27 January 2021

Member News: Paxton Academy Sports and Science School

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Zefyr has recently completed a project in Croydon called Paxton Academy Sports and Science School, working with the McAvoy Group. It was instructed to design, manufacture, supply and install vertical rectangular profiled Solar Fins (Brise Soleil) to provide decorative detail and enhance the building aesthetic.


The building is a creative design solution that is a four-storey 630–place primary school with a multi-use games area, sports deck, and breakout areas as well as a playground area on the roof of the building.  


The primary school, which specialises in sports and science, had run out of temporary buildings since 2014. Pupils had been taught in portacabins and it has been an ultimate priority for Zefyr to deliver on having its Timber Fins as one of the last products to be installed on the building ready for the start of the 2020 school year.


September had marked a new start for everyone involved with the school. Not only did it overcome major difficulties with finding accommodation for its growing numbers, it secured a permanent building with state of the art facilities to deliver a modern 20th century education for its pupils. 


The Timber Fins are made up of close to half a kilometre of fire treated Western Red Cedar which visually is favoured for its rich and inviting colours. It is reddish brown and its grain is straight with uniform fine texture. This soft wood is great to work with and is very durable in regard to decay resistance and even has a strong aromatic scent when being worked. 


Due to the nature of the site, space was very limited and access to install had to be carried with the utmost efficiently. Therefore, the Timber Fins were supplied in a modular format with galvanised steel brackets where 3–4 fins were fixed off-site.


When delivered, the modules could then be easily lifted by two Zefyr installers and fixed back to the building systematically. 


Zefyr's design has certainly contributed to hitting deadlines that were potentially compromised during the Coronavirus lockdown. Zefyr has worked tirelessly through the challenges presented by Coronavirus – such as the site closure – to make sure material was ready for when the site was able to resume. 


Tom Bradley, Sales Manager, Zefyr, commented:


‘Zefyr is very proud to have had the opportunity to work on this project that will positively impact so many people in the local area. This project presented a handful of challenges throughout as the sourcing and shipping of Western Red Cedar was impacted by the Covid-19 lockdowns throughout the UK and Canada, pushing lead times into uncertainty. Backlogs at fire treatment plants also had to be considered to reach the necessary moisture content level to then achieve a Euroclass B fire rating.


‘Subsequently, we overcame design challenges to help speed up installation when construction sites were allowed to resume. To complete the installation of the Western Red Cedar Fins for such a significant deadline has been quite the experience during this time! Zefyr would like to thank the McAvoy Group for the opportunity to work on their project and to all of our suppliers that were involved.'