Flooring contractor: MK Flooring
Type of works: Junckers jarrah flooring used in university's new lecture theatre building.
The new lecture theatre at the University of Essex in Colchester is a spectacular £4.5 million project in glass and steel. The concept was to create an outstanding multifunction standalone building with seating which can be folded away to create an open floor area suitable for exhibitions and conferences.
The flooring requirement was for a rich, red timber floor which had to be 100% sustainable, a challenge which was easily met by Junckers jarrah. Nearly 1,000m2 of this material was used throughout the foyer and auditorium. It was also used to clad the feature staircase.
The choice of timber was not the only challenge which Junckers met. Additionally, there were a number of technical issues raised by the sheer area of the floor and the use of retractable seating. Junckers Technical Department had to establish the best method of installation to minimise the need for large expansion gaps at the perimeter and also how best to accommodate the loadings from the two banks of seating.
Working closely with the flooring contractor MK Flooring of Milton Keynes, it was decided that the 20.5mm solid jarrah floor should be directly bonded to the sand and cement screeded sub-floor, incorporating fine expansion gaps between every row of installed boards to reduce the perimeter gaps required.
Junckers Jarrah was also used to clad the entire staircase. To comply with building regulations, the front nosing of the staircase had to be a contrasting colour to the tread and riser. To achieve this, a pale Junckers beech nosing and riser moulding was used, forming an excellent contrast with the rich, red Jarrah.