A superb finish and full marks for speed and neatness have put machine-applied MP75 plaster from Knauf Drywall at the top of the class on a secondary school building site in Oldham, Lancashire. With a single machine, a team of three plasterers and a labourer is well on the way to completing the 22,000m2 project – involving 220 tons of plaster –comfortably ahead of schedule. Knauf MP75 is a fast and tough alternative to traditional two-coat plasters, and one of the most productive building materials on the market.

In a £28 million private finance initiative project for Oldham Council, the Radclyffe School at Chadderton is being redeveloped, bringing the Lower School (Years 7-9) on to the same site as the Upper School (Years 10-11). The development includes a three storey teaching block, plus a dance studio and school hall with walls 8 metres high. Interior specifications called for a two-coat plaster on the masonry walls. Kier North West Project Manager Tony Harrison says with traditional methods, the £400,000 plastering contract would have required 18 plasterers.

Knutsford-based subcontractor Plastercraft Ltd had previously used Knauf MP75 in a Liverpool hotel project, and the recommendation of the project manager on that site was enough for Kier to trial the system at Chadderton. “When plastering started, we were slightly behind schedule, but the team is already ahead of time – less than half way through the job,” says Tony Harrison. “Knauf MP75 compares well on costs. It has a good quality finish – with less waste and mess than traditional plastering. It’s also much easier to use on high walls.”

Plastercraft Director Shaun Bellew says his team is averaging up to 1,000m2 a week at the Radclyffe School. Recently, Plastercraft also proved the advantages of Knauf MP75 on a wet plaster contract at Widnes, shared with another subcontractor. “They did 7,000m2 in traditional two coat plaster – which took longer than the 12,000m2 we did with MP75,” Shaun Bellew says. “Machine application is much safer, too – because we need fewer people on site.”

Knauf MP75 is a fast-drying projection plaster specially formulated for one-coat machine application on most interior walling surfaces. It is particularly suitable for surfaces such as brickwork, blockwork and concrete. MP75 is supplied through builders merchants in 25kg bags which are machine mixed with water to yield about 28 litres of wet plaster to cover approximately 3m2 at an average thickness of 1cm. The plaster is machine-applied to a wall in horizontal bands, then simply ruled and floated manually for a durable, smooth white finish. With MP75, a team can complete 15m2 per hour. MP75 is nailable, abrasive proof and fire retarding – and it is ideal for decorating or tiling.

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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