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Project data

Value: £35 million

AFL Architects, Pochin Construction, Mansell Finishes and Penlaw North West, Warrington

Products: Knauf Fire PanelKnauf Soundshield Plus, Knauf Impact Panel, Knauf Resilient Bar, Knauf Crown Acoustic Partition Roll

Project details

Construction of a £35 million mixed-use development in Chester was streamlined by minimising drywall partition types and simplifying inventory requirements on site.

Using the Knauf system approach, specialist subcontractors Mansell Finishes built the majority of separating and partition walls at the new HQ Chester with one type of steel stud and three types of high performance 15mm plasterboard. The Knauf Isolator and Knauf Performer partition systems specified for HQ Chester provide a range of acoustic performance and fire resistance ratings to meet requirements across all building types.

Open piazza

Built on the site of the former police headquarters, HQ Chester is a group of three five-storey buildings forming a ring round an open central piazza. The development consists of restaurants, 5,574m2 of high specification offices, an 80-bedroom four-star Abode hotel opening in 2010 and 35 luxury apartments known as The Residence. The office building has a full height glazed front and an impressive double height reception area. Just inside Chester’s historic city walls, HQ Chester has panoramic views of the famous Roodee Racecourse and River Dee, and was built for Liberty Properties by Pochin Construction.

The twin-frame Knauf Isolator system, using 70mm Knauf ‘C’ Studs, Knauf Fire Panel, Knauf Impact Panel and 50mm Knauf Crown Acoustic Partition Roll, provides 62dB(Rw) sound insulation and 90 minutes’ fire resistance for 200mm walls in the hotel and apartments. Similar performance is achieved from 138mm Knauf Performer
partitions using Knauf Soundshield Plus and Knauf Resilient Bar.

Other Knauf Performer partitions at HQ Chester use all or some of these components to provide 130mm and 100mm solutions. Masonry and other external walls are finished with Knauf Wall Linings, on 70mm Knauf ‘I’ Studs, metal furring or adhesive dabs. Structural steelwork is encased in Knauf Fire Panel for 90 minutes’ fire resistance.

Curved walls

Mansell Finishes Project Director Phil Bartley says the drywall contract also included some curved walls which were constructed with design and specification help from the Knauf Technical Team. Knauf Isolator and Knauf Performer are two of Knauf’s five partition systems which simplify the design and construction process through optimised solutions for the most common drywall applications in residential, commercial, educational and healthcare buildings. They also offer the flexibility to accommodate custom specifications. The other partition systems are Knauf Easybuild, Knauf Silent Spacesaver and Knauf Shaftwall.

Making life easier

Tanuja Kiley, Knauf Marketing Communications Manager, says the systems approach is designed to make life easier for drywall specifiers and contractors. “Builders are under increasing pressure to deliver more quality and productivity. Our systems provide the quality and make it easier to manage the materials required for a professional and guaranteed installation, giving contractors more time to focus on the real job,” she says.