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BCL Wins Project: Berkhamsted Sixth Form Centre

BCL have been engaged by new client Beard construction to design, manufacture and install over 840sqm timber panels in 44x 19mm American Ash to the walls and ceilings in atrium, corridors and classroom areas as well as some large decorative timber fins 194 x 44mm at Berkhamsted Sixth Form Centre. The wooden slatted walls and wood ceilings will be impregnated with fire treatment then coated in a fire rated lacquer to ensure Class B EN13501-1 fire performance. We are very much looking forward to getting to know the construction team and working together on this exciting new project!

Berkhamsted Sicth form timber ceilings

Working again with Design Engine (previously Winchester College, 2023), the award-winning Architects have conceived a new building which will provide a modern academic and pastoral space for up to 425 students, with a mixture of open-plan study and flexible teaching spaces arranged over three floors – with BCL timber slat ceilings providing visual warmth and acoustic performance throughout.  The project is a key part of Design Engine’s campus-wide masterplan, which has been carefully developed in consultation with the school over the past three years.

Berkhamsted Sixth form timber ceilings by BCL

To find out more about BCL’s wooden slatted ceilings or timber wall panels and how our panel systems maximise the efficiency benefits of prefabrication, please contact us directly on 01189 344 155 or alternatively email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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A2-s2,d0 Fire Rated Panels Now Available!

BCL have now gained full EN13501-1 classification of our Aluminium TIMBER EFFECT fire resistant wood panel systems for walls & ceilings. This ground-breaking panel offering uses a unique polyurethane coating system to create realistic finishes for both internal & external use – ideal for any non-combustible regulatory scenarios such as London Underground Stations, large concourses subject to BS:9999 or external cladding for residential and institutional buildings over 18+ metres.

One key benefit of using Aluminium with heat cured coatings is their exceptional durability in both external and high moisture conditions. By avoiding glues or any other additional binders / resins, the BCL Aluminium TIMBER EFFECT system is able to withstand external exposure and provide a 10 year colour warranty on its initial finish, with only very minimal UV fading over the expected 40+ year service life, with zero maintenance – providing the ideal fireproof cladding solution for large commercial projects.

 Ali Slat

In addition to significantly enhanced colour longevity and fire performance, the BCL ‘TIMBER EFFECT’ system also offers a zero movement, lower cost solution for large sections or spans over traditional solid wood. The inherent dimensional stability and strength of Aluminium significantly reduces risk of distortion and some of the issues that can be seen in solid wood if its equilibrium moisture content stays elevated above 30% for a prolonged period. Therefore, in many project scenarios, a BCL faux wood panel system will provide a more practical, lower cost and better performing solution over traditional timber.


West Drayton's Leisure Centre Full Steam Ahead

Following the unexpected collapse of Buckingham Group Contracting, who entered administration back in August 2023, our work at West Drayton Leisure Centre had been placed on hold. Thankfully the London Borough of Hillingdon has revived the project and BCL have been engaged directly to complete the works as before, delivering 1600sqm of faux wood slat ceilings and slatted walls.

We are going to be using our new fire-resistant timber system in PPC coated Aluminium faux wood slats, fully tested in accordance with EN13501-1 – allowing the creation of incredibly realistic non-combustible wood finishes for large commercial projects.This system has recently been used to great effect at the Ashley Centre in Epsom.

The project will also feature acoustic wood panels in solid FSC certified Thermo-Pine, taking full advantage of BCL’s design-flexibility for slatted panel systems – and helping to lower overall carbon footprint of the building.

BCL Wooden Ceilings at West Drayton

The Platinum Jubilee leisure centre design at West Drayton has been designed to be a modern and sustainable hub for the local community, offering a range of facilities and amenities for all ages and abilities and the use of BCL wood slatted panels brings warmth and character to this much needed refurb of the original 1960s building, which no longer meets the demands of the growing population of residents of Yiewsley and West Drayton.

Architects impression of West Drayton Leisure Centre

The project was approved by the council in 2020, includes a 25-metre swimming pool, a learner pool, a state-of-the-art gym, a sports hall, a fitness studio, a café, and other amenities, which will use BCL acoustic wood panels in a combination of configurations, providing varying acoustic performance from Class C up to Class A in accordance with BS EN ISO 11654. The design also incorporates sustainable features, such as a green roof, solar panels, and rainwater harvesting systems, to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions as well as our sustainably sourced wooden ceilings.

To find out more about BCL’s slatted timber ceilings or wooden wall panels, please contact us directly on 01189 344 155 or alternatively email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

UKAS Accredited Testing and Transparency for Timber Panel Systems

With the increased popularity of timber panel systems in commercial design and now, the wider use on smaller domestic projects, there is a huge range of wooden slatted panels on the market to choose from.

Many of these use veneers or MDF and will often be manufactured overseas, usually in the EU or China – and whilst appropriate for private home improvement and small builds, sometimes upon closer inspection and due to the often limited or incomplete fire testing of these wood panel products, they are not actually compliant for large UK commercial projects.

A key stipulation of Approved Document B, including that all products be tested ‘fully assembled’ and in-line with their ‘field of application’, is that all assessment be carried out by ‘organisations listed as notified bodies’ in accordance with the European Construction Products Regulation or laboratories accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service (UKAS).’

Further to this, the Hackitt Report (the key government led review of Approved Document B and UK fire regulation after the Grenfell disaster - ‘Building a Safer Future: The Final Report’) states clearly that moving forward ‘all laboratories should be UKAS accredited’.

Untitled design 1

BCL recommend checking the details of fire testing for any acoustic timber panel product or wood cladding panels that are planned to be used on a major commercial UK project to ensure it aligns with the requirements of prevailing regulation. This is to avoid serious commercial risk towards the end of a project, as Building Control and 3rd party Fire Assessment sign off on the final products used and installed within a building, avoiding forced change of products, delays and significant costs that are incurred if a product is deemed non-compliant, prior to hand over.

BCL undertake full systems EN13501-1 fire testing of our wood ceilings and timber wall panels for any project and provide a constantly growing library of pre-tested panel options, exclusively in UKAS laboratories only. We can also provide full classification reports, videos of specific fire burn tests and full transparency on our range of tests (including acoustic, fire and blast) – to provide the degree of assurance and traceability that is recommend for UK building products for the future.