Saint-Gobain Weber, the leading formulator and manufacturer of innovative, sustainable materials for the construction industry, has been specified for the Thetford Academy, Norfolk.  Predominantly new build, the £16.9 government-funded scheme creates a new state-of-the-art facility for the community of Thetford.

The three-storey building, constructed by Swaffham-based Balfour Beatty through its Mansell  brand, on the north campus brought together 1400 students onto a single site from September 2013 and increased capacity up to 2050.  Work involved some refurbishment of the current north campus, some demolition and the new build. Architects Jestico + Whiles were appointed to carry out this major redesign.

Many low energy design features and materials have been incorporated in the specification including weber.therm XM External Wall Insulation (EWI).  This multi-layer lightweight system has been specified to achieve a target U-value of 0.25 W/m²K which places this new education establishment into the premier class of thermal efficiency.  Network Weber approved applicator     M Clarke & Sons Limited of Brentwood, Essex, applied the weber.therm XM EWI system.  To ensure a consistent level of thermal efficiency throughout the building insulation of varying thicknesses was used.  Mineral fibre insulation was specified for its non-combustible and high acoustic properties; both fire resistance and noise control qualities are vital when designing public buildings such as a school.  The 170mm thick insulation boards were mechanically fixed to the substrate creating a seamless join between the old and new buildings.

Included in the weber.therm XM EWI system is a meshcloth reinforcement which is encapsulated between two coats of weber.rend LAC, a polymer-modified, cement-based render.  When dry, this surface is primed with weber PR310, which can be spray or brush applied, before the final protective and decorative finish of weber.sil TF150.  This is a synthetic, silicone-based, even textured finish that creates a highly durable and weather resistant surface. No less than six special colours, including various shades of green, were specified for the colourful façade at Thetford Academy.

The building reflects its woodland site and the three wings to the rear have been designed to maximise views of the surrounding landscape.  The development is set to achieve a BREEAM rating of ‘Very Good’ with a number of green features including a biomass plant run on wood chips, water saving features, photovoltaic panels, intelligent lighting controls and materials with a high recyclable content.  The design of the new building, which has a fully integrated IT system, is such that many facilities can be accessed and shared with the wider community outside of school hours.

Work commenced in March 2012 and is was completed in autumn 2013.  The site offers specialist areas including a new sports hall, fitness suite, sixth form centre and extensive information computer technology (ICT) areas.  A large central courtyard provides learning and social facilities and is located close to an impressive new dining hall constructed in the retained elements of the existing building.

For more information about this project, or for technical support, please contact Saint-Gobain Weber on 08703 330 070, or visit   Customers in Ireland should call 028 9335 2999, or visit  A free download of the new for iPhone and iPad users is also available from iTunes and from Google Play for android smartphones and tablet users.  Follow Saint-Gobain Weber on Twitter @SGWeberUK for the latest company news and updates.  

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