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Carea Makes The Grade on Northampton College's New Campus

For the stunning new 21st Century campus at Northampton College, part of a £75 million redevelopment programme, architects wanted the entrance to the building’s social hub to form a striking focal point. To help achieve this, they specified Carea’s Acantha cladding system. 

Designed by architects Pick Everard and built by SDC Construction Group, Phase 1 of the new Booth Lane Campus has been completed and is now occupied, with full completion due in 2012. The key architectural feature is the glazed rotunda on the building, which features a horizontal band of cladding that wraps the building top, as well as a series of vertical cladding bands that create a framework effect. To achieve this aesthetic, Pick Everard specified the use of Carea Acantha cladding.

Appointed to deliver the complete building envelope, specialist contractor Alumet Systems installed the curtain walling, terracotta, louvres and brise soleil at the 30,000m2 facility. The Carea cladding, manufactured from a cutting edge exclusive composite developed over thirty years by the company’s expert technicians, was also installed by Alumet Systems as part of the comprehensive external application.

Specified at the concept stage by Pick Everard, the Carea cladding was supplied in a riven textured finish and in Boreal colour to complement the building’s decorative curved glass facade. The high quality of each Carea cladding panel allowed the creation of a smooth and precise curve to match the architect’s vision.

Each panel was installed using innovative grooves at the top and bottom edges to create a seamless finish, before the panels were integrated into the glazed curtain wall facade. As well as an efficient secret fix installation process, Carea panels provide several performance benefits when used in conjunction with high quality insulation. The Carea system increases the college building’s thermal efficiency to lower its heating needs and aid sustainability – helping the college to achieve its targeted BREEAM rating of Excellent.

Carea panels can be quickly installed to minimise labour costs and are also exceptionally low maintenance. Highly resistant to the climate, they can be easily cleaned to extend their life cycle even further. Their non-porous composition also ensures that they are unaffected by graffiti, again making them ideal for buildings with public access such as schools, colleges and universities.

Carea panels are available in over 30 different shades and a range of textures. Providing excellent thermal efficiency and eliminating cold bridging – as well as comprising around 95% natural minerals – they are highly sustainable and an ideal choice for contemporary construction.

Contemporary educational establishments are designed and built to represent the very best in modern, sustainable design. By creating a striking visual impression with the glazed rotunda, Pick Everard, Alumet Systems and Carea combined to create a stylish entrance that will continue to perform and look great for generations.