Accoya: the natural choice for slough’s state-of-the-art ice arena


United Kingdom

Slough Borough Council is investing more than £62million in regenerating leisure facilities across the borough with a view to getting more people, more active, more often.

As part of this major programme, the refurbishment of Slough Ice Arena was undertaken by Slough Urban Renewal (SUR), a partnership between Slough Borough Council and Morgan Sindall Investments Ltd, which is driving regeneration across the town including leisure, housing, community and school buildings. Morgan Sindall Plc carried out the main construction of the project.

The Ice Arena has undergone substantial re-modelling with Morgan Sindall. The brand new extended ice facility and new climbing centre designed by leading architect practice GT3 was revealed in April 2018, and has since welcomed over 42,000 visitors; both residents of, and visitors to the borough alike.

A significant aspect of the project was the renovation of the arena’s façade, transforming it into a stunning timber clad surface that would stand the test of time. High performance sustainable wood product Accoya was specified by GT3 as the material of choice for the cladding due to its superior performance, reduced maintenance requirements and aesthetic properties.

Vincent Timber supplied over 250sqm of Accoya for the project, and expert roofing and cladding company Angus Roofing Contractors refurbished the existing roof and clad the new elevations.

Applications used in this project:Cladding Cladding

Different finished widths of Accoya– 42mm, 92mm and 142mm (all PAR Eased edges) – were then used to create cladding modules that Angus Roofing then mounted onto timber battons, which in turn were mounted to an insulated composite metal carrier panel. In total, approximately 1,100 linear metres of Accoya panels were fixed to the arena’s structure.

The finish on the Accoya cladding was a tri-colour Sikkens tint, applied to the timber lengths in-factory. Three different tint shades were used – light oak, medium oak and dark oak – to create a rich, textured aesthetic that would last for years to come.

Although coating Accoya doesn’t improve performance – it already comes with a 50 year guarantee above ground not to rot, warp or swell – it does help to maintain the desired aesthetic. Plus with Accoya’s super dimensional stability, coatings last twice as long, reducing maintenance requirements and therefore associated costs.

Located near a prominent heritage site, Slough Ice Arena – built in the 1980s, is a local landmark. The region is enjoying a period of rejuvenation and renewal and the recent renovation of the Ice Arena has transformed the leisure facility back into a fully functional space for skaters, climbers and spectators alike.

The recurring issue with raw wood cladding has always been its susceptibility to water ingress and rot, requiring frequent maintenance and care.  Given the extent of cladding on the ice arena, we wanted a wood product which was natural, durable and sustainable. Most importantly, the end user wanted a timber with virtually no maintenance and it couldn’t rot even in the wettest and coldest conditions. Leading wood product Accoya® was our preferred wood, given its easy maintenance, long lifespan, 50 year warranty and exceptional environmental credentials. We are very pleased with the final result”.


Mark Gowdridge – GT3 Architects

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