Articles & Case Studies


Posted: Tuesday 29th April 2014

A new specialist unit for students with Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has achieved a sleek and contemporary design, thanks to products from Alutec’s Evoke fascia and soffit system and Aligator rainwater range.

The extension to the Nightingale Centre, situated at the Mark Rutherford School in Bedford, has increased the student capacity from eight to 17 pupils. The new building consists of two extra classrooms, an ICT room, a LifeSkills room, a sensory room, quiet rooms and resource areas – giving its students the space needed to develop and learn.

Mark Ellerby, Director of Mark Ellerby Architects said: “The building was designed around a stepped plan, with rooms encircling a new landscaped entrance courtyard. The design evolved as three separate blocks, each with its own mono pitched roof and linking flat roof to the next unit.

“The roof and gutter design for the new building was a key element in the scheme, as the three mono pitched roofs where designed as a standing seam system, but executed as a single ply membrane with seams. Therefore, we required an elegant and cost effective solution for the very visible roofline.

“Design decisions and specifications were taken jointly between ourselves and the school, so together we specified Alutec’s Evoke fascia and soffit system, as well as its Aligator Boxer gutter and Vandal Resistant downpipes. These products were ideal for the project as they presented a contemporary and minimalist appearance thanks to their smooth, uniformed profiles.”

Manufactured to meet the highest standards of durability and reliability, Alutec’s Evoke fascia and soffit system offers a lightweight alternative to PVC or sheet aluminium solutions. Comprising 100% recycled polyethylene core, with a marine grade aluminium outer layer and high performance PVDF paint finish, the system is extremely durable.

Alutec’s Aligator Boxer gutter system has a contemporary box profile, which features concealed brackets and unions, projecting a modern, sleek appearance and offering an alternative design to traditional curved profiles. What’s more the Vandal Resistant downpipes installed at the Nightingale Centre, feature internal joints and hidden brackets, meaning that the pipes cannot be damaged or vandalised easily by being climbed on or pulled off the wall.

Martin Peat, Director of Richardson and Peat, contractors for the project, commented: “As the products are manufactured from aluminium, they are very light and easy to handle on site. This helped prevent any site delays and meant we could complete the job on time. What’s more Alutec’s products have a long life expectancy and require virtually no maintenance, which is great for the customer.”

Both the Aligator Boxer gutter system and the Evoke fascia and soffit system boast exceptionally long life expectancies of 50 years plus – providing a long-term cost effective solution. In addition, as marine grade aluminium is so impervious to corrosion, very little maintenance is required during this extended lifecycle.

Robina Garner, School Business Manager at Mark Rutherford School said: “The new building has been a great asset to the school in terms of being able to accommodate more students, as well as being an exemplary design for autistic pupils and their spatial needs. The stepped design of the building has enabled it to be broken down visually, so it appears less dominating - an important aspect for its users.

“Alutec’s products really add to the design of the building, thanks to their modern aesthetics. Also, the fact that they have such a long life expectancy means that they will reduce our maintenance requirements in the long-term – something we will benefit from.”

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