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Talking Business at Colchester Campus

Intumescent Coating2

Intumescent coatings protecting timber frame structure of the new Business School in Colchester, University of Essex.

A group of architects and engineers from BDP took on the challenge of creating a new landmark sustainable building to accommodate the University of Essex Business School in Colchester. The sustainability of the building can be seen throughout, from the selection of materials to the passive engineering strategies.

A sustainably sourced curved timber frame and timber cladding were key aspects of the specification. Morgan Sindall were appointed as contractor on site and were given the responsibility of executing the innovative design of this 3 storey, 5,550 sq m building with passive ventilation and heating strategy.

A very important aspect of the project as a whole was to make sure that the building is not only innovative and sustainable, but at the same time safe and in keeping with the Building Regulations regarding fire protection. This was a very important concern, considering the building is timber framed.

After consultations with Envirograf® , the interdisciplinary team of BDP architects and engineers, along with contractor Morgan Sindall, applied Envirograf ® Product 42 – Intumescent paint and varnish for wood, which will provide up to 60 minutes of fire resistance, and Product 92 – Fire retardant coating for timber, which will limit the spread of flame across the wooden surfaces of the building. These products allowed the building to achieve an SBI rating of B/s1/d0 and 60 minutes integrity, meaning that in the event of a fire the building will maintain its structural integrity and load-bearing capabilities, as well as resisting surface spread of fire.

Products used

Intumescent Paint for Wood (HW System)Fire Retardant Coating for Timber (ESVFR & QVFR)


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Envirograf ® products are tested to British Standards & European Standards at approved test centres.

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