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How Tata Steel helped silence the critics at Staffordshire ERF

24 June 2015 No Comment

When Veolia was awarded the 25 year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract by Staffordshire County Council to build and operate the Four Ashes Energy Recovery Facility (ERF), one of their key design requirements was to ensure that noise levels were kept to a minimum, to meet planning requirements, but at minimal cost.


Demanding planning requirements

Planning consent was conditional on containing all waste handling and processing within the building envelope, and totally depended on a robust cladding system to meet the acoustic requirements.

Built with the latest technologies, with acoustics high on the agenda, the facility will help Staffordshire County Council reach its target of zero waste to landfill, playing a vital role in helping the UK to meet its landfill diversion targets and reducing carbon emissions.

Creating enough electricity to power 35,000 homes


The new plant is capable of treating 300,000 tonnes of non-recyclable household waste each year, and will also generate up to 26 MW of energy for the National Grid, enough electricity to power 35,000 homes.

Dedicated to maximising recycling first and capturing energy from the leftover waste the facility is anticipated to save Staffordshire taxpayers £250 million over 25 years.

The building houses a waste storage bunker, a turbine hall, boiler house, flue gas treatment and office / control rooms. As well as generating energy for the National Grid, it is hoped that heat created can be used by local businesses.

Reducing noise pollution

Tata Steel Projects managed the architectural design and detail of this highly technical construction project and ensured that it was designed so that all the waste handling and processing was enclosed within the building, without causing any nuisance to nearby neighbours through noise pollution.

Tata Steel’s Trimapanel® insulated panel was the only product tested that was capable of meeting the stringent acoustic requirements, and was the most cost-effective when compared to alternative cladding solutions.

Clugston Construction’s project manager, Rashpal Singh Nijjar says,

“Trimapanel® is easy to install, provides excellent value for money and the steel used is significantly thicker than that of the other products we assessed which greatly contributed to it being the only system we tested capable of achieving the desired acoustic standards. Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® pre-finished steel which was used for the internal face of the Trimapanel® is able to cope with the specific internal conditions (up to C4 levels of corrosivity) that occur in the waste processing areas of the Four Ashes ERF and so this was another compelling reason for our system choice.”

Working closely with the Four Ashes design team Tata Steel’s experienced team of experts provided detailed advice on pre-finished steel selection with maximum durability for the harsh internal environment, and technical data to carry-out acoustic performance comparisons to be made and wind loading calculation to confirm that the panel system selected was suitable for this 41 m high building.


Steel with a modern look but able to withstand an aggressive environment

Installed by Northern Cladding Ltd, the Trimapanel® secret fix composite wall panel system with super durable Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra® pre-finished steel on the inside face exceeds the requirements of CP15 as per EN 10169:2010. This is the highest classified level of corrosion protection for internal environments and demonstrates the durable barrier properties of Colorcoat HPS200 Ultra®.

Optically smooth Colorcoat Prisma® pre-finished steel in Silver Metallic was chosen for the weather face of the Trimapanel® system to provide a robust, and aesthetically pleasing external appearance for this impressively designed modern building. Futhermore the weatherside is covered by the Confidex® Guarantee for 30 years.  This specification gave the project the best of both worlds with exceptional corrosion resistance and protection inside and superior aesthetics on the outside.


Colorcoat Prisma® pre-finished steel was chosen for the weather face of the Trimapanel® system to provide a robust, modern looking external appearance for this impressive building. And has the added benefit of being covered by the Confidex® Guarantee for 30 years.

This specification gave the project the best of both worlds with exceptional corrosion resistance and protection inside and superior aesthetics on the outside.

For more details on the durability of Colorcoat® products, please contact:

Colorcoat Connection® – Tel: +44 (0) 1244 892434

Email: colorcoat.connection@tatasteel.com

For technical design advice on wind loading and acoustic performance for Tata Steel’s composite panel systems, please contact:

Technical Design Team – Tel: +44 (0) 1244 892199

Email: technical.theworks@tatasteel.com

Web: www.tatasteelconstruction.com

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