Canterbury Innovation Centre

Canterbury Innovation Centre

Solution: Elastic Bonding
Architect: RH Partnership
Contractor: Morgan Ashurst

Featuring sweeping curves and an attractive glazed frontage, the Canterbury Innovation Centre is set to stimulate business and entrepreneurialism in the cathedral city. To complement the glass fascia, architects integrated rainscreen panelling to the structure. Looking for a secret fix, free of unsightly mechanical fixings for the carefully designed building, they chose to fix them with Sika’s ingenious SikaTack Panel Adhesive.

The project was developed by a consortium including the South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), Kent County Council and the East Kent Spatial Development Company. Costing £7.3m, it is based on the campus of the University of Kent at Canterbury. Set to transform the region into one of the UK’s largest business centres, the project has garnered support from MPs and locals alike. Designed by RH Partnership architects, the project was overseen by main contractors Morgan Ashurst with the cladding installed by Laslett & Hill Carpentry.

As a flagship project for not just Canterbury but much of the South East region, it was very important that the project met the highest aesthetic standards. Giving the impression that it is set into the hill in front of which it sits, Marley Eternit Natura cladding was used on all of the infills and end elevations. To eliminate the need for visible fixings that could have spoilt the overall finish of the building, SikaTack Panel Adhesive was specified to seamlessly fix the cladding to the building.

SikaTack Panel Adhesive is an astonishingly powerful elastic adhesive that allows cladding to be fixed to supports without the need for any mechanical fixings. Very versatile, the system works on composites, ceramics, high pressure laminates and cement based materials as well as most metals.

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 this case, Sika’s specialists tested the cement fibre Marley Eternit cladding on a section of supporting aluminium to ensure that they would adhere with SikaTack Panel Adhesive. Once this had proved to be successful, Laslett & Hill Carpentry completed the cladding to the Innovation Centre.

Not only attractive, the system makes for a simple installation of cladding as it has no mechanical parts. Having never used the system before, Laslett & Hill Carpentry benefited from a site visit from Sika’s technicians who provided them with a training day on how to use the system. After applying a few sections of cladding to the structure to show the staff of Laslett & Hill Carpentry how it should be applied, the specialist contractors were soon installing the cladding on their own.

The hallmark of the SikaTack Panel Adhesive is its ease of application. After cleaning the vertical cladding support arms, a primer was coated to both supports and cladding. Extremely strong Sika Fixing Tape, a high performance double sided tape, was then applied. This high grade adhesive holds the cladding in place whilst the SikaTack Panel Adhesive cures and forms a permanent bond between the panelling and the cladding supports. As this permanent bond requires no metal fixings, the system also plays a key role in reducing cold bridging.

SikaTack Panel Adhesive is more cost effective and easily installed than mechanical secret fix systems. It is also just as permanent. As the bond is elastic, it allows panelling to move in line with dynamic structural movement, reducing stress on the panels and increasing their life span. The system also holds high wind loading and dead weight capacities.

SikaTack Panel Adhesive has attained British Board of Agrément (BBA) Certification for its durability, high performance and resistance to weather and fire. It also holds ISO9001/EN29001 certification - the industry standard for quality control.

Featuring office space, workshop and studio space, business support and a break out area where entrepreneurs and their workforce can take a break, the new centre is set to inject the economy of the South East with a new vitality. Highly stylish, the development provides a professional environment for innovative and high technology businesses to use as a home, featuring an attractive cladding exterior thanks to Sika’s remarkable SikaTack Panel Adhesive.

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