Sector Education
Project type Refurbishment
Project location South East England
Client Henlow Church of England Academy
Consultant PCMS Design, Buckinghamshire
Contractor Conamar Ltd
Products used Marley AntiSlip Plus® smooth decking
 
 

Henlow Church of England Academy in Bedfordshire has completed a classroom and ancillary area extension scheme. The project involved the construction of a landscaped courtyard area with Marley AntiSlip Plus® smooth boards used as decking and as a construction material to build coordinating seating and planters.

The first phase of the project, overseen by PCMS Design, involved the construction of a classroom block extension. The placement of the extension resulted in a large outdoor area that would be transformed into an attractive courtyard for socialising, recreation and eating.

The narrow courtyard was a substantial area to fill, and PCMS Design created a distinctive landscape with a striped appearance, alternating between smooth timber decking and grey resin or natural turf. The different materials provided contrast in colour and texture, and the visual lines were further enhanced with planters and seating made from the timber decking boards.

Marley’s decking specialist Laura Qualters worked closely with PCMS Design to provide support throughout the project. She helped with product selection and procured samples of the decking – enough to enable builders to mock-up one of the benches in advance.

Product specified

Marley AntiSlip Plus® smooth decking was specified due to its non-slip properties, which were particularly important for the space as children will be using it to run and play. The decking was also selected due to its durability and long lifespan. “We chose Marley because it is a market leader with an excellent track record of durable and good quality timber products,” explains Alex Bond from PCMS Design.

PCMS Design opted for timber decking instead of a composite material, as they wanted a natural product that would soften the area and achieve something visually appealing and creative. Timber offered a natural look that would also weather beautifully over time.

All Marley anti-slip timber decking has been independently tested for slip resistance by the Health and Safety Laboratory and provides a low slip potential. It is strength graded to a minimum of C16, and it is preservative-treated to provide a 30-year desired service life.

The sustainability of the decking was another key consideration. “Timber is a renewable material, and we always try where possible to specify products from sustainable sources,” Alex adds.

To ensure adequate drainage, concrete channels were built across the courtyard first. Then the decking was constructed using 34mm AntiSlip Plus® decking boards, which were laid on a product manufactured from recycled plastic bottles.

The design concept was for the vertical lines of the decking to continue in a visual line up the benches and planters – and the resulting furniture needed to be durable and non-slip, as children may climb or jump on them. The 68mm AntiSlip Plus® decking boards were the ideal choice, along with some steel fixings and supports.

Project outcome

The finished courtyard has a striking appearance, and students and staff are already enjoying the space. More than 50% of the courtyard surface is timber and, as well as being attractive, slip-resistant and durable, it’s also easy to maintain – something that’s very important in a space created for children. PCMS Design has given instructions that the area should be jet washed at least once a year, and this can easily be carried out by the school’s site agent.


Henlow Church of England Academy in Bedfordshire has completed a classroom and ancillary area extension scheme. The project involved the construction of a landscaped courtyard area with Marley AntiSlip Plus® smooth boards used as decking and as a construction material to build coordinating seating and planters.

The first phase of the project, overseen by PCMS Design, involved the construction of a classroom block extension. The placement of the extension resulted in a large outdoor area that would be transformed into an attractive courtyard for socialising, recreation and eating.

The narrow courtyard was a substantial area to fill, and PCMS Design created a distinctive landscape with a striped appearance, alternating between smooth timber decking and grey resin or natural turf. The different materials provided contrast in colour and texture, and the visual lines were further enhanced with planters and seating made from the timber decking boards.

Marley’s decking specialist Laura Qualters worked closely with PCMS Design to provide support throughout the project. She helped with product selection and procured samples of the decking – enough to enable builders to mock-up one of the benches in advance.

Product specified

Marley AntiSlip Plus® smooth decking was specified due to its non-slip properties, which were particularly important for the space as children will be using it to run and play. The decking was also selected due to its durability and long lifespan. “We chose Marley because it is a market leader with an excellent track record of durable and good quality timber products,” explains Alex Bond from PCMS Design.

PCMS Design opted for timber decking instead of a composite material, as they wanted a natural product that would soften the area and achieve something visually appealing and creative. Timber offered a natural look that would also weather beautifully over time.

All Marley anti-slip timber decking has been independently tested for slip resistance by the Health and Safety Laboratory and provides a low slip potential. It is strength graded to a minimum of C16, and it is preservative-treated to provide a 30-year desired service life.

The sustainability of the decking was another key consideration. “Timber is a renewable material, and we always try where possible to specify products from sustainable sources,” Alex adds.

To ensure adequate drainage, concrete channels were built across the courtyard first. Then the decking was constructed using 34mm AntiSlip Plus® decking boards, which were laid on a product manufactured from recycled plastic bottles.

The design concept was for the vertical lines of the decking to continue in a visual line up the benches and planters – and the resulting furniture needed to be durable and non-slip, as children may climb or jump on them. The 68mm AntiSlip Plus® decking boards were the ideal choice, along with some steel fixings and supports.

Project outcome

The finished courtyard has a striking appearance, and students and staff are already enjoying the space. More than 50% of the courtyard surface is timber and, as well as being attractive, slip-resistant and durable, it’s also easy to maintain – something that’s very important in a space created for children. PCMS Design has given instructions that the area should be jet washed at least once a year, and this can easily be carried out by the school’s site agent.


 
 
 
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