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A breath of fresh air from British Gypsum

British Gypsum’s ShaftWall system has been used to create a network of horizontal fresh air ventilation ducts for the biggest and most distinctive new courts complex to be built in the UK for more than 100 years.
The unique natural ventilation system circulates air captured by wind scoops on the exterior of the new Manchester Civil Justice Centre. It has helped to win the 16-storey building, designed by Australian architects Denton Corker Marshall, the highest available BREEAM award for environmental impact.
British Gypsum was asked to come up with a sustainable drywall specification for the ductwork, which would sit within the ceiling plenum. Working with Rotherham-based drywall specialist contractors, Horbury Building Systems and Titan Ceilings, they developed a solution based on a horizontal adaptation of their market-leading ShaftWall system.
The ‘ducting’ was suspended from vertical threaded steel rods which were secured into the structural concrete soffits at 1200mm centres. Gypframe metal ‘J’ Channels were fixed at the head and base of each rod to carry a vertical section of 62mm ShaftWall, which sub-divided the ducts and allowed operation within each of the room ventilation systems. The vertical structure in turn supported the horizontal ductwork base, also of 62mm ShaftWall, incorporating 19mm Gyproc CoreBoard and lined with two layers of 15mm Gyproc FireLine.
The finished construction provided a robust air seal plenum which met all of the architect’s operational and low maintenance requirements, as well as providing 120 minutes fire resistance.
Other British Gypsum products for the project include the FireCase steel encasement system, used to provide up to 120 minutes fire protection for the building’s 80-metre high steel frame, and Rigitone 10/23 perforated acoustic ceiling boards, used to reduce reverberation sound and create a subdued acoustic environment in courtrooms and meeting areas.
Dominating the city’s newly redeveloped Springfields business district, the £160 million building is the new north west headquarters for the Department of Constitutional Affairs, providing 47 courtrooms, as well as tribunal and hearing rooms, offices and judges’ quarters.
Bovis Lend Lease is main contractor for the project, which is being developed by Allied London Properties for Her Majesty’s Court Service.

Email: bgtechnical.enquiries@bpb.com


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