As well as its colourful naval history, including a daring raid on the English fleet by the Dutch navy, the Port of Chatham also faces regular assault by storms blowing off the Medway: prompting the designers for an apartment development on an elevated site, to specify a highly weather resistant render finish to the elevations, applied across Magply boards.
The five storey structure on One Old Road is being built by Wakes Construction Ltd., a specialist in residential and refurbishment work, based in nearby Meopham, while Prime Folio from Maidstone is the architectural practice involved. Eco-rend (South East) Ltd. from Lewes was the sub-contractor selected to fit the Magply boards and apply the Baumit render, one of many proprietary render systems for which Magply is recognised as a suitable substrate material.
For the upper storeys, the 12mm Magply boards are secured across the timber framework infilling the main structure, while concrete blockwork features right around the ground level podium. This will have timber battens secured to it to create a cavity behind the Magply boards, ready to carry the render treatment.
Graham Wakeman a Director of Wakes Construction Ltd., commented: “Old Street in Chatham is a prominent building, potentially exposed to severe weather where getting the exterior finishes right is critical. As the architects, Prime Folio identified the Baumit render system as the best for the situation, then through conversation with Baumit and the installer, it was a matter of matching it with a compatible substrate board: with Magply being chosen.”
Employing the Baumit system involves priming the render backer, before the base coat is trowelled on and a layer of reinforcement mesh is set into it. Once dry this is followed by a parge coat and then another primer before the 1.5mm thick top coat is applied. The finish to the apartments is primarily white with inset panels of light grey.
Scott Watson of Eco-rend (South East) Ltd added: “We carry out commercial and residential contracts from the South Coast right across Kent, Essex and up to Cambridge; and although we’ve used Magply boards in the past for a few jobs, this is the biggest project with them to date. If you adhere to the spec’ there are never any problems and we expect to be completed on site here by the middle of February, depending on the weather of course.”
Despite offering good adhesion for the decorative render system, Magply boards are very moisture stable thanks to their modified MgO formulation that also represents an environmentally friendly alternative to conventional plywood or OSB sheets. The production process keeps the chlorine content to just 0.01%, enhancing long term durability.
Magply boards carry a variety of internationally recognised accreditations including the recent award of a BDA Agrement certificate, confirming their fitness for new build projects such as the Chatham apartments.