Perimeters at Royal Clarence Hotel

Innovative hoarding solution at Exeter landmark

The Royal Clarence Hotel Exeter has been a site of innovation for more than 250 years.  The business was the first English accommodation provider to name their establishment “Hotel”.  And this Hotel is a landmark in Exeter’s Cathedral Yard.  Sadly, in 2016,  fire devastated the building.  Only a shell of the outer walls and the facade were left standing.  In summer 2018, Kier Construction began what is scheduled to be a multi year project to bring cutting edge function back to the building.  But even before work began on the building, an innovative hoarding solution was required to meet the challenges of the site.

The site challenges require innovative hoarding solution

The site presented challenges conventional hoarding would struggle to meet.

  • Tight space on a no dig site
  • Near zero fire risk solution required
  • Acting as public interface minimising risks of public injury over the project
  • Maintain appearance and function over the multi year project without need for remedial works
  • Cope with near coastal location wind loads

Perimeters re-usable hoarding rises to the challenge

Perimeters’ proprietary Kentledge solution is adaptable enough to work on flat or sloping sites, even or lumpy.  Despite having to deal with the near coastal location, the solution’s adapability was again proven at the Royal Clarence by being able to squeeze into a sub 1 meter foot print.  This will allow the developer to maximise their usage of the site without encroaching on the public foot path.

Adjacent to a high footfall path in central Exeter, public safety was always at the forefront of selection criteria for a hoarding design.  A concern with timber composite boards (OSB, ply, etc) would have been that they are fixed to a timber framework from the front using nails or screws.  Even if carefully assembled initially,  over time, wind and weathering can loosen the fixings, leaving protruding heads. Torn garments or worse could result.  With Perimeters re-usable hoarding boards are fixed to their steel framework from behind, presenting a smooth interface surface and also one that doesn’t deteriorate with the vagaries of the British weather.  Also having a smooth surface that remains true means that Perimeters re-usable hoarding provides an ideal platform for marketing material and site information panels.

Fire risks timber boards present that Perimeters doesn’t

It isn’t only how Perimeters re-usable hoarding is put together that makes it an innovative hoarding solution, it’s also what it’s made of: u-PVC.  Unlike other plastics, u-PVC is an inherently non-flammable material.  Specifically Perimeters boards have the highest non-flammability rating of  V-0.  And the inherent non-flammability of the material means there is no need to add, the often toxic, fire retardants used to suppress ignition in materials that are  in essence flammable.  And timber is inherently flammable, and mixed composition timber and glue boards can only achieve low levels of flammability through the addition of fire retardants.

But fire risk in hoarding is not just about the boards.  Perimeters re-usable hoarding is installed using a steel framework: zero fire risk.  By contrast, timber-glue composite boards are fixed to a timber frame work. So whilst, through using fire retardants, the boards themselves may not catch fire, what about the timber posts and rails?  A system is only as strong as its weakest component.  With Perimeters re-usable hoarding the whole system won’t catch or spread fire.

Looks good, stays looking good

In a city centre setting appearance counts.  Here Perimeters’ smooth and true surfaces also score over even the most carefully assembled timber composite hoarding solution.  Perimeters impermeable materials don’t deteriorate with the weathering even in multi year projects.  By contrast, differential expansion of timber composite boards, timber frame work and fixings (screws and nails) leads to inevitable loosening.  This leads to rain penetration into the board, which leads to the bowing so characteristic of timber composite hoarding that’s been in place for over 6 months.  To remediate, bowed boards can be replaced. But undertaking work in a busy pedestrian area carries risks, doing so multiple times over the life a project is to be avoided.

Royal Clarence renewed behind Perimeters’ renewable boards

When the renewed Royal Clarence does emerge, it will not be marked by the wasteful dumping of hoarding into landfill. In contrast to timber composite boards, Perimeters hoarding is re-usable. So after the site is dismantled, Perimeters  refurbishes its boards ready for redeployment.  Where we can’t redeploy a board, due to mechanical damage, the board is sent for recycling.  By contrast timber composite hoarding is sent to landfill at the end of use. So for every meter of of Perimeters re-usable hoarding deployed, approximately 45kg waste is avoided.

Perimeters re-usable hoarding solution deployed at the Royal Clarence reflects and celebrates the spirit of innovation long associated with the site.