Cirencester College - MechSlip

The Cirencester College transformation includes a remarkable new ‘Digital Skills Centre’ revolutionising students’ digital education. This impressive building was designed by Roberts Limbrick architects and built by main contractor EG Carter & Co Ltd, both of which worked closely with Aquarian Cladding Systems from initial specification through to the installation on site. MechSlip, a non-combustible and A1-rated brick cladding solution, was selected for the scheme, using Ibstock Brick finishes to create a natural clay brick facade. Not only did it meet the technical requirements, but the brick finishes also exceeded the aspirations of both EG Carter & Co Ltd and Roberts Limbrick. The end result is a fantastic new facility that showcases the power of innovative architectural solutions and provides immense benefits to the college’s students. 

The recent transformation of Cirencester College and the opening of the Gloucestershire Digital Skills Centre, designed by Roberts Limbrick architects, features a number of key design features, including a striking recesses detail, thanks to external façade supplier Aquarian Cladding  Systems.

The ongoing transformation of the campus, both in terms of buildings and biodiversity, included a new state-of-the-art ‘Digital Skills Centre,’ a fantastic new facility which will hugely benefit students and transform digital education at the college.

Innovative brick cladding system MechSlip played a prominent role in the project, creating a natural clay brick façade that is Indistinguishable from conventional hand-laid brickwork, a perfect example of the effectiveness of MechSlip as a solution.

With the main contractor, EG Carter & Co Ltd, and the architects for the project, Roberts Limbrick, needing a non-combustible A1-rated brick cladding solution, the mechanically fixed MechSlip was chosen for the scheme from the curated collection of brick cladding solutions offered by Aquarian Cladding.

As well as assessing the technical performance of the systems, it was imperative that the brick finishes met the architects’ aspirations, and with a range of over 300 finishes available in MechSlip, the Bradgate Medium Grey and Ivanhoe Cream Original, both from Ibstock Brick, were selected.

It was EG Carter & Co’s first MechSlip project, and Thomas Jones, the company’s Associate Director, said,

“We are very pleased with the outcome of the MechSlip system on the Digital Building at Cirencester College. The system worked well,  reduced our risk for traditional masonry on the scheme and has delivered a great looking building that both ourselves and our client are very proud of. We would certainly consider  using this system again.” 


As a trusted and tested system, the relatively simple components of MechSlip led to easy detailing and drawings, while reduced weight on the frame and reduced wall thickness helped hugely with the design.

Specialist cladding contractor Central Cladding Systems Ltd, part of Aquarian’s Approved Installer Network, was appointed to install the system, and it was also the first time they had completed a brick slip system.

Ellis Sausman, Estimator at the Central Cladding, said:

“Due to the number of recesses and cladding junctions, we needed a product which was easily adaptable, which MechSlip was, and in terms of specific design requirements, the fact that the main contractor could get semi watertight with the SFS and CP board early was a real help.

Well-developed construction details were available pre-construction so we could adapt the design easily, and while it was a challenging project from the tender stage, through design and the build process, we are all very happy with the project and how the building turned out. The feature ‘blind windows’ created a strong aesthetic and really stand out as a key design feature.

“We were incredibly happy with the service Aquarian Cladding provided through the tender/design stage also from a costing point of view and from a technical perspective, they were also deeply knowledgeable. With Aquarian, we were in the best hands.”

The success of the MechSlip system at the Digital Skills Centre at Cirencester College highlights the importance of choosing the right cladding system for a project. MechSlip’s superior performance, aesthetic appeal, and adaptability, combined with Aquarian Cladding’s exceptional service and expertise, made it the ideal choice for this project.

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