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Knauf products ahead of the curve at Derby Arena

Knauf products ahead of the curve at Derby Arena

Designed by award-winning architects FaulknerBrowns, the three-dimensional curving nature and scale of the building design set complex challenges in regard to the installation of ceiling and internal walls to the main contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland, and its drylining contractor Taylor Hart, that were answered with aid of technical support from Knauf.

The finished building contains a suite of Knauf ceiling and walling products: Cleaneo Akustik in the fitness gyms; Interior Aquapanel in the showers; Shaftwall for the lifts; Knauf MP75 Projection Plaster for the blockwork as well as performance boards such as Soundshield, Fireshield, Impact Panel and Wallboard.

Nigel Tye, the project architect for FaulknerBrowns, advises that Knauf’s specialist acoustic ceiling products proved ideal in answering the practical and aesthetic issues raised: “The Knauf Cleaneo Akustik perforated ceiling products were a perfect visual and technical solution to areas with double curving geometry and requiring enhanced sound absorption, including the fitness gym and foyer ceilings, within the building.”

Designed to absorb sound (reverberant) energy, the perforations in Cleaneo Akustik allow sound to pass through but disrupt its path, taking energy out on its return and reducing echoes in a room. Specifiers can effectively tune a room or a space for the clarity of speech or music by their choice of pattern, using Knauf insulation or adjusting the void depth.

Used in conjunction with either Cleaneo Akustik Wall liner or Knauf MF Ceiling, the Cleaneo Akustik range can provide fully-warranted acoustic systems that use proven fast drywall construction techniques to supply unparalleled sound absorption performance. These ceiling systems, used in conjunction with specific boards in the range, can achieve the industry-leading Class B rating, as classified in accordance with BS EN ISO 11654.

Even with a void depth of just 65mm, Cleaneo Akustik Ceiling systems achieve a minimum Class D rating for sound absorption while increasing the void depth and adding insulation with selected boards will improve the performance as required.

A striking seamless finish is possible by using Cleaneo Akustik boards with Knauf Uniflott to create a strong, tapeless joint. The boards have an FF edge profile that ensures the boards are correctly spaced and limits bulging of the paper liner under humidity. This edge detail also reduces the depth of the joint between boards and closes it on three sides, producing a stronger joint, reducing the risk of cracking.

Knauf were introduced to the project in the design stages at the suggestion of Phil Taylor, director of Taylor Hart, who says input from the technical team was helpful in value engineering the specification to deliver the required performance at the least cost possible.

Jean Paul Colback, Technical Manager at FaulknerBrowns, agrees: “In addition to ceilings the versatility of Knauf systems was then shown to satisfy the many varying performance requirements for the internal partitions,” he recalled. “The fire strategy and acoustic design required fire resistance between 30 and 60 minutes, sound insulation NFR values ranging from 35 to 50dB and heights up to 8m. Also there was a need for impact resistance in certain areas adding to the technical demands of the systems. Often several requirements were required of one partition.”

FaulknerBrowns have advised that the excellent technical support from Knauf was critical in rationalising the performance requirements and making appropriate use of boards such as Soundshield, Fireshield, Impact Panel and Wallboard to reduce the number of differing combinations with subsequent benefits on site.

For instance, using one layer of 15mm Soundshield can achieve the same acoustic performance that conventionally might be achieved using two 12.5mm boards on either side of a partition. Knauf Performer partitions clad with Knauf Soundshield each side, and using the latest Knauf Resilient Bar technology, can achieve up to 65dB (Rw) within an overall width of just 164mm. Impact Panel not only provides a superb, durable finish but is also easily repaired should any damage occur. Impact Panel can also be combined with other Knauf products to give a superior acoustic performance of up to 57dB (Rw).

Derby Arena sets a new standard for local authority sports facilities providing an aspirational and invigorating place to participate in sport. The Arena contains a uniquely raised 250m indoor cycle track allowing unimpeded access below to a central multi-use 12-badminton court sized sports infield which, together with a 1500 spectator grandstand, additionally creates a space for 5000 spectator cultural and music events.

Extensive café foyer, fitness and multi-function rooms flank one side of the cycle track with the spectator grandstand opposite. The dynamic external form, which tightly shrink wraps the internal accommodation, provides a new truly iconic civic building for Derby. Derby Arena was funded by Derby City Council with support from Sport England and British Cycling.

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