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Editor's Note: Knauf Drywall

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KNAUF Brio Dry Screed ‘The Best With Underfloor Heating’

Underfloor heating works better with Knauf Drywall Brio Dry Floor Screed on top – that’s the verdict from leading UFH manufacturer Nu-Heat, and the reason lightweight Knauf Brio was specified for 63 extra care apartments in a low-carbon community development at Madeley, Staffordshire. Knauf Brio is precision engineered gypsum fibreboard with key advantages over traditional wet screeds – including high thermal transparency, which makes it the ideal complement to UFH systems.

The Lottery funded project at Furnace Lane, Madeley, will make a range of community services available to people in Newcastle-under-Lyme’s rural areas. On the site of the former village hall, Scout hut and a derelict care home, the new development includes the 63 two-bedroom apartments, which Housing 21 is offering to over 55s for rent, shared ownership or outright purchase, and a new 200-seat community hall with solar panels, ground source heat pump and a ‘green’ roof. The Madelely Centre, due for completion at the end of 2010, will also have a café, library facilities and rooms for community organisations. Main contractor is Midlands-based Thomas Vale Construction. The Nu-Heat UFH system was installed by SPI npower, the energy group’s specialist mechanical and electrical installation and maintenance services business.

In the three storey, timber frame apartment building 2,700m2 of 18mm Knauf Brio is used in all the apartments and communal areas. It is laid directly over 14mm Nu-Heat Fastflo® tubing in aluminium ClippaPlate diffusers on resilient battens.

Nu-Heat Project Manager Andrew Butt says: “Knauf Brio is so much quicker to install than wet screed and it also performs a better service – with Brio on top it takes less time and less heat energy to get to the right temperature. This means we can provide a UFH solution which uses less energy and reduces CO2 emissions – attractive in both economic and environmental terms.”

He says the Knauf Brio/UFH solution used in the acoustic floating floor at Madeley meets Robust Detail requirements, and therefore does not need independent acoustic testing. “The acoustic properties of this floor construction are maintained by the fact that the UFH components are suspended by the diffuser plates and used in conjunction with Knauf Brio – It is the only gypsum board to be used with UFH, due to its excellent thermal characteristics.”

Easy to handle 1,200 x 600mm Knauf Drywall Brio panels are simply laid in new or refurbished buildings on top of UFH systems – or on uneven subfloors with Brio Dry Bulk Leveller, if necessary. The precisely machined overlapping edges are glued and screwed together, and the completed floor can be subjected to traffic within hours, as soon as the glue has hardened. The firm, level Knauf Brio floor can be finished with a variety of floorcoverings

Thomas Vale Group is a leading provider of construction services, operating from key regional centres across the Midlands. The company began in 1869 when Thomas Vale designed and built the unique cast iron bridge spanning the River Severn at Stourport, Worcestershire. It is now one of the largest privately owned construction companies in the Midlands.

Housing 21 has been around for nearly 50 years, and was originally part of the Royal British Legion. It is now a leading provider of housing, care and health options for older people. It is one of the five biggest providers of care services, managing more than 17,400 sheltered, extra care apartments and bungalows in over 400 schemes across 239 local authority areas. Extra care housing provides residents with their own home in a communal scheme where 24 hour care and support services are available should they need them. Just like sheltered housing, Housing 21’s extra care properties are in groups of self-contained apartments, built around communal areas or “courts”.

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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