Partition and lining systems from Knauf Drywall provide the acoustic, thermal and fire resistance performance for a major redevelopment in the Vale of Glamorgan, involving a 17th century stately home, a former mental health facility, and a hotel, sports and leisure complex. And as a reliable support for quality, Knauf Drywall’s Aquapanel tile backer is used in bathrooms, showers and other wet areas.
The phased project, costing more than £50 million, is an initiative being developed and built by the Llantrisant-based Leekes retail and leisure group. Leekes Project Manager Gareth Skeet says Knauf Drywall systems are specified throughout the current works. “We have used these systems in the past and appreciate the help we get with technical matters, and acoustic testing,” he says. “By using proven systems we can ensure that we deliver a quality project, meeting all regulatory requirements.”
The group is currently completing a 500-seat conference centre with a new restaurant and sports bar alongside its successful 146-bedroom Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort at Hensol, near Cardiff. In the adjoining grounds of the Grade I listed Hensol Castle, the group is developing 59 luxury apartments in the shells of nine dormitory buildings which housed patients of a former psychiatric hospital. This project uses Knauf Drywall products sourced through Sheffield Insulations, Cardiff. New 210mm separating walls are constructed with twin frames of 70mm Knauf ‘C’ studs,100mm Knauf Crown Partition Roll, and two layers of 15mm Knauf Wallboard on each side to achieve 63dB RW and 60 minutes’ fire resistance. Partitions consist of 70mm Knauf ‘C’ studs, 25mm Knauf Crown Partition Roll, and two layers of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on each side for 52dB RW sound reduction between rooms. In ‘wet’ areas, such as showers, 12.5mm Knauf Aquapanel is used to support ceramic tile finishes – and prevent tile failures.
Existing masonry separating walls are lined with 25mm Knauf Crown Partition Roll and two layers of 12.5mm Knauf Soundshield on 60mm Knauf ‘I’ studs. Existing masonry or limestone external walls have been upgraded to modern thermal standards by lining with 60mm Knauf Phenolic Laminate on 60mm Knauf ‘I’ studs, to achieve a U-value of 0.35.
Gareth Skeet says Hensol Castle, a castellated mansion in Gothic style, will become the core of a new five-star hotel and spa complex. Further plans for the 660 acre site include a centre of sporting excellence – with a training and administrative base for the Welsh Rugby Football Union, the Football Association of Wales, Cardiff City and the Cardiff Blues Rugby Club.
The Leekes Group, now headed by Gerald Leeke, began as a traditional builders merchants in the Rhondda in 1897, and remains a family owned business with a chain of department stores, specialising in home improvement. In 1994 it diversified into the leisure industry with the acquisition of the golf club at Hensol, and subsequently developed the Vale Hotel, Golf and Spa Resort. It acquired the adjoining Hensol Castle estate in 2003.
Knauf Drywall manufactures a full range of plasters, plasterboards, insulating laminates, drywall accessories, metal sections and steel building systems, for domestic and commercial applications. Recently Knauf Drywall introduced the UK industry’s first carbon neutral plasterboard, 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.