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Thermally insulating steelwork at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Posted on March 13, 2019
3 minutes read
Thermally insulating steelwork at the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)

Farrat are currently helping to deliver a cost-efficient and sustainable HQ building for the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) by thermally insulating the exposed steel frame using Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks.

Based in the Suffolk, the UK marine science agency Cefas (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) is constructing a new £18.3M contemporary headquarters building. The new headquarters will be a sustainable steel-framed landmark and form a central element of a much larger scheme that also includes the phased floor-by-floor refurbishment of an existing 1980s laboratory building.

The building has a composite design with steelwork supporting metal decking and a concrete topping. Most of the steel frame is based around a regular 6m column spacing, with internal spans of up to 12m.

This was deemed sufficient to provide the new building with modern open-plan office and meeting room spaces.

Farrat were recently contacted by the steelwork contractor to help minimise the risk of thermal bridges forming at several different penetrations and transitions in the building envelope.

CEFAS – Model of the steel frame (courtesy of H Young Structures)


As the complete system needs to be optimised structurally as well as thermally, Farrat are supplying a combination of Farrat TBK and Farrat TBL thermal break plates in a variety of thicknesses and bespoke hole configurations, to ensure that the system is robust as well as thermally efficient.

The high compressive strength and low thermally conductivity properties of these Farrat Structural Thermal Break materials mean that they will transfer high loads and absorb any bending moments or shear forces, whilst acting as a thermal insulator.

The Cefas project is expected to be complete by May 2020.

Farrat’s BBA certificated structural thermal break materials provide building design professionals with a robust solution to minimise energy loss. Suitable to mitigate against planar, linear and point load thermal bridging, Farrat thermal breaks can be used anywhere a penetration or transition exists in a building envelope to help achieve building performance standards. Performance characteristics include low thermal conductivity, high compressive strength and very limited creep under load.

Full specifications are available for import fromNBS Plus.

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