College Place, Highgate
Apartments in the shell of a former North London church have an innovative flooring solution to optimise sustainability through maximising the efficiency of their individual underfloor heating systems. Thermally transparent Brio Dry Floor Screed from Knauf complements Nu-Heat UFH installations to ensure the apartments use the least possible amount of energy to maintain comfortable temperatures. Knauf Brio Dry Floor Screed is a strong gypsum fibreboard, offering a fast and lightweight alternative to traditional wet screeds in new and refurbished residential or commercial buildings.
College Place is an imaginative transformation of the former Baptist Church building – dating from the mid 19th century – on Highgate Road, Highgate. Its exterior has been painstakingly restored by specialist stone masons, while the interior has been reconfigured in a £3.5 million project to create 14 luxury apartments for Apteral Developments. After stabilising the existing structure, contractors Fitzrovia Construction built the apartments in a four storey structural steel framework, with concrete subfloors cast on steel rib deck panels.
The 23mm Knauf Brio panels are laid directly over the underfloor heating system, which consists of 14mm pipes in diffuser plates set into 25mm EHD polystyrene to prevent heat loss into the concrete subfloor. The UFH systems and domestic hot water supply are heated by an economical and environment friendly Nu-Heat exhaust air heat pump – which recovers ‘waste’ heat from kitchens and bathrooms. An integral immersion heater satisfies additional heating requirements.
Thinnest possible solution
David Chesterton, Projects Director for Fitzrovia Construction, says the Knauf Brio fits in well with the UFH system. “Our top concern was the thickness of the build-up – and at just 48mm this is the thinnest possible solution. Its speed of installation is really impressive – it lays quickly and easily, and you can walk on it almost immediately: it is much faster than traditional wet screeds. These benefits, coupled with the long term economic and environmental advantages of UFH, mean that we as builders can give a lot more to the customer.”
Elsewhere in College Place, Knauf’s Easybuild and Silent Spacesaver partition systems for internal separating and partition walls provide acoustic privacy appropriate to the quality of the overall development – as well as meeting all relevant building regulations. High performance plasterboard from Knauf also provides fire-resisting encasements for the structural steel framework. Ceilings use the Knauf MF suspended system, while Knauf Aquapanel Exterior lines the ‘cheeks’ of balconies for the top floor apartments.
Knauf Easybuild and Knauf Silent Spacesaver are two of Knauf’s partition systems which simplify the design and construction process through optimised solutions for the most common drywall applications in all sectors – with flexibility to permit custom specifications.