Specialising in performing arts and sports, Outwood Academy, Acklam is the second of Middlesbrough’s new generation of schools completed under the BSF programme to feature Sotech’s Optima secret-fix, aluminium extruded IPC X plank rainscreen system.

 Part of the £100 million Middlesbrough BSF programme, the £27 million project designed by architects Space Group and constructed by Willmott Dixon was completed in September 2012 and caters for 1,350 pupils. Incorporating a performance hall, extensive sports facilities and large central atrium together with an outdoor street theatre and dedicated cycle route, the external elevations are clad in grey polyester powder coated Sotech extruded IPC X plank rainscreen.

The robustness of the Sotech Optima aluminium IPC X plank rainscreen was comprehensively demonstrated under test conditions. Tested at Vinci’s state-of-the-art Technology Centre in Bedford, the system showed no wind deflection under test when fixed back to the substructure at 600 centres and significantly, withstood wind loads of 2kN at 1 metre centres.

Manufactured to 200mm width and fixed vertically, Sotech’s IPC aluminium extruded X plank provided an optimum weather performance for Outwood and by fixing at 1 metre centres rather than 600mm, the reduction in substructure requirements contributed to cost savings and installation efficiencies.

Installed by roofing and cladding specialist Indbuild, over 2,500 square metres of full-height engineered Sotech Optima IPC aluminium X plank rainscreen were incorporated into the building envelope. Polyester powder coated in grey, the rainscreen provided a striking contrast to the vibrant palette of colours specified for the recessed window pods.

For more information visit www.sotech-optima.co.uk/