Swift, predictable build times made for a positive experience for all concerned and a hand-over 4 weeks ahead of schedule at this new technical college in the South of England, built by main contractor BAM Construction and installed by Romsey-based specialist cladding contractor LSC Facades, using over 1000m2 of Aquarian’s Gebrik Insulating Brick Cladding System.

Buckinghamshire University Technical College (UTC) in Aylesbury opened its doors to students for the first time in 2013, having been completed within a tight deadline and with project constraints that demanded an intelligent, modern approach to construction. As with many education projects, the build-programme at Bucks UTC involved winter working and extremely short timescales. To add to the challenge, BAM’s start date was delayed by a further six weeks due to planning issues. Our Gebrik system enabled the contractor to take the external façade off the critical path, so that the building was weathertight as soon as the steel framing and external sheathing were installed. 

To meet Sheffield-based Bond Bryan Architects’ brief, 1,000m2 of Gebrik panels and corners were factory produced in a random mix of the Limeburn, Coppersmelt and Broken Bronze brick slip finishes and installed by LSC Facades within two months. Bond Bryan’s Architectural Technologist Dave Martin said:

“Initially we considered a monotone concrete finish but the client was keen to see some variation in the façade treatment. Having successfully used Gebrik before, BAM Construction recommended it for this project. It was the first time that we had worked with the system and we were delighted with both the process and the end result.”

Gebrik’s lightweight, insulating panels and corners replaced the traditional bricklayer’s role of having to blend three different brick types from packs on site. LSC Facades’ Operations Manager, Mick Godwin, said:

“We worked closely with Aquarian to ensure we met the architect’s precise aesthetic requirements and BAM’s programme deadlines. Gebrik’s lightweight panels are easy to handle and quick to install, providing a much cleaner working environment than traditional methods. In our experience, the construction process benefits greatly from the predictability that Gebrik brings – particularly as it can be built in almost all weather conditions.”

By using Gebrik, BAM was able to incorporate as many dry construction and off-site processes as possible, providing greater predictability. Colin Williams, Construction Manager at BAM concluded:

“Not only was Gebrik faster, but we benefited from it being cleaner, easier to store and move around site. The project was challenging but a positive experience; I have nothing but praise for the Gebrik system.”

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