Drywall construction has contributed to a fast ‘take off’ for development of a new business park at Farnborough, Hampshire. Using products and systems from Knauf Drywall, contractors working on three buildings achieved significant time savings over traditional blockwork and plaster for cores and linings – and ensured a lasting quality solution.

Farnborough Business Park is a multi-phased development by Slough Estates on 51ha of the former Royal Aircraft Establishment. The site adjoins Farnborough Airport – the birthplace of UK aviation and home of the biennial International Air Show. The park will provide up to 1.67 million square feet of accommodation – for offices and high technology or research and development activities – conveniently sited beside a premier business airport and readily accessible from London. The project also envisages a heritage quarter and a substantial residential component.

Development so far includes five commercial buildings, totalling more than 250,000 square feet. Two buildings completed in the first phase have now been joined by two four-storey new builds – 200 and 250 Fowler Avenue – and an existing three-storey building, extensively modernised as the Hub. All three buildings in the second phase use Knauf Drywall lining and partition systems.

Drywall construction was a client preference – and it contributed to completion of the phase within a tight schedule. Both main contractor Carillion plc and drylining contractors Citywide Construction Ltd, of Brentford, wanted a complete branded system to ensure technical backup and performance guarantees. They chose Knauf Drywall systems, including plasterboards, studs and ancillary products, and the Knauf Drywall Technical Services Team worked closely with the project’s design team to finalise specifications. Installation was by Rainham-based Alpha Drylining, using material supplied by Encon of Aylesford.

Citywide Project Manager Mitch Oldroyd says the Knauf Shaftwall system, with Knauf Coreboard and Knauf Fireshield high performance plasterboard, was used to provide up to 2 hours’ fire resistance and up to 50dB sound reduction in cores and risers in all three buildings. Knauf Fireshield and Knauf Wallboard are used in other partitions, while Knauf Wallboard was also used for lining outer walls.

The Knauf Shaftwall system is designed for both low and high-rise buildings. It has the strength to withstand the air pressure fluctuations in high-speed lift shafts and is quickly and safely installed on Knauf ‘C-T’ studs from the ‘room’ side, avoiding the need for installers to work in potentially dangerous conditions in the shaft. Shaftwall typically consists of a layer of 19mm Knauf Coreboard, which provides a fire and moisture resistant inner lining, with one or two layers of Knauf Fireshield as the outer surface. Knauf Fire Moistureshield is used in some installations to provide additional protection for firefighters.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, drywall accessories, metal sections and steel building systems for domestic and commercial applications, from factories at Sittingbourne in Kent and Immingham on Humberside.

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