Knauf Drywall systems are ‘snowboarding’ a real snow alpine village – in Manchester. Separating walls of Knauf Drywall plasterboard and steel studs form the basis of the authentically themed shops, restaurants and bars at a landmark £31 million indoor snowsports development, alongside Trafford Centre. High performance plasterboards from Knauf Drywall, together with Standard Wallboard provide the specified fire resistance and acoustic performance between units, and a firm foundation for decoration and shopfitting.

Destined to be one of the most exciting year-round leisure experiences in Britain and less than four miles from the centre of Manchester, Chill Factore has Europe’s longest and the world’s widest indoor real snow main ski slope – 180 metres long and 100 metres wide at the bottom.

The Knauf Drywall Technical Team’s specification for drywall systems at Chill Factore is based on 146mm Knauf ‘C’ and ‘I’ studs – normally at 600mm centres, but reduced to 400mm for areas to be tiled and 300mm for areas exceeding a 9.2 metre span. Using materials sourced through Knauf Drywall distributor FGF Manchester, of Trafford Park, specialist subcontractors Tameside Partitions and Ceilings Ltd fixed two layers of 12.5mm (or 15mm) Knauf Standard Wallboard to each side of the studs for an overall partition width of 196mm (or 206mm) before finishes. Knauf Moistureshield is used for tiled partitions – in toilets, for example – while Knauf Soundshield adds to acoustic performance in other key areas. The Knauf Wallboard constructions normally provide sound insulation up to 54dB RW. Many of the partitions extend to 10 metres in height, providing 60 minutes’ fire resistance from floor to soffit.

Tameside Director Tony Singleton says the basic drywall structure of the alpine village was installed, taped and jointed in a £230,000 10-week contract, involving up to 10 installers at a time. “This is an extremely prestigious contract, and one of the most exciting in Tameside’s three year history,” he says. “Knauf Drywall’s specification and systems gave us a clear run at all times.”

Chill Factore has three separate but inter-connected ski slopes with a constant 400mm depth of real snow. The slopes also cater for snowboarding, tobogganing, and tubing and have a children’s snow-play area. The alpine village overlooking the ski slope has a variety of leisure and active lifestyle shops, as well as contemporary bars and restaurants. The 40 metre high structure, covering 25,000m2 was built by Sir Robert McAlpine Ltd.

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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