Safe Rockpanel gleams in silver and wood at Goldsmith Court
May 2021

Goldsmith Court is a stylish, purpose designed student accommodation situated on the doorstep of Nottingham Trent University City Campus. The GSA (Global Student Accommodation) owned property has been re-dressed with non-combustible Rockpanel external facades, ensuring design freedom and fire-safety while delivering a sophisticated, modern exterior.

Rockpanel – the perfect fit

GSA has a global presence with a 26-year track record in the student accommodation sector, creating vibrant communities rather than simply somewhere to sleep. The safety and security of its students is central to its mission and reflected in the success GSA continues to achieve with ten thousand beds across 17 cities in the UK. (Nestled in the heart of Nottingham). Goldsmith Court consists of 378 rooms in an array of configurations to suit modern student needs and boasts a plethora of lifestyle amenities included in the rent. There is also a roof terrace where residents can socialise and enjoy panoramic views across the city.

Doug Barton, Senior Project Manager, GSA: “We engaged with Broadfield Project Management and Architects Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson (HCD), to facilitate the refurbishment of the façade at Goldsmith Court. Following reviews and discussions, the team proposed the use of Rockpanel, which aligned with our brief perfectly. Due to the wide range of colours and styles, we were able to ensure a great match for the original cladding it has replaced, which assisted us with the planning process, negating the need for a full planning submission to be made and reducing the project programme accordingly. Having completed the works, we are very pleased with the result and Rockpanel has certainly lifted the external appearance of the building and provided further kerb appeal.”

Making the vision a reality

Architects HCD worked with specialist main contractor, Elhance, to make the design vision a reality. The Rockpanel team were also on-hand to offer technical guidance and advice, and to ensure supply lines were in order and deliveries on schedule.

Adam Johnson, Director at Elhance, talked about the project, “The stripped back exteriors were first lined with specialist moisture repellent, A1 non-combustible BS EN 15283 compliant sheathing board, along with a breather membrane. Then a precision grid of Aluminium zed rails with firebreaks was installed ready to fit the plank shaped panels of Rockpanel Woods –Ceramic Oak and contrasting rectangular panels of Rockpanel Metallics – Silver Aluminium.

The two surface designs – organic wood and slick aluminium – work together to bring visual impact to the architecture. Be it the use of single width verticals to accentuate grey-framed window and entrance columns, or as a larger, continuous expanse, reflecting natural light while protecting the structure beneath from the elements, both combine to give a safe and stunning effect.

Capping, flashing and rainwater management fittings – in matt grey to match window and door frames – complete the sharp, contemporary elevations, giving Goldsmith Court a future proof, non-combustible outer shell with style and safety at its heart. Everything went to plan in terms of schedule and cost. All project participants worked together in full cooperation, we are proud of both the seamless way the project progressed and with the finished result.”

A2 – offering design freedom and optimum safety

Rockpanel A2 enables specifiers to realise their most creative ambitions, confident they will satisfy the most stringent fire safety standards. It is supremely durable, completely weather, temperature and UV resistant and requires little or no maintenance throughout its long life.

As its name suggests, Rockpanel is made with a core of basalt rock, a naturally occurring consequence of volcanic activity and, as such, is non-combustible.

At Goldsmith Court, Ceramic Oak from the A2 Woods range, was used in a plank shape. The quality of detail across all 19 Woods surface designs makes them almost indistinguishable from natural wood, including no visible repeat across the facade. With a superior environmental profile, Rockpanel embodies the workability and visual warmth of wood without the on-going maintenance costs and deterioration. Similarly, Aluminium White from the A2 Metallics collection embodies the contemporary, elegant reflective sheen of metal but with the advantage being a lightweight panel which is easy to transport, cut and install.

Collaboration is key
Tom Uzelac of Rockpanel, enjoyed the project process, “We met with the design team to discuss how we could meet their brief in terms of optimum fire safety and also how our wide range of surface finishes would enable them to realise their design vision. It is gratifying to hear that the owners, architect and Elhance are all very pleased with the completed installation and how quickly and smoothly it was achieved. We look forward to collaborating with all concerned again.”