One of London’s greenest office buildings has taken another step up the environmental ladder with Knauf Drywall’s carbon neutral plasterboard, Futurepanel. This industry first drywall solution was specified for partitions in the new home of the Transport for London (TfL) Surface Transport team.

The Surface Transport team and some other departments are moving into Palestra, the striking 12 storey glass faced building designed by architect Will Alsop and completed in 2006 on Blackfriars Road, Southwark. ISG InteriorExterior, main contractor for the TfL fit-out, specified Knauf Futurepanel to provide the most environmentally friendly solution available.

Knauf Futurepanel is used in place of Standard or 10kg/m2 Wallboard. It includes the highest proportion of reclaimed gypsum in any Knauf Drywall plasterboard, and fully recycled paper liners. It is enhanced by highly efficient manufacturing and a programme of investment in projects that effectively remove carbon at source.

ISG Project Manager Kevin Mulligan says: “We specified Knauf Futurepanel because of our client’s requirements, but we are also conscious that the building industry in general does not have a good record on energy and waste – so this is an opportunity for real progress in the right direction.”

Working to the ISG specification, specialist subcontractor London Drywall installed 12.5mm Knauf Futurepanel and an inner layer of 12.5mm PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes) approved plywood on each side of Knauf ‘C’ studs at 600mm centres. There is a 30mm deflection head. Most partitions also have a 25mm layer of Knauf Crown Partition Roll fitted in the void and a taped and jointed finish. This construction is designed for a 51dB acoustic rating. The plywood inner skins were specified to provide additional strength for supporting fixtures and fittings.

London Drywall Managing Director John Conway says: “Knauf Futurepanel provides the greenest plasterboard solution currently available and we were delighted that it was specified on this project. We are now looking at using this board on future projects.”

Knauf Drywall Regional Specification Director Spencer Maynard says: “The choice of Knauf Futurepanel for the new TfL offices measures up well to the London Borough of Southwark’s stated commitment to sustainability and carbon reduction.”

TfL shares the 300,000 sq ft, 12 storey building with the London Development Agency (LDA) and the London Climate Change Agency. The LDA selected Palestra after a lengthy evaluation which showed it to be the only building then available that met its location and accommodation criteria – and had a ‘Very Good’ rating under the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM).

Palestra has a 63kW bank of photovoltaic cells and 14 micro wind turbines (21kW) on its roof. The combined renewable energy system will generate 3,397,000kWh of electricity and reduce CO2 emissions by 3,300 tons during its lifetime.

London-based ISG delivers award-winning new build, refurbishment and fit-out services in the UK, Europe and Asia. ISG is one of the most respected names in construction, and has been managing the process for owners, occupiers and developers across a variety of sectors since 1989.

London Drywall specialises in quality drywall partitions for commercial office fit-outs, with package values from £250,000 to £5,000,000 requiring acoustic, fire and insulation partitions. The company has taken a firm environmental stance, focusing on environmental auditing, carbon footprint evaluation, waste reduction, and recycling wherever possible.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, drywall accessories, and metal sections, for domestic and commercial applications. In addition to introducing 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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