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Project data

Size: 60 one and two-bedroom Apartments 

McCarthy & Stone (Housebuilder) and DS Poole Ltd (Sub Contractor)

Products: Knauf AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Outdoor, AQUAPANEL® Exterior Ceiling System, ThroughWall System, External Wall Insulation (EWI) System, Steel Frame System (SFS), Warm Wall System and PIR Insulation

Project detail

Architects designing a large-scale Retirement Living Plus development in Poole have employed a range of exterior systems from Knauf – one of the world’s leading manufacturers of lightweight building products and systems – due to their high quality, and the technical expertise provided by the Knauf Technical Services Team.

The Knauf ThroughWall System, Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior Ceiling System and Knauf External Wall Insulation (EWI) Systems have been implemented across the site, which provides 60 one and two-bedroom apartments as part of an owner-occupied Retirement Living Plus (Extra Care) development.

With 40 years’ experience, McCarthy & Stone is the UK’s leading retirement housebuilder. McCarthy & Stone Technical Manager for the Horizons project, Garry Whitham, said it was a simple decision when specifying the Knauf products and it came down to the experienced Technical Services Team at Knauf who provided support throughout the build process.

“Knauf products were specified due to their proven high quality, backed by their technical expertise,” said Garry Whitham. “The scheme was discussed with Knauf at the early conception stage and a fully detailed specification was developed, taking into account the location and exposure of the site.”

Involved from the early design stages, the Knauf Technical Services Team suggested the use of its complete ThroughWall Solution which combines a range of high quality products into one complete specification.

The most significant benefit of the ThroughWall Solution is that Knauf offer a single point of contact for the complete specification. This simplifies the design process and provides the housebuilder with a range of insurance backed Knauf warranties that are available with the Knauf ThroughWall Solution.

The full system comprises of Knauf Internal Plasterboard, Knauf Mineral Wool Insulation, Knauf Steel Frame System (SFS), Knauf AQUAPANEL® and Knauf PIR Insulation. Designed as an infill panel system only, it allows for a range of exterior finishes.

The building is finished with elegantly-curved balconies, creating an added challenge for designers. Garry Whitham explains: “One of the more complicated areas to detail was the rendered curved balcony upstands, along with the balcony soffits. Again, with the input from Knauf, their AQUAPANEL® board was selected as the render carrier due to its versatility.”

The versatility Garry is speaking of is AQUAPANEL®’s durability and high-performance qualities that mean it remains a favourite amongst contractors. The Knauf AQUAPANEL® Exterior Ceiling System was installed for all soffits in the apartment balconies as it is the ideal solution for situations where ceilings are exposed to moisture, wind loading and coastal environments, like Poole.

Made from a core of Portland cement with polymer coated glass fibre mesh embedded in the front and back surfaces, AQUAPANEL® cement boards provide the perfect all-weather cladding material and are an economical alternative to traditional methods of construction.

Traditional exterior boarded products are susceptible to moisture; however, AQUAPANEL® boards resist water with no swelling or loss of dimensional stability making them weatherproof, perfectly suited to the Poole-based project.

Protection against the elements was vital for designers, but it was the flexibility of Knauf AQUAPANEL® that impressed the rendering contractors at DS Poole Ltd. Director, Curtis Mcalinney who was in charge of the Horizons project said that he has always been impressed with the ease of application provided by the Knauf EWI and render systems.

“I really like the Knauf product, it has got good workability – the base coat is easy to use and the finish ends up looking really good,” explains Curtis Mcalinney. “Nearly every EWI installation I come across now I’m trying to get the specification changed to Knauf because of the assistance we are given by its team. The technical team are always available at the end of the phone and often come to site to help.”

Knauf Warm Wall System was used for the majority of the project. It has been applied directly to the Knauf AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Outdoor boards or onto a rail system with fire breaks around the windows. The EWI solution was used to obtain the thermal insulation performance requirements, as well as the Art Deco style aesthetic that blends with the surrounding architecture.

Knauf Warm Wall System presents a simple and efficient method of improving thermal insulation on new build and refurb properties. The system can then be finished with a render coat, which is available in a wide range of colours allowing for creative designs.

The Knauf Technical Services Team is available to assist with any exterior system specification requirements. The Knauf design service includes technical product information and specification guidance so if you’re stuck on your next project, give us a call on 0800 030 4135.