New façade is no trouble at the mill thanks to Knauf Insulation

Knauf Insulation’s Rocksilk mineral wool is putting a new face on a former industrial building, now used by University of Derby staff and students. Building façade specialist, Parry Bowen, is incorporating the Knauf Insulation product in spandrel panel glazing to achieve the required U-values at the University’s Britannia Mill site.

Parry Bowen is refurbishing three buildings on the site by installing new façades constructed utilizing a Schüco unitized curtain wall system.

The Rocksilk Universal Slab RS260 has been produced for Parry Bowen in 135mm and 160mm thicknesses so that only one layer of insulation is needed in the glazing panel – giving savings in both material cost and manufacturing time.

The advantage of Rocksilk over other insulation materials is that it combines excellent thermal and acoustic insulation in one non-combustible product. Its open cell structure traps still air, which not only makes it a high performance thermal insulator, it also absorbs vibrations, which contributes to the acoustic performance of the structure. And, in contrast to rigid foam insulation boards, when the faces of cut Rocksilk slab are installed they knit together, so there are no gaps in the thermal and acoustic barrier therefore maximum performance is ensured. In terms of fire protection, Rocksilk has a Euroclass A1 classification to BS EN ISO 13501-1, the highest classification possible. It is completely non-combustible and will not produce any toxic smoke or contribute to the spread of a fire. It is completely free from CFCs and HCFCs and is rated as having zero global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion potential (ODP). For public buildings such as this, superior fire performance was crucial – and by specifying non-combustible materials such as Rocksilk Universal Slab, the University of Derby has also acted in accordance with guidance offered by the recent Building Bulletin 100: Design for fire safety in schools. A further benefit for the customer was that Knauf Insulation was able to provide the insulation in bespoke thicknesses and with a water-repellent silicone treatment.

For this project, Knauf Insulation supplied the insulation via the specialist distributor Encon, which in turn supplied it to MDL Fabrications. MDL cuts the slab to produce kits of made-to-measure insulation components for each façade panel and supplies these to Parry Bowen as required, in line with the build programme.

Matthew Holmes of Parry Bowen says that it specified Rocksilk Universal Slab not just because of its properties but also because of the company’s relationship with Knauf Insulation.

“We choose to work with reliable suppliers and have a strong, long-term trading partnership with Knauf Insulation based on quality and reliability,” he says.

For more information on Knauf Insulation’s products please visit

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