Project Location: Cockcroft Building, University of Brighton

Posted on in the category Buildings & Commercial Construction, Decorative Protective Coatings.

Anti-Carbonation Coating for External Walls of University Building

Protecting all external walls with decorative, anti-carbonation coating.


The Cockcroft Building is a ten-storey structure which is the most prominent building on the University of Brighton’s Moulescomb Campus. Dating back to the 1960’s, it provides 15,000m² of mixed-use academic space for some 1,250 staff and students, including teaching rooms, laboratories, academic offices and restaurant facilities, within its concrete-framed structure.

Though structurally sound, the Cockcroft Building’s infrastructure had reached the end of its design life and mechanical and electrical services needed a major upgrade. Demolishing the building was initially considered but this was soon dismissed and the architects devised a sustainable, retrofit and refurbishment approach – a reduction in COemissions being a strategic driver for the project. The refurbishment has involved the demolition of all internal walls to create state-of-the-art learning and administration spaces with improved energy efficiency and reduced maintenance costs. Externally, new double-glazed windows and a new roof have been installed and the external walls have been upgraded.

The Solution

Monodex Smooth has been applied to the external walls in bright white to enhance the outside appearance of the Cockcroft Building whilst providing years’ of protection against carbon dioxide diffusion and water ingress. Rapidly applied by brush, roller or airless spray, the anti-carbonation coating is ultra-fast drying, enabling two coat applications on the same working day and facilitating all year round usage. One major advantage for projects such as this is that Monodex Smooth is low hazard, water-based and releases no hazardous solvents or strong odour during application, so there is no disruption during application.

Ideal for both new construction and refurbishment projects, Monodex Smooth allows damp substrates to breathe and dry out without blistering. Its flexible nature allows substrate and thermal movement without cracking or flaking and it incorporates an encapsulated biocide which inhibits the growth of unsightly mould, mildew and lichens. Monodex Smooth also demonstrates exceptional resistance to weathering and will not degrade even after prolonged exposure to UV light. Monodex Smooth has a design life of up to 15 years before first maintenance and it is CE marked in accordance with the demands of BS EN 1504 Part 2, the pan European standard for surface protection systems for concrete.


University of Brighton


Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects

Coating Contractor

Primetone Build Ltd