Prestige façade solution for new Royal Liverpool University Hospital

Shackerley’s SureClad® ceramic granite ventilated façade system is being installed at the £329 million Royal Liverpool University Hospital. The new hospital, a centrepiece of the proposed Liverpool BioCampus, will be the largest in England to accommodate in-patients entirely in single en-suite bedrooms when it opens to patients in 2018.

The external façade cladding will emphasise the importance of the scheme as visitors approach the building. Shackerley’s SureClad® ceramic granite ventilated façade system has been specified with a honed ‘travertine’ finish for use on both the lower levels of the building and its key elevations, contrasting with the curtain walling of the central tower.

The SureClad® system not only answers the contemporary aesthetic and performance requirements of the project, its colour and texture also reference the traditional Portland Stone so prevalent in Liverpool.

One of the most complex ventilated cladding projects ever delivered by Shackerley, the Royal Liverpool University Hospital development has involved 8282m² of SureClad® ceramic granite façade. In total, more than 34,000 individual panels have been especially cut or calibrated to an exacting schedule based on a modular façade design comprising 14 standard formats.

Shackerley has also created more than 8,000 bracketed corner sections, returns and reveals as single-piece, installation-ready units. The visible edges of all the panels fabricated for use in this way were mitred to create neat ‘birds mouth’ detailing.

All prefabrication took place at Shackerley’s ISO9001 quality accredited production plant in Lancashire. After the panels had been cut to size they were drilled using specialist undercut drilling machinery and fitted with SureClad® Access system fixing straps, secured using a patented undercut anchorage system. This process called for around 150,000 individual stainless steel undercut anchors to be used in total, to attach almost 51,000 SureClad® Access System straps and 16,500 brackets to the panels.

Comments Chris Jones from building envelope contractor FK group: “Shackerley’s meticulous quality control and monitoring system was critical when it came to processing a project of this scale and complexity. Each delivery was scheduled strictly in accordance with the installation programme on site, which avoided the potential for any mistakes or delays on site, speeding up installation for our team and aiding quality assurance.”