Openshaw College: A Manchester school featuring carbon neutral surfaces

Openshaw College: A Manchester school featuring carbon neutral surfaces

Based in the city of Manchester, Openshaw College is the largest further education college in the United Kingdom and in 2023, was redesigned. The lower part of the school building now features Cosentino’s ultracompact surface, Dekton®, which has been used across 100sqm of the building’s exterior.

Undergoing several transformations since it was founded in the early 19th Century, Openshaw College was officially established in 2008 and has since been recognised as the largest single provider of 16-19, adult, and higher education in Greater Manchester.

Designed by Ellis Williams Architects, Cosentino’s Dekton was chosen for its durability and versatility, and is installed alongside Mitred Open Corners supplied by RGV Facades and installed by GM Services. Highly resistant to UV rays, fire, heat, scratches and stains, Dekton Nayla was specified for its pure white colour on a subtly textured surface that is crisp yet muted, rather than garish and dazzling.

Highly durable, Dekton comes with a warranty of 25 years, which demonstrates its ability to withstand even the most intense daily use. Resistant to UV rays, the colour of the surface does not fade over time, and low coefficient of thermal expansion makes it resistant to thermal shock when exposed to heat or extreme cold.

Dekton® is one of the current architecture products with greatest contribution in achieving a sustainable, energy efficient building that reduces a project’s carbon footprint. It is a material that contributes to obtaining both LEED and BREEAM credits for façade projects, influencing fields such as sustainable spaces, environmental impact of the material, indoor environmental quality, life cycle impact or material efficiency.

Neil Adshead, Director of Ellis Williams Architects said, ‘When specifying products for the Openshaw Campus project, it was important to ensure that the cladding was both durable and energy-efficient, which the Dekton product is. The textured surface of Dekton Nayla gives the slabs a crisp feel and colour without being overwhelming. The product was an excellent choice in terms of providing a high quality finish but with the necessary functionality. In addition, Cosentino also provides a 25 year warranty which gives clients and designers the confidence that they are in safe hands.’

Claire Eagling, Senior Commercial Project Sales Manager at Cosentino, says: “Dekton is an incredibly versatile product, and we were really excited to work with Ellis Williams Architects to provide Dekton Nayla on a large scale for the exterior of Openshaw College. The white looks as vibrant on a bright sunny day as it does in darker grey weather, and with the recently extended 25-year warranty we’re confident it will look beautiful for years to come.”

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