Buckingham University

Buckingham University

Solution: Elastic Bonding
Contractor: BAM Construction

A revolutionary adhesive system that enables cladding panels to be seamlessly fixed to buildings, without the need for unsightly mechanical fixings, has been specified for a state of the art new sports hall at Buckingham New University, forming part of a massive £200 million campus redevelopment.

SikaTack Panel Adhesive, developed by global building product manufacturer Sika, was specified by project architects RMJM as a proven way of securely and invisibly attaching the Trespa cladding to the outside of the sports hall. This has enabled the creation of a clean and uninterrupted façade.

The project forms the first phase of a 10-year development plan at the University in High Wycombe. Completed in time for the new term, the complex known as ‘The Gateway’, includes a gym, sports laboratory and treatment rooms as well as a main sports hall. Working for main contractor, St Albans based BAM Construction, Pace Installations completed the cladding work using the SikaTack Panel Adhesive to efficiently fix the cladding panels to the structure.

A primary fixing method, the system eliminates the need for additional fixings and has been engineered to be applied on site. Having undergone rigorous testing, which has been monitored and endorsed by CWCT, SikaTack Panel Adhesive has a proven track record and is supported with impressive wind loading and dead weight statistics.

As part of Sika’s ongoing research and development the company works with structural engineers to undertake adhesion testing on any new cladding materials to ensure suitability. In addition, the company provides installation training and support to contractors as part of a complete solution. Needing no screws or brackets, SikaTack Panel Adhesive provided an easy method of applying the panels. The panels were first prepped using a specialised cleaner and then both the cladding support system and the cladding are primed.
A special 3mm thick black double-sided adhesive tape was then applied to the support system to provide temporary support. This enables the panels to be correctly positioned as once the SikaTack Panel Adhesive is applied the panels are firmly stuck in place and cannot be moved. Once the panel is in position, the adhesive was applied and the cladding panels were then fixed into place.

The system is capable of holding cladding firmly in place with substantial loading performance. Sika can provide guidance on the application of the product, in terms of the spacing of the beads of adhesive, which can be increased or decreased depending on structural calculations. As well as offering unrivalled adhesion, the product prevents bi-metallic corrosion and reduces cold bridging by acting as an insulator and eliminating metal on metal, aiding the performance of the building envelope. The permanent elastic bond, unlike rigid systems, also allows the rain screen panels to move as weather, temperature and normal building movements dictate.

Sika’s elastic bonding technology means there is no need for extensive metal fixings. This helps save on project costs as time on site is reduced due to the minimal preparation and installation time needed compared to that required for more traditional fixings.

Construction Director at Pace Installations, James Preston, said of the SikaTack Panel Adhesive: “This was a new system to us, which was specified by the architect. Although we hadn’t used it before, we were very impressed by its ease of installation and would welcome using this system again.”

Full testing has been carried out on the SikaTack Panel Adhesive system, which has proven to last without any reduction in performance. It has BBA accreditation ensuring peace of mind to both specifiers and contractors alike

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