Fermacell steels limelight for rainscreen specification

Fermacell, the dry-lining board from Xella has been tested and utilised as an external backer board for vented and insulated rainscreen cladding applications.

Fermacell steels limelight for rainscreen specification

For the first time in the UK, the board was specified for use in the construction of the £5.6 million Gateway Building at the University of Cumbria, Lancaster Campus.

The 12.5mm gypsum fibre board was rigorously product tested to ensure the board could provide the necessary resistance to sustained weather exposure without degrading, and testing was carried out at the Taylor Woodrow Technology Centre under strict guidelines set out by CWCT, the Centre for Windows and Cladding Technology before it could be installed.

Fermacell, which is made from 94% recyclable materials, can offer a completely sustainable solution that can significantly improve a building’s BREEAM rating. It can also withstand permanent exposure to extreme weather conditions without losing its properties.

Other benefits are that the board is around 15 per cent cheaper than traditional cement board and is an effective ‘off-the-shelf’ equivalent that is designed to be far easier to fix into place. The board can be screwed in to place without typical ‘threading out’ and once fixed to a steel frame system, all that is required is to finish off with an aluminium tape over all the joints.

Unlike other rainscreen backer materials, Fermacell is also a high-performance, multipurpose building board that can achieve fire and impact resistance with high levels of acoustic insulation and weight carrying capacity.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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