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Knauf Airless Finish, the revolutionary spray-applied plaster, has been praised by specialists AT Plastering, enabling them to work on an innovative build technique in East London.

The “Jump Factory” method of construction was implemented by main contractors Mace and applied by AT Plastering on two residential towers of 30 and 28 storeys on the site of the former Athletes Village in Stratford, now known as East Village.

Construction of East Village saw a self-contained factory created around the exterior of the new buildings giving contractors the ability to construct floor by floor. When one floor is completed, the factory is ‘jumped’ up 3.3m to the floor above to repeat the process.

AT Plastering, utilising the many benefits of Knauf’s spray plaster, were able to shave weeks off the build programme. Andrew Mansfield from AT Plastering explains: “Knauf spray plaster is much easier to use compared to traditional plastering methods. The fact it is pre-mixed is a big plus for us as normally you’d have to wait for around two weeks after plastering before painters can come on site.”

Applied using a piston pump machine, Knauf Airless Finish is applied directly onto smooth surfaces up to three to four times faster than conventional plastering and drying times are fast enough to allow follow on trades to begin work within two days. This was vital at East Village where the project required floors to be completed rapidly.

The spray system allows small to medium (SME) sized firms to complete larger scale projects that previously might have been beyond their capacity, opening up a whole range of opportunities.

“Normally for a project this size you’d need 30-40 plasterers on site, but using the Knauf system we only needed 15 spray plasterers,” says Andrew. “There is also no need for the typical 6-8 labourers to erect scaffolding and clear up waste as using Knauf Airless Finish means there is almost zero waste.

“It’s definitely the way forward, it allows you to complete a full day’s work plastering without your arms and legs being absolutely exhausted.”

The Jump Factory is an extremely efficient and time-saving build method which meant that a similarly efficient plastering solution would be required to keep up with the build process. Appointed subcontractors, Conneely Group specified the full Knauf Readymixed Finishes (RMF) system based on its proven performance.

Dean Phillips of Conneely said: “When possible, I always use the full Knauf system for projects and find the spray plaster very quick and easy to apply. Overall, using Knauf was a good experience from start to finish in East Village and I’d definitely use them again for my next project.”

The complete system comprises Knauf Plasterboard, Knauf Fill & Finish, Knauf Joint Filler and Knauf Airless Finish spray plaster. The pre-mixed nature of the Knauf RMF range eliminates the requirement for an onsite water supply, ideal for large-scale, tower block construction.

Knauf’s RMF have just the required amount of liquid within the mix to enable an easy application. In contrast, traditional plastering methods employ a greater amount of liquid which has the effect of creating longer drying times, extending the build programme. This is further prolonged during the colder winter months.

While traditional plaster dries pink, Knauf Airless Finish dries white, creating the ideal background for decorators to begin working on the surfaces. The application from the spray machines also allows for ceilings to be plastered from ground level, eliminating the need for steps or scaffolding and saving time.

Product waste is almost non-existent with levels of less than 1% when using a spray machine. Excess product can be skimmed from surfaces and recycled back into the machine’s hopper for re-use.

For first time users of the Knauf system, technical assistance can be provided free-of-charge. At East Village, Knauf assisted with site visits during the initial application process. Dean Phillips adds: “A representative from Knauf always comes to visit us on site to provide assistance with the application. They are able to provide us with clear, easy to understand information and I’ve not had any problems with using the full Knauf system specification.”

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