weber TXT mortar steps back in time to the formation of the Ice Age
Saint-Gobain Weber has supplied materials for use in the dynamic new Ice Age exhibit at the West Midland Safari Park (WMSP) in Bewdley, Worcestershire. weber TXT mortar has been used extensively in this exhibit, which is the largest of its kind in the UK, and allows visitors to walk amongst the magnificent creatures that roamed the Earth millions of years ago.
The main contractor on the project was Greenspan Projects Limited of Southampton, an experienced design and build contractor of visitor attractions. Their portfolio includes attractions at Chessington World of Adventure, Queen Elizabeth Country Park and Robin Hood Adventure at Wheelgate Park amongst others.
Greenspan Projects partnered with Theme Park Build Limited, Oxford, a themed structural facade specialist in order to complete the project. Theme Park Build also boast an impressive portfolio such as Disneyland Paris, Universal Studios (USA), Legoland Windsor and more. This partnership allowed for the creation of an immersive attraction that’s both visually impressive and structurally sound.
Neil James, project manager at West Midland Safari Park, comments: “Our in-house design team orchestrated this fabulous recreation of a prehistoric journey of life on Earth. Explorers wander through the enormous rumbling volcano and pass through into a huge ice cave – the Oligocene Epoch – but this is just the start of the fascinating journey. There’s far more to follow, staged over millions of years, before marking the start of the Ice Age when huge ice sheets and glaciers formed.”
weber TXT mortar, one of the products specified for use on this project, is designed for the sculpture or reconstruction of decorative reliefs such as artificial rocks, stones and trees, and the casting or running of ornamental motifs in relief. It can be modelled, moulded, carved and sculptured and is suitable for fixing decorative elements such as natural or artificial stone and brick into the fresh mortar.
Factory-produced and thixotropic, weber TXT mortar is a high build and cementitious texturing mortar that can also be applied to metal lath in thicknesses of 150 to 200mm, but is more generally applied in thicknesses of 70 to 80mm (including lath). Suitable for hand or machine application, it requires only the addition of fresh water on site.
“Saint-Gobain Weber prides itself on the level of technical input and advice we can provide, both at specification stage and on site,” says Barry Ephgrave, specialist sales manager, Saint-Gobain Weber. “Although this project was technically intricate, the skill and experience of the applicator meant that only minimal supervision was required from us. The project had to endure its own mini ice age as the works were conducted during the early part of 2018 when the UK experienced heavy snowfall and sub-zero temperatures. The team from Theme Park Build had to halt work on site for a few weeks to allow the snow to melt and for temperatures to rise.”
Before application of weber TXT mortar, a base coat of weberend OCR is applied. As this render can be applied in one coat, it avoids the drying time associated with a multi-coat render system.
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