FunderMax more than makes the grade

Re-energised and re-focused… This spring term, it isn’t just Yorkshire’s pupils who have returned refreshed, but the schools themselves.

Working in collaboration with our distribution partner VIVALDA Hull, main contractor Laing O’Rourke, sub contractor Horbury Group and architects Atkins Global, FunderMax is proud to have played a vital role in revitalising these modern buildings. Part of an extensive £150 million Priority Schools Building Program, thus far, Max Exterior has helped to transform 3 schools with vivid and appealing new facades: Samuel Lister Academy, Beckfoot Upper Heaton & The Dean Trust Academy. The Dean Trust Academy is the latest addition to the line up. Exuding exactly the right image, with bold decors chosen to complement the school’s brand, this striking project boasts Max Exterior in elegant (Rubinus) red and contemporary grey shades. Yet it’s not simply thanks to its comprehensive colour palette that the product was selected. VIVALDA Hull led the first design meeting with the contractor, and based on the brief, FunderMax was quickly introduced to the conversation. ‘Durability and longevity were central to the requirements, something that Max Exterior offers in abundance. The merits also extended to high resistance to graffiti, with the ability to use acetone directly on the facade without causing deterioration.’

FunderMax excels under stringent testing

In addition to the qualities above, FunderMax’s HPL cladding was chosen due to its excellent performance during testing. Laing O’Rourke, along with architects Atkins Global, opted for Max Exterior HPL over its rivals because of how the sample panels excelled. Max Exterior showed ultimate resilience when bombarded with solid ice balls – fired from a cannon at high speed. Specifically in the ‘Hail Impact Resistance’ test – delivering an impressive ‘zero-impact’ result.

Peter Watson, Area Sales Manager had this to say about the selection process:

“Being part of VIVALDA’s core offer has allowed our product the opportunity to really shine. It’s rewarding to know that Max Exterior secured the project, not simply down to its cost-effectiveness, but because of its superior resistance too.”

Speedy installation thanks to pre-fabricated elements

Installers, Roofdec, Rotherham, with their competence, attention to detail and diligence, were also pivotal to the overall success of the project:

“We’re really pleased with how The Dean Trust Academy project progressed, and everyone seems to be impressed with the end result. FunderMax was chosen for its versatility, practicality and cost edge, but one of the big advantages for us was that it was also available in four sheet sizes, allowing us to minimise waste. We were very happy with the product and it worked exceptionally well for this modular/traditional blend application.” said Jon Barnes Jnr, Associate Director.

Paul Hughes, Director of Sales UK comments on the challenges within the education sector, and how this particular project has helped to change perceptions:

“When it comes to education architecture, all too often a compromise has to be made between creativity, cost effectiveness, and dependability. Yet it’s refreshing to see that the industry as a whole is responding with more innovative solutions. Creativity is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a pre-requisite, made possible by materials such as Max Exterior and its extensive decor range. This has been a really rewarding project, and despite the tight timelines we’ve managed to deliver – thanks to everyone’s determined efforts. The finished academy is truly impressive and the feedback has been excellent.”

If you’d like to find out more about the project, or our Max Exterior Cladding, please get in touch:

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  • 07852 867472


  • Project: Yorkshire Schools Programme
  • Brief: A HPL solution that would fit the specified budget, but also last the test of time
  • Challenges: Limited on-site space meant reliance on accurate off-site fabrication
  • Architect: Atkins Global
  • Material: FunderMax Max Exterior
  • Main Contractor: Laing O’Rourke
  • Distributor: VIVALDA
  • Fixing system: Bracket and rail – Nvelope