Without column casings and interior wall lining solutions, many schools, colleges and universities would be considerably less attractive and engaging learning environments, but as they are usually required to integrate with a building’s interior or exterior design, they can’t be overlooked.
Column casings and wall linings are primarily installed to conceal structural steelwork and building services while also providing a decorative and more aesthetic finish that can blend in or contrast with the decor.
However, the presence of large numbers of students and the use of decorative casings in high traffic areas, such as main entrances, common rooms, foyers, sports halls and other public spaces, has an important influence on their specification, as durability is an essential requirement for most projects.
The ability to understand and meet these demands from architects, educational design teams and specifiers have been key factors that have influenced the wide range of products manufactured and supplied by Peterborough based specialist, Encasement Ltd.
Encasement is probably best known for its extensive column casings range, which includes pre-formed plywood and glass reinforced gypsum (GRG), exclusively for interior applications, as well as aluminium, stainless steel and glass reinforced polymer (GRP) casings, which are suitable for interior and exterior for use due to their durability and inherent weather resistance.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, it is the company’s ’Forma’ metal casings and ’Polyma’ GRP range that are widely used in educational buildings, where their toughness and choice of finishes make them an ideal solution. Forma, particularly, provides specifiers with an exceptional scope of options and can be specified in a range of shapes including circular, up to 1000mm diameter, or as square, rectangular, hexagonal or bespoke forms.
In addition to recent installations at Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School and St. Richard Reynolds College, which used Rimex textured aluminium, further projects at Winchester College, Birmingham University Dental School and Liverpool University’s Donnan Laboratories, have all exploited the practical and diverse decorative properties of Encasement’s ’Forma’ range.
Together with Forma, Encasement’s ’Circa’ and ’Quadra’ ranges are also used in educational building interiors. While both ranges are manufactured from FSC® certified plywood to comply with sustainability codes and environmental procurement policies, the main difference between the two types is their shape. Circa covers applications where round and extended circular forms are specified, while Quadra provides designers with the option to use square and rectangular profiles.
Their unrivalled palette of finishes, includes plain, textured and patterned laminates, from specialists such as Formica and Polyrey, together with real wood veneers. They can also be left plain for painting on site in any colour. However, a combination of diverse colour options and resistance to scuffs and scratches has made decorative laminates the most popular for education projects.
The Dame Kelly Holmes Sports Centre and Farnborough Sixth Form College are typical examples of how Quadra casings effectively conceal structural steelwork while their colourful and durable finishes enhance the interior design.
Alongside the company’s six individual ranges of column casings, its ’Vecta’ system provides a high quality solution for interior wall linings, bulkheads and reveals. Vecta has been used in a range of interior education projects, including extensive remodelling of London’s South Bank University, as well as exterior applications, such as the overhead walkway casings at St. Richard Reynolds College in Twickenham.
Encasement’s Managing Director, Martin Taylor, commented: “Column casings provide a perfect mix of practicality and aesthetics, which are essential considerations for all educational buildings.
In addition, our Vecta system allows specifiers to source a range of specialised interior finish products from a single company with high levels of expertise and experience in this sector. We also have our own contracting arm, which enables us to offer a full supply and install service to support contractors.”