The Route 39 Academy, founded in 2013, was Devon’s first free school. Currently with more than 130 students, it has been housed in temporary accommodation in Higher Clovelly. In 2016, they received planning permission to construct new premises at Steart Farm, on the site of a former camping park, between Hartland and Bideford.
The new school will accommodate up to 700 students, aged 11-18, and has been designed by AHR Architects. It will have a recording studio, learning café, dance suite and performance area, science “superlab”, sports hall and learning resource centre.
Main contractors Willmott Dixon’s sustainability team has been working with the district council to ensure that the special environmental needs of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty site are respected. The new school has been designed to reflect the history of the site, with a sympathetic façade design. John Boughton, Deputy Managing Director for Willmott Dixon said, “This sustainable building is timber clad to blend in with the beautiful North Devon landscape, connecting the land with outstanding views over the coast.”
The façade design features gaps in between the timber, necessitating a breather member with high UV resistance to ensure long-term protection to the building envelope. And, as the membrane is visible behind the façade, an attractive, solid colour was also required. Powerlon UV Colour FR in the “coal” colourway was installed by roofing and cladding contractors Progressive Systems Ltd. In addition to providing exceptional UV resistance, the membrane is also flame retardant to Class 0 to the standard BS 476 Parts 6 & 7, essential for such a safety critical installation.
Powerlon UV façade membranes are produced by Industrial Textiles & Plastics Ltd (ITP), a North Yorkshire company with specialist expertise in flame retardant and chemical resistant technologies.