Bianco, Bournemouth

Bianco, Bournemouth

Architect: Frias-Robles Associates
Contractor: Rend Co
Type of works: supply and installation of Aquapanel Exterior wall panels for seven-storey apartment building.

Lightweight, bendable Aquapanel Exterior from Knauf Drywall is the perfect substrate for the eye-catching, smoothly curved rendered walls of Bianco, an art-deco inspired seven-storey apartment building in Bournemouth. Knauf Aquapanel Exterior recently gained BBA (British Board of Agrément) certification, confirming its suitability for use as a ventilated exterior wall panel. It is a glass, fibre-reinforced, water- and weather-resistant cement board specially developed for fast-track building on steel or timber studs in straight or curved configurations. The Bianco installation also demonstrates that render dries faster on Knauf Aquapanel Exterior than other cladding products, even in wintry conditions.

BBA says if Knauf Aquapanel Exterior is installed, used and maintained correctly, it will accept all likely surface loadings and resist the passage of moisture from the ground or from the weather. It has a Class A1 fire rating (non-combustible) and will have a service life in excess of 30 years. The certificate endorses Knauf Aquapanel Exterior under the Building Regulations for England and Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland, as well as NHBC Standards 2008 and the Zurich Building Guarantee Technical Manual 2007.

Paul Godwin, Director of Swindon-based cladding and render specialist Rend Co, says Knauf Aquapanel Exterior was the ideal choice for Bianco. “We needed a board that would bend more neatly than other products. I had heard about Aquapanel Exterior and decided to put it to the test. It is very easy to install and can be cut to size by scoring with a knife and snapping,” he says. Knauf Aquapanel Exterior provided another bonus when the SM700 basecoat render from Knauf Drywall sister company Knauf Marmorit UK was applied. “We were working under a tent in cold temperatures, and the render on the Knauf Aquapanel Exterior was drying significantly faster than on the other boards cladding the straight walls,” he says.

Bianco, designed by Frias-Robles Associates, has 10 two-bedroom apartments and a two-bedroom penthouse, plus secure ground floor parking. The town centre luxury apartments feature high specifications throughout, generous room sizes, and extensive use of glass to maximise sea views.

Knauf Aquapanel Exterior gives architects and builders a high quality, time saving and extremely economical alternative to traditional methods of construction, and it facilitates rapid closure of a building. At just 16kg/m2, it is easy to handle and it installs fast; no pre-drilling is required and it takes 15 minutes a square metre, including screws, jointing tape and filler. When taped and jointed as recommended, the walls remain weatherproof for up to six months without further finishing.

A non-combustible, building panel of aggregated Portland cement with polymer coated glass-fibre mesh embedded in front and rear surfaces, Knauf Aquapanel Exterior has all the advantages of a dry panel system, plus the durability of brick and block. It is a completely non-organic product, mould resistant, and dimensionally stable. The 12.5mm thick boards are available from Knauf Drywall stockists in 900 x 1,200mm and 900 x 2,400mm sizes. Full size boards bend to a 3m radius, while 300mm strips bend to 1m radius.

Knauf Aquapanel Exterior is designed for directly applied render and other exterior finishes. It can be used for new-build projects, and can also add design and construction benefits to extensions, façade renovations, exterior ceilings and many other outdoor projects.

Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, dry flooring, drywall accessories, and metal sections for domestic, commercial and public sector applications. Knauf Drywall pioneered carbon neutral plasterboard in the UK with Knauf Futurepanel. Knauf Drywall also actively promotes recycling from building sites and has a zero waste policy in its energy efficient factories at Sittingbourne in Kent and Immingham on Humberside.

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