Separating drywalls delivering acoustic performance more than 5dB better than Building Regulations helped an attractive new London development towards a ‘Very Good’ eco-homes rating. Walls at Sutton’s Wharf South, beside the Regents Canal in Tower Hamlets, feature Knauf Drywall’s Soundshield high performance plasterboard for maximum privacy between neighbours. The mixed tenure project for One Housing Group also has Knauf Putty Pads which save drywall installation time and Knauf Cleaneo Apertura perforated plasterboard for a stylish – and sound absorbing – finish in access corridor ceilings.

In a construction that comfortably exceeds the 45dB airborne sound reduction required by the Building Regulations, the 310mm corridor and party walls have twin frames of 70mm Knauf ‘C’ Studs with two layers of 15mm Knauf Soundshield on the outer sides. The walls are finished with a 2.5mm plaster skim coat and corridor walls are strengthened with a steel mesh between the layers of Knauf Soundshield on the outer frame. Thermal performance is enhanced with a 60mm layer of Knauf Rocksilk insulation between the frames. Other high performance plasterboards such as Knauf Fireshield and Knauf Denseshield are used for additional protection in key locations.

Acoustics are given special treatment in the enclosed corridors, with Knauf Cleaneo Apertura in the ceilings to reduce reverberation. The board, backed with acoustic fleece, features a random pattern of 8mm, 15mm and 20mm circular perforations creating a seamless, borderless finish, well suited to the curved and variable width corridors at Sutton’s Wharf South. Knauf Cleaneo Apertura is also available with regular pattern circular, square and slot perforations.

To preserve the acoustic and fire performance of separating and partition walls, electrical socket boxes are protected by Knauf Putty Pads. These sheets of mouldable intumescent putty are applied either outside or inside the boxes to provide full protection in a fraction of the time needed to build and fit a traditional baffle box.

Kelvin Barker, project manager for One Housing Group, says the development will meet requirements for a ‘Very Good’ rating under the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method. “It is a requirement for project funding, so the building is designed for energy efficiency and excellent acoustic performance as well as providing appropriate quality fixtures and fittings. It has an attractive location with many amenities nearby.”

A further milestone in the regeneration of East London, Sutton’s Wharf South is a curved eight storey building, with a glass roofed atrium which overlooks the canal and Mile End Park on the opposite bank. The main railway line into London Liverpool Street is to the south. The £25.3 million development is finished to a high specification utilising both natural wood and modern cladding materials. There are 169 one, two and three bedroom apartments for outright sales, shared ownership and rented accommodation for locally based key workers.

The project was designed by award winning London architects Stock Woolstencroft, and built by design and build main contractor Galliford Try Partnerships Ltd. Drywall installation was by JD Contracts, who worked closely with Knauf Drywall’s Technical Team to ensure that all partition details would achieve the required ratings.

Sutton’s Wharf South is a mixed use development, also including offices for One Housing Group, and a restaurant. One Housing Group brings together Community Housing Group, Toynbee Housing Association and Toynbee Island Homes and runs a successful low cost home ownership programme meeting the housing needs of people who cannot afford to purchase on the open market and helping to create sustainable mixed tenure communities. Sutton’s Wharf South is part of the group’s drive to build homes in East London under the government’s new build homebuy (part buy, part rent) scheme.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, dry flooring, drywall accessories, and metal sections for domestic, commercial and public sector applications. Knauf Drywall pioneered carbon neutral plasterboard in the UK with 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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