Forticrete provides the perfect finish for The University of Stirling

University of Stirling concrete block and brick architectural masonry case study

Decorative Hi-Light® concrete facing blocks from Forticrete, the UK's leading manufacturer of architectural masonry products, have been specified for phase one of the University of Stirling's three-year residence redevelopment programme. Due for completion in 2015, the £38 million programme will see the delivery of just under 800 attractive and contemporary new bedrooms following the demolition of a number of its existing older residences.

Architects for the project, Lewis and Hickey, specified Forticrete's popular Hi-Light® Textured Ivory and its striking Hi-Light® Textured Spruce facing blocks to create modern, crisp looking accommodation which reflected the University's aspirations of providing high quality, contemporary residences to meet the expectations of today's students. Both developments are primarily clad in Forticrete's Textured Ivory, with its Textured Spruce introduced predominantly at ground level to provide a clear contrast to the bold, bright finish of the Textured Ivory. The overall design and finish of external materials were carefully chosen to provide obviously modern materials, whilst respecting the design philosophy of the existing.    

Phase one of the programme saw the construction of Willow Court, a four-storey 128 bedroom residential block of cluster flats each with shared kitchens, social spaces and en-suite facilities; in addition to the construction of Alexander Court, which comprises three townhouses spanning 3,768 square metres. Both developments were opened successfully in time for the beginning of the 2014 semester.

Colin Nicol, Managing Director at Lewis and Hickey, commented: "We wanted the new developments to enhance the University's ability to compete with universities and colleges across the globe in providing the highest quality accommodation for current and prospective students.

"Additionally, in-keeping with the University's commitment to the highest standards of sustainable design, it was essential that the development's material selection made use of recycled products and sustainable materials.

"Therefore it was essential that we created an inspiring finish that not only reflected that vision, but importantly, also complemented the development's surrounding environment, following the site's typography.            

"Forticrete's decorative concrete blocks have been an important element in achieving the vision and everyone is delighted with the finish."

Forticrete's decorative concrete blocks, which are manufactured using up to 35% recycled content, are acknowledged in the Green Guide to Specification where they are rated A or A+, gaining maximum credits for the BREEAM assessment. Upon completion, the new accommodation aspires to achieve an 'excellent' rating by BREEAM and to achieve performance standards which exceed those of the Building Regulations.

Forticrete's revolutionary Hi-Light® block has been designed to provide all the benefits associated with its Dense Concrete Masonry, yet is up to 25% lighter than an equivalent solid masonry unit. With a cellular underside but a solid top surface to provide a full bed for mortar, the Hi-Light® block complies with Health and Safety recommendations and provides complete cover under CDM regulations.

Part of the company's ECOBLOCK range of masonry, these decorative concrete facing blocks are available in various finishes, profiles and a wide variety of exciting colours to ensure that architects and specifiers have access to an array of sustainable yet attractive solutions that will help make any building stand out from the crowd.

All Forticrete Specification Masonry is manufactured from a carefully controlled mixture of aggregates and cement in accordance with BS EN 771-3:2003 'Specification for masonry units' and meets the statutory requirements of the relevant sections of The Building Regulations 2000 and The Building Standards (Scotland) Regulations 1990 (amended 2001).

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