In the Italian municipality of Usmate-Velate, the Velate Rugby 1981 Sports Association is a very important sports club, with scouting activities constantly taking place for over thirty years. Thanks to the commitment of the club and the municipality, Usmate-Velate has been officially recognised at national level as the: “City of rugby”. Consequently, it represents an important association in the Monza area and Italy. The need recently arose to expand the reception area and transform it into a mini campus with a catering area, home- and away-team changing rooms, infirmary, offices and store room, creating an authentic “hospitality” area. P-Trex was in charge of the design and implementation of the changing rooms, recreation area and store rooms.
P-Trex, the Business Unit of Fibre Net Spa, specialises in the design and manufacture of profiles, structures and fences in composite materials (GFRP), which are used in many industrial sectors as an upgrade to replace conventional materials. All the P-Trex profiles and structures are produced by Fibre Net Spa, a leading company in the market for structural reinforcement, strengthening, improvement and seismic retrofitting of existing buildings and infrastructures.
In designing the changing rooms, recreation area and store rooms, the P-Trex team took an in-depth look at all the aspects, right down to the smallest detail, from the choice of building materials to the planning of operations on the work site. The level of expected benefit is already demonstrated by the choice of GFRP which, thanks to its lightness, can be rapidly handled by a just a small number of workers.
The building structure was produced with pre-formed pultruded profiles and panels in GFRP (glass fibre reinforced polyester) assembled on the work site, in different sizes and lengths. The GFRP components come in a vast and flexible modular range and can, therefore, easily fulfil a wide variety of requirements. The campus design resulted in precise assembly instructions which lay down a specific installation order without the risk of running into unforeseen errors.
The vertical structure, which is used to support the vertical and horizontal loads, consists of a series of frames produced by coupling “C” and “double T” sections and is connected to the reinforced concrete foundation slab using steel plates. The in-fill structure and dry internal partitions consist of interconnected fibre glass panels and profiles.
The thermal insulation of the vertical walls was obtained by inserting closed cell polyurethane foam slabs and airtight sheets in the in-fill panels. The work was completed with a coat of enamel paint on the outside and a coat of clear protective varnish: both bind well to the surface of pultruded slabs.
The main benefits of using GFRP on the construction site are the ease of installation and handling resulting in instant savings in construction times and costs.
There is also an additional indirect benefit in terms of energy performance. Choosing this type of construction technology called for particular care to be taken over the design of the cladding system/plant which resulted in an increase in the performance efficiency of the building and reduction in energy consumption. GFRP material, in particular, is renowned for its thermal stability and resistance to temperature changes, thus making a significant contribution to the energy efficiency of the entire structure.
The current trend is to take more care over the design in the use of available resources. Consequently, the Velate Rugby 1981 mini campus bears witness to the trend towards the industrialisation of the environmentally sustainable building process. A sneak peek at the building industry of the future.