The centre-piece of a £90m redevelopment scheme on Merseyside has been given a striking appearance thanks to a comprehensive facade solution supplied by Sto. The Roscoe building in the Greenbank Student Village at the University of Liverpool was completed with the installation of 5,500m2 of StoVentec R ventilated rainscreen cladding, and finished with the unique Sto Lotusan external render.
The site contains a rich mix of significant and interesting buildings, such as Derby Old Court which opened as the first hall of residence on the site in 1939. The Sto materials chosen for this project had to perform reliably and effectively, but also be sympathetic to these surroundings, and to the fact that the site sits in a conservation area. The StoVentec system has a fire classification of A2-s1, d0 and was able to meet all the required performance standards, while also permitting the creation of the visually striking, smooth exterior surfaces which harmonize with the surroundings and give the building its distinctive new appearance.
The StoVentec R ventilated rainscreen cladding system allowed the creation of these façades thanks to its easily-adjustable stainless steel and aluminium sub-construction, to which StoVentec carrier boards are fixed. This is partially filled with mineral fibre insulation to provide highly effective thermal insulation and excellent fire protection, while still protecting the wall by keeping it dry and allowing it to breathe. The StoVentec boards are made of 96% recycled expanded glass granulate, and reinforced on both sides with glass fibre mesh for superior impact resistance. These boards do not expand or contract with temperature change and induce far less stress in the screws, enabling the boards to be butt-jointed with no risk of cracking – crucial for producing large-area façades.
For this university project, special profiles and jointing pieces were used to overcome large joints due to the construction method, and a layer of StoArmat Classic cement-free base coat was applied to the exterior surface of the StoVentec boards, providing the final surface with outstanding crack-resistance characteristics. The installation was completed with StoLotusan, Stolit and StoSilco external renders in different colours, to provide outstanding protection and enhance the design of the façades. StoLotusan is a superhydrophobic render finish with a patented Lotus-Effect® microstructure surface, similar to that found on the lotus leaf. This render offers unbeatable water and dirt repellence by causing rainwater simply to roll off the façade, taking dirt particles and grit with it as it goes. With high levels of vapour diffusion and low water permeability, StoLotusan ensures that the façades of the University buildings will remain clean for far longer than they would with conventional alternatives.
“We have completed dozens of projects using Sto products over very many years, but this has to be the most successful and best-looking of them all,” says Steve McGowan of Precision Façades who installed the Sto system. “Right from the design stage, the whole supply chain worked really closely together, including the University’s own construction company, ULCCO (Special Projects) Ltd. This helped eliminate any problems before work began, and allowed us to integrate the StoVentec R system with a series of coloured aluminium pods that enhance the window surrounds which we were also installing. The installation process progressed extremely smoothly and efficiently.
“Sto Ltd performed extremely well. They provided all the necessary calculations and managed their staged deliveries to site according to a very demanding schedule. As ever, we had absolutely no problems with the quality of the Sto products either.”
When complete, the 5-year, two-phase redevelopment project will see the demolition and replacement of the University’s Derby, Rathbone and Roscoe student accommodation buildings, plus the refurbishment of the existing Annex Building and Derby Old Court properties. The project will increase the University’s student accommodation capacity by 40% and also provide a wide range of new social spaces, sports facilities, and administration areas.