Smith's Wood Sports College, Solihull

Smith's Wood Sports College, Solihull

Main contractor: BAM Construction
Ceiling contractor: ISEC Industrial Lining (Contractors) Ltd
Type of works: installation of Rockfon ceiling systems.

Smith’s Wood Sports College is part of Solihull’s £74M Building Schools for the Future programme, one of the first wave of schemes under the Government initiative. The new 1,100-place College has been fitted out with a range of Rockfon ceiling systems to meet specific performance criteria.

Martin Oubridge, Project Manager for BAM Construction, who were responsible for the design and build, commented: “We had a lot of performance criteria for this project, which included meeting specific acoustic requirements, alongside overall life cycle costs and price. The design included a large amount of exposed concrete for thermal mass to assist with the building’s BREEAM rating. Rockfon tiles were very adaptable to this type of construction, being available in a range of module sizes, with the facility to install both vertically and horizontally within a grid system. They also proved very easy to cut and handle on site.”

ISEC Industrial Lining of Stafford were the ceiling contractors on the project. “We worked very closely with Rockfon and BAM to achieve a custom solution for the ceilings at Smith’s Wood.” commented Paul Stanley. “We streamlined the specification and value engineered it to achieve the best possible price.”

The majority of classrooms at Smith’s Wood don’t have standard wall-to-wall ceilings, which meant ceiling tiles had to be installed to soffits, U-shaped bulkheads and rafts. Rockfon Koral was specified for these areas as its micro-textured, painted White surface ensured high sound absorption and helped achieve the relevant NRC values. Koral also offers best in class A1 fire protection thanks to its 100% stone wool core, which gives it excellent dimensional stability too.

The ceilings in the circulation areas needed to conceal an abundance of services, but the lack of suspension height left no room for hangers. The solution was Rockfon’s MaxiSpan system. This allowed the ceiling to be mounted directly onto the walls and is ideal for use with wide planks that give the finished ceiling a more seamless appearance than traditional grids and also uses less grid components.

Rockfon ceilings offer some of the best life-cycle costs on the market. Their stone wool core is made from diabase rock, a naturally renewable resource, which gives excellent thermal, acoustic and fire protection properties. Rockfon ceilings are also recyclable at end of life.

BAM designed the new school as a simple curved structure with a central entrance. Arranged as two curved linear streets with two, three-storey open atria clusters, the layout creates upper and lower ‘schools within the school’. The sports facilities, including sports hall, gymnasium, fitness suite and swimming pool, together with the assembly hall and dining area, are located within a separate curved pavilion block, linked to the entrance by a tensile structure that provides a covered external learning and social area.

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