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St. Pauls and Piper Hill Schools

An external wall insulation system from Sto has been used in the dramatic black and white facade of the St Pauls and Piper Hill Schools in Manchester. The ability of the system to meet the demanding standards set out in Manchester Council's 2007 Supplementary Planning document was a key factor in its specification.

The planning document asks for buildings to meet a number of sustainability criteria far in advance of current building regulations. The StoTherm Classic system, specified by architectural practice Aedas, was used in the new buildings for St Pauls School as it is comfortably able to meet stringent thermal insulation standards while producing very little site waste.

Like many new school buildings, St Pauls was constructed of a steel frame system with lightweight exterior panels. As architect Phillip Jackson from Aedas explains: "We endeavour to cause as little disruption as possible to the children attending school. Speed is essential and we are looking for industrial, fast-track building systems incorporating external renders that are quick to apply and allow us to complete the external facade in the shortest possible time."

"Both our own practice and contractors Balfour Beatty have a long-established relationship with Sto and are therefore happy to specify the products, knowing that there will be no problem with the warranties and that we will get the technical help and advice that we need."

This project sees two existing schools being brought together on one site. The new buildings for St Pauls are complete and in use already, while a dramatic refurbishment and extension of the buildings for Piper Hill School is currently under construction.

Existing buildings for Piper Hill school are traditional cavity wall construction, so in this case a standard render system, StoRend Flex Cote, was specified, allowing the external facade to be entirely renovated while maintaining a design unity throughout the whole project. The dramatic black and white render is easily achieved with Sto products, as the Stolit acrylic render finish is available in over 800 colours.

Project Page

St. Pauls and Piper Hill Schools

See the project page for St. Pauls and Piper Hill Schools.

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