Potterow, University of Edinburgh

Solution: Joint Sealing
Contractor: MagHansen

Providing a vital weatherproofing finishing touch, Sika’s Universal Membran system has been applied to the new Informatics Forum at the University of Edinburgh, keeping students dry and out of the elements.

The new Informatics Forum is the first part of the University’s three-phase development set to boost its own and the city’s economy. Located in Potterrow, at the heart of the University, the new Forum was designed to provide a single facility to replace five separate buildings situated around the city.

With comfort for students and researcher essential to provide an optimum educational environment, it was vital that the new structure was fully air and weather tight. Featuring extensive curtain walling and glass facades, the building featured many joints and junctions that had to be sealed. Two products from the global leader in specialist construction products, Sika, offered the ideal solution – Universal Membran system and Sikaflex Pro 2 HP.

Sika Universal Membran is a flexible EPDM synthetic rubber waterproofing membrane. Available in 25 m x 0.6mm rolls of varying widths from 100 to 1,400mm, it is applied around building components, such as window and curtain walling joints to provide an effective waterproof and airtight flexible seal.
Specialist contractor MagHansen installed the product throughout the Potterow building. To ensure the membrane was securely fixed in place, MagHansen used Sika’s renowned elastic adhesive, Sikabond TF Plus to provide a secure bond.

Preferred not only for its proven weatherproofing, Sika’s Universal Membran benefited the contractor with ease of application. Requiring no treatment, other than the cleaning of all surfaces prior to use, it is simply cut to width and length and then fixed in place.

“The decision by MagHansen to use Sika products on this project as opposed other similar products was quite simple,” commented Craig Williams of MagHansen. “We, along with many others in the field of commercial glazing, and a number of architectural practices, believe Sika to be the market leader in EPDM membranes and weathering adhesives. To be the best in our field we won’t use, or settle for anything less than the best. It was also of primary importance given the location of this building and its exposure to extreme weather conditions that we use a product we know and trust. Sika products achieve all of this.”

Unlike various other materials Sika Membran is not affected by any weather conditions. Therefore, whether hot or cold, it remains highly malleable, making it easy to place in position. It is also weather, UV, ozone and ageing resistant so once fixed into position it ensures a long term seal, eliminating any possible damage caused by water ingress.

Additionally, assisting in the building’s environmental efforts, the Universal Membran system provides an air tight seal. This helps prevent the loss of heated or cooled air from within the building, which would contribute to wasted energy.

To ensure total protection, the company’s Sikaflex Pro 2 HP was specified to seal external gaps, between windows and other problem areas. A low modulus polyurethane sealant, it is applied to the joints via a sealant gun. Specified in a colour matched shade, it provided good protection from the elements whilst blending with the building’s aesthetic.

With the building completely sealed thanks to Sika, it has now opened its doors to students. Protected by a combination of proven weatherproofing products, its occupants can remain safe in the knowledge that they won’t become victim to the ravages of the Scottish weather for years to come.

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