Virgin Active Centre
Project: Virgin Active Centre, Preston, Lancashire
Type of works: erection of floating dividing wall allowing 135mm head deflection
Architect: Watson Design, Leeds
Contractor: Wilmot Dixon
Drylining sub-contractor: GCG
The building is the first of a series of 22 planned Virgin Active Leisure Centres and the project called for a dividing wall of Gyproc Jumbo 146mm metal-stud separating wall which separated the pool activities and treatment rooms from the gymnasium, dance studio and library. Sub-division partitions on either side formed the various activity rooms.
The main division wall could not be attached to the lightweight roof structure which was designed to allow a deflection of 135mm under wind uplift forces and snow loading.
The solution was to construct an inverted U shape using a matrix of Metsec purlins covered with 15mm Glasroc S to create a track into which the head of the dividing partition was cantilevered across the pool at high level. The use of 12.5mm Gyproc Multi-Board, together with a cavity infill of 25mm Isowool 1200, provided the necessary performance, giving 60 minutes' fire resistance, an Rw figure of 51dB.