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Flexcrete's Anti-Carbonation Coating Applied To External Walls At University Of Brighton

One of Flexcrete’s high performance anti-carbonation coating has been specified for use during a major £26 million retrofit and refurbishment project being undertaken at the University of Brighton.

Monodex Smooth, a water-based, elastomeric, decorative coating, was chosen by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects for application to the external walls of the University’s Cockcroft Building, a ten storey building which dates back to the 1960’s. The most prominent building on the University of Brighton’s Moulescomb Campus, 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 Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects devised a sustainable, retrofit and refurbishment approach – a reduction in CO2 emissions being a strategic driver for the project.

The phased refurbishment project is due for final completion in 2015 and has involved the demolition of all internal walls to create new, 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 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.

Monodex Smooth was applied to the Cockcroft Building by Primetone Builders Ltd. Rapidly applied by brush, roller or airless spray, it 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.

The Cockcroft Building refurbishment project is being delivered by Fraser Brown MacKenna Architects, Wilmott Dixon Interiors, Curtins Consulting, Burnley Wilson Fish, Mott Macdonald and Primetone Builders Ltd.

Flexcrete Technologies Limited is the UK’s leading independent manufacturer of technical mortars and high performance coatings. With origins dating back to 1983, the company manufactures a wide range of concrete repair mortars, fairing coats, waterproof cementitious coatings and decorative protective coatings. With its head office and manufacturing complex based in Leyland, North West England, Flexcrete products are available from stockholding distributors all around the UK. The company also has a global presence through international agents and distributors in 65 countries worldwide with export sales accounting for over 50% of its business.