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Buildings, Maintenance, Refurbishment & Design

Associated architects specify Forticrete masonry for new multi-million pound performing arts centre


ecorative Regency Ashlar masonry

blocks from Forticrete, the UK’s leading manufacturer of

masonry products, have been specified for the construction of a new £5 million state-of-the-art performing arts centre at Yarm School, an independent private day school in Yarm, Stockton-on-Tees. The stunning

performing arts centre boasts an 800 capacity auditorium, complete with a fully independent studio theatre, atrium, terrace and music performance suite as well as a dedicated

dance studio. The performing arts centre is the latest phase of Yarm School’s £20 million upgrade and expansion of its senior and prep schools to support modern teaching practices. As architects for the project, Associated Architects specified Forticrete’s high performance Cast Stone Regency Ashlar masonry blocks in a bespoke blend, to create an awe-inspiring, yet cost- effective finish that complements the building materials of its local surrounding vernacular.

Barbora Bott, Lead Project Architect at Associated Architects commented: “In keeping with the school’s contemporary design aspirations, it was essential that we specified products that not only promised to compliment the development’s surrounding environment, but also provided a sustainable, cost-effective alternative to sandstone cladding.

“Forticrete’s decorative Cast Stone Ashlar blocks ticked all the boxes, and helped deliver the modern and stimulating finish we craved.”

Forticrete Regency Ashlar is manufactured from high grade limestone and sandstone aggregates that have been chosen for their known performance and reliable quality. The major technical performance characteristics of Regency Ashlar exceed the requirements of BS 1217 and the United Kingdom Cast Stone Association specification.

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Foremans supplies interim classrooms to meet demand

Foremans Relocatable Building Systems, the UK’s largest supplier of pre- owned Portakabin buildings, has supplied two interim teaching buildings to primary schools in the London Borough of Newham, just eight weeks from receipt of order.

North Beckton Primary and Colegrave School each had a need for two self- contained temporary classrooms while redevelopment works are carried out. North Beckton Primary has been taken from two to three form entry, increasing the number of places from 60 to 90. A double classroom block is now in use for two years until a new permanent building is constructed. Commenting on the project, Manjit Rai, Head Teacher at North Beckton Primary, said: “The rooms are large, warm, comfortable and rather lovely! Everyone is happy with their accommodation and we would recommend the approach to other schools with similar needs.”

Advantages of this approach include: reduced programme times by up to 70 %; a cost-effective alternative to a new build and expandable buildings, amongst others.

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Reducing school sports costs

Replay Maintenance Ltd, who maintains synthetic sports surfaces, such as artificial pitches and athletic tracks, has seen an increasing number of schools appreciate the value of maintaining their sports surfaces. Mill Hill School, Repton School and Kirkbie Kendal School are three prime examples of how being proactive with maintenance extends the life of sports surfaces and ultimately saves money. Both Mill Hill School and Kirkbie Kendal School have taken advantage of the Replay Rejuvenation service, which has dramatically restored their compacted and contaminated synthetic pitches to ‘as new’ performance and appearance.

This was achieved by using compressed air to remove the contaminated layer of infill and restore the pile to vertical. New, clean infill is then added to complete the procedure, giving the surface a new lease of life. And it works just as effectively on Third Generation long-pile surfaces. At Repton School in Derby, a local river flooded both their water-based and sand-dressed surfaces. Replay responded to an urgent call from the school after severe damage to its facilities completely stopped play. It received both the Replay Rejuvenation process for the sand-dressed synthetic turf pitch and Replay’s Aquatrax service for the water-based. Aquatrax combines pressure washing and vacuum extraction to achieve noticeably cleaner and healthier athletic tracks and, as in this case, water-based pitches. Darryl Parkinson, Grounds Manager at Repton School, said of the process: “Based on the exceptional results, this is definitely an avenue we would like to go down on an annual basis.”

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