Knauf Drywall Re-Design Cuts Partitioning Time and Costs

Knauf Drywall Re-Design Cuts Partitioning Time and Costs

A design innovation has saved an estimated £700,000 in drywall partition material and labour costs on a major hospital development in Yorkshire. Using its new research facility based in Iphofen, Germany, partition systems manufacturer Knauf Drywall was able to develop a new standard design for healthcare partitions delivering more than 52dB(Rw) airborne sound reduction with a single board. Pioneered at Pontefract Hospital by Knauf Drywall and Blackburn-based dry lining sub-contractor European Commercial Interiors Ltd, the new 52dB(Rw) partition has now been used at the new Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield. By allowing the use of single-board rather than double-board partitions, the new partition has reduced the plasterboard supply cost and simplified installation of the most common partition system in both hospitals.

European Commercial Interiors Managing Director Jeff Eastham says: “The development of single board systems for the Pontefract and Pinderfields Hospital development builds on the long relationship between Knauf Drywall and ourselves in continually improving the systems offered to our clients in the Healthcare Sector, the systems pioneered at Pontefract are now being installed by us in major healthcare projects in Tameside and Salford in Greater Manchester for Balfour Beatty."

BDP is lead consultant at both Pinderfields and Pontefract (the latter designed by Avanti) and constructed by main contractor Balfour Beatty for the Mid Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust. The project will deliver a new acute inpatient facility at Pinderfields and a new diagnostic and treatment centre at Pontefract.

At Pinderfields, sub-contractor OCL Ltd installed 120,000m2 of dry lining and partitioning, using Knauf Drywall systems. A large proportion of this is the new 122mm wide 52dB partition which consists of a single layer of 15mm Knauf Soundshield on each side of a 92mm Knauf ‘C’ Stud, with a layer of 100mm Knauf Crown Acoustic Partition Roll squeezed in the cavity.

Knauf also created a 54dB(Rw) partition for use in specialist healthcare applications; it has two layers of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on each side of a 70mm Knauf ‘C’ Stud with 25mm Knauf Crown Acoustic Partition Roll in the cavity.

OCL Project Director, Simon Occleshaw, says the new design is an attractive alternative which still meets the acoustic requirements of Health Technical Memorandum (HTM) 08-01 Acoustics. It provides 60 minutes’ fire resistance and has a ‘severe’ strength rating. “This design ably demonstrates the flexibility of plasterboard systems and it shows that there is always room for innovation,” he says. “The time we have saved on this project has taken some of the pressure off the trades that follow us; we have contributed to overall cost savings and assisted in achieving timely overall completion.”

There are about 40 different types of wall at Pinderfields, to meet the requirements of sound and fire resistance and radiology. A hybrid design in corridors allows installation of primary modules and services before apportioning commences. This bespoke detail allows out-of-sequence construction while maintaining the integrity of the wall structure. It also eliminates the need to work around services and resolves access issues.

The Pinderfields project also includes Knauf Drywall’s Shaftwall system, framed column encasement system, and MF Suspended Ceiling system. Knauf Drywall’s Performer range has system specifications optimised for the most common requirements in residential, commercial, educational and healthcare applications – as well as providing solutions for customised specifications. Optimised solutions are also available in Knauf Drywall’s other partition systems – Easybuild (residential), Silent Spacesaver (high sound resistance with minimum thickness), Isolator (for extremely high sound performance). Full details of all systems are available in The Complete Drywall Manual and online at

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. For further information ring the Knauf Drywall Literature Line (0870) 0613 700 or visit

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