Background

The Gateway Building is the first phase of the University of Reading's ambitious project to build a highly collaborative & innovative science park.  

The completed Thames Valley Science Park is expected to create up to 5,000 jobs and provide 74,000 m² of laboratory and office space in a campus-style setting.

The Gateway Building is the first building of the new 50 - acre development and has been designed to deliver a vibrant, high-quality atmosphere with flexible office and laboratory space.

 

Objectives

The brief was to develop a masterplan for a multi occupancy campus of highly flexible offices, laboratories and amenity spaces with international appeal.

The project needed to be delivered in phases providing cutting edge facilities and services to create a dynamic environment for knowledge enterprises seeking an excellent business and research location with connectivity to the M4 corridor.

Challenge

The client wanted the first building to have a striking design; the Gateway Building can been seen from the motorway and would be the first building to be viewed when entering the campus.

A watertight building was needed at the earliest stage of the building programme to allow the extensive internal fit-out to begin.

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Project details

Action

Eurobond Rainspan was specified as the ideal structural support to the Corten Steel façade option, a steel façade that naturally rusts over time, producing a striking oxidized finish. 

Eurobond's non-combustible composite panel system delivered all the technical properties required including acoustics, thermal, passive fire protection and weather tightness whilst also being able to support the load of the rainscreen.

Rainspan not only removes the façade installation from the critical path, but also creates a flat external metal face ready to receive the system carrier whilst cleanly integrating with the curtain walling and windows. The Eurobond panels can be cut on site or even post installation adding greater flexibility and integration with other façade materials.

A clean finish to the external face has been created by disguising the drainage behind the panels; Eurobond provides the required strength to achieve a cantilever past the last fixing point to achieve a free standing parapet.

Eurobond Rainspan spanning capability has enabled the panels to be fixed to the outboard of the slab without any intermediate secondary steel, freeing up the full slab to be utilised for external space and maximising internal square meterage.

Due to the high load of the Corten Steel panel it was critical that the supporting structure was able to take the weight of the rainscreen system. Eurobond Rainspan has been tested for structural and weather integrity performance to CWCT standards and fire resistance tests conducted in accordance with BS EN 1364 Part 1 to ensure "built in passive fire protection".

Specified in Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® Pure Grey, the pre-finished steel provides exceptional performance and corrosion resistance for building envelope applications.  

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Results

Striking Design 

A distinctive durable exterior has been created by utilising Eurobond Rainspan as the backwall, the Corten Steel rainscreen has been left untreated to develop its own unique finish.

 

 

Maximising space

6,500 square meterage of specialist space produced for approximately 20 innovative technology based companies resulting in a flexible collaborative environment.

Expansion

Building completed on time with tenants secured early on, allowing for consent to be granted to build 15 more buildings at the site over the next 20 years.

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Specifications

SectorEducation
ClientThe University of Reading
ArchitectRyder Architecture
Main ContractorGraham Construction
Specialist Contractor Fabrite Engineering Limited
SystemRainspan
ColourColorcoat HPS 200 Ultra® Pure Grey

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