Innovative solutions from Knauf Drywall are helping developers to optimise accommodation and quality in buildings where ground space is at a premium. For a landmark residential tower on Liverpool’s waterfront, a slim 130mm separating wall is one such solution – saving valuable space while also comfortably meeting fire resistance and acoustic performance requirements.

The 26 storey Alexandra Tower at Princes Dock has separating walls that provide 120 minutes’ fire resistance and 60dB RW airborne sound reduction between apartments. Phil Bartley, Contracts Director for drylining contractor Mansell Finishes, says the 130mm construction exceeded requirements in on-site acoustic testing.

“High performance drywalls like this enable developers to offer maximum space and a quality product at attractive prices. In this instance, the construction consists unusually of a single 70mm Knauf ‘C’ stud with Knauf Resilient Bar at 600mm centres on one side,” he says. “There are two layers of 15mm Knauf Soundshield on each side and 50mm Knauf Crown Acoustic Partition Roll in the void. A layer of 12mm WBP ply is fixed to the Resilient Bar for added security on corridor walls.”

Phil Bartley says Knauf Drywall technical experts assisted with design detailing where the separating walls abut the curved exterior of the building. “This also necessitated a deflection detail to compensate for possible movement of the façade in strong winds,” he says.

Using Knauf Drywall products sourced through Sheffield Insulations, Manchester, Mansell Finishes is also constructing 100mm partitions between rooms in the Alexandra Tower apartments. These have one layer of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on each side of a 70mm Knauf ‘C’ stud and provide 30 minutes’ fire resistance and 40dB RW sound reduction.

The building is finished throughout with the Knauf MF Suspended Ceiling System, incorporating 12.5mm Knauf Wallboard and 25mm Knauf Crown Acoustic Partition Roll.

The Knauf Shaftwall system is used for lift shafts and service risers, The system is conveniently and safely fixed from the room side, with a layer of 19mm Knauf Coreboard for strength and Knauf Fireshield for fire protection – 1x15mm, 2x12.5mm or 2x15mm providing respectively 60, 90 or 120 minutes’ fire resistance, according to location.

The Alexandra Tower is a £35 million development by Millennium Estates, designed by AFL Architects and built by Laing O’Rourke. It occupies a key site at the entrance to Princes Dock and consists of 200 one and two bedroom apartments with stunning views over the Mersey, Liverpool and Birkenhead. It is one of several residential, hotel and office developments around the old dock which served a variety of transatlantic and coastal passenger and cargo routes from 1821 to 1981.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, drywall accessories, metal sections and steel building systems, for domestic and commercial applications. Recently Knauf Drywall introduced the UK industry’s first carbon neutral plasterboard, Knauf Futurepanel. Knauf Drywall also actively promotes recycling from building sites and has a zero waste policy in its energy efficient factories at Sittingbourne in Kent and Immingham on Humberside.

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