger product. I would not hesitate in using Cembrit for future projects.”

Cement based Cembrit PB, has low water absorbency and is dimensionally stable. It will neither expand nor contract with heat and cold, nor will it swell and shrink due to changes in moisture, crucial characteristics inhibiting surface cracking in the render finish. Cembrit PB’s specially developed reinforced, chamfered edges mean the board can be fixed close to their edges. This maximizes stability at the butt joints, further reducing the risk of the render cracking along the joints, which can be a vulnerable area of the facade.

Cempanel (cement particle board) is superior to timber and plasterboard panel products when used as internal linings on rainscreen cladding projects (sheathing), general purpose external boarding, floors or studwork interior walls. Cempanel is both stronger and less absorbent than timber and plasterboard. The high cement and alkaline content also resists insect and fungal attack.