Project: Caudwell Centre of Excellence, Keele University
Country/city: UK / Newcastle
Architect: Robert Hempsall and James Pass at C4Consulting LLP
Contractor: Gary Cartwright, Buckingham Group Ltd
Ceiling Contractor: Paul Norris, Miles Industries Ltd
Photographer: Jeff Faraday Photographic
Project size: 2,790 m²
Caudwell International Children’s Centre (CICC) is the UK’s first independent purpose-built facility dedicated to autism diagnosis, therapy and research. The 60,000 sq ft building at Keele University Science and Innovation Park has incorporated curved steel roofs around two internal courtyards.
The centre has been meticulously designed to provide an ideal environment for disabled people, with a particular focus on the needs of children with autism and neurodevelopmental conditions.
Ecophon’s Omar Hussain described how the design of the building called for specialist acoustic solutions:
“All of the rooms and large spaces have curved walls which made the concealed Focus Ds installation very non-standard. The integration with M&E proved to be a specific challenge which we had to address directly on site.”
Paul Norris of Miles Industries was the ceiling contractor for the duration of the project and from initial design meetings prior to an order being placed, to pricing of the works and both surveying and managing elements of the works. He described working on the CICC building:
“A high proportion of the walls were curved, this made installing standard products a challenge. We had to use several products which are usually used sparingly on standard construction projects including 6mm Glasroc plasterboard and flexi perimeter trim.”
“We installed Focus Ds predominantly on the ground floor in the 'front of house' areas where children, staff and parents would be. Advantage was mainly used in the staff office areas on the upper floors. Both of these products were installed in the Lab area, along with Meditec and some Focus E.”
Paul and the Miles Industries team know Ecophon’s products well and as they were involved at the design stage, they were able to advise on the best product to use in many cases. Although it was their first experience of working with the Ds tile.
“We have worked with Ecophon before and have experience with a number of their products but it was our first time using the Ds tile. We were involved at design stage. The architect and client were after a class A absorption tile so had already specified Ecophon. However, we were involved in adapting a few specifications for commercial reasons. We also helped the customer specify suitable ceilings for various spaces to meet very demanding requirements. The concealed system was a high priority.”
The Miles Industries team found it useful that the Ecophon team were available for site visits when needed, and to answer installation queries.