As far as Jeremy Claridge of iConstruct is concerned, commercial buildings must make an immaculate first impression — especially if they’re seen by thousands of people every day.
When asked by Format Interiors to help provide a cladding solution for Wellington Airport’s rental car kiosk extension, the iConstruct team worked with James Hardie RAB Board and ExoTec Facade Panel — two products that architects often specify to create a quality structure with an expressed joint.
“These products allow us to stick to a tight schedule," says Claridge. "Trade sub-contractors can go in and start working the minute the RAB Board pre-cladding is on. We prefer to use RAB Board because it gives a higher bracing value, repels moisture and is more suitable to use in fire rated wall construction.”
RAB Board can also be used to achieve a fire resistance rating of up to 60 minutes, plus it’s approved for use in extra high wind zones. It's no secret Wellington is among the windiest cities in the world.
The finishing touch for the iConstruct team was the installation of James Hardie ExoTec Facade Panel, a compressed fibre cement panel that’s extremely durable, as well as sleek. Many of Wellington Airport’s buildings are already clad with ExoTec panel, which is often specified for high-rise buildings and commercial premises that may experience extreme weather.
“ExoTec provides a quality finish, primarily because the sheets are already pretty smooth when they arrive from the factory, providing an ideal substrate for our painters to work with," says Claridge. "It has an express jointed panel finish, making for a very stylish result. We use laser instruments on site to line these joints up over long distances, ensuring uniformity and consistency over each elevation of the project. All these factors contribute to a sharp modern look.”
The completed structure provides a more spacious base for the airport’s rental car tenants. It’s part of an extensive upgrade and expansion project that will help the airport to cope with growing numbers of travellers.