A dramatic three storey plasterboard wall in its main entrance tops the list of Knauf Drywall solutions achieved by specialist subcontractor Roseville Plastering in an eye-catching Birmingham apartment building. Occupying a landmark triangular site on Essex Street, close to the city centre, the wedge shaped i-land development has 271 one and two bedroom apartments and penthouses, all with separating and partition walls of Knauf Drywall systems. Bathroom walls incorporate Knauf Aquapanel as a tile backer around baths and showers.

i-land is arranged round a water filled courtyard designed for a relaxed, harmonious living environment. The apartments, all with high specification interiors, offer a quality city centre lifestyle with the convenience of onsite parking and a 24 hour concierge service. i-land also includes 280m2 of retail space. Designed by the Birmingham based Weedon Partnership and inspired by the design of the Flatiron Building on Madison Square, New York, the £28million development is being built by Laing O’Rourke for prominent residential developer Crosby Lend Lease.

The 10 metre wall rising from the ground floor concierge area is a conventional twin frame acoustic partition built on the edges of the upper floor slabs adjoining the stairwell. Knauf Drywall’s technical team assisted in the design which includes normal construction with deflection heads between the slabs. Two frames of 70mm Knauf ‘C’ studs, with 50mm insulation between them, support two layers of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on both sides. The outermost layer of Knauf Soundshield, facing into the stairwell, covers the outer edges of the slabs, but includes a 25mm movement joint as a design feature at each level.

Stuart Curran of the Weedon Partnership says: “The three storey wall adjacent to the main atrium stair draws the visitor’s gaze upwards to the ceiling, uniting a variety of architectural elements. To cope with differential movement caused by securing the walls to the superstructure, a number of innovative jointing solutions were introduced. This has produced horizontal shadow gaps at each floor level – with the added benefit of preventing the wall from becoming too imposing and discreetly breaking its verticality into more manageable parts.”

Crosby Lend Lease Project Manager John McClelland says the features in the wall add interest. “Architectural details like this are often only as good as the people who install them – but in this case we are well pleased with the overall result.”

Using Knauf Drywall systems sourced through Sheffield Insulations, Oldbury, Wolverhampton-based Roseville Plastering also built separating walls for apartments with a twin frame of 70mm Knauf ‘C’ Studs, with two layers of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on each side and a 50mm Knauf Rocksilk RS33 insulating quilt in the void. This 300mm Robust Detail E-WS-1 construction provides well in excess of 45dB airborne sound reduction – avoiding the need for on-site acoustic testing – and 60 minutes’ fire resistance.

Internal partitions are built with a single layer of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on a 70mm Knauf ‘C’ stud, with a 25mm Knauf Acoustic Partition Roll insulation quilt in the void. This construction gives 40dB airborne sound reduction between rooms, and has a 30 minute fire rating. Window walls are lined with 2 layers of 12.5mm Knauf Wallboard on 50mm Knauf ‘I’studs. The 12.5mm Knauf Wallboard is also used as part of Knauf C-form II suspended ceiling system.

To ensure that the quality tiled finishes are not compromised by splashing, bathrooms are constructed with Knauf Aquapanel as tile backer around baths and showers. For protection against damage from condensation over a prolonged period, Knauf Sound Moistureshield is used for other walls in the bathrooms and in the open plan kitchen areas.

Elsewhere in the building 12.5mm Knauf Denseshield is used for a durable lining to stairwells and corridors.

Roseville MD Mark Kelsey says the project has gone well and he is very pleased with the technical support on onsite inspections by Knauf Drywall West Midlands Project and Specification Manager, Paul Lodge.

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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