Full speed ahead

For apartment blocks overlooking the exposed Bristol Channel, getting things watertight fast was essential

Knauf’s SFS infill panels helped speed construction of Ninety4 on the Bristol Channel
Knauf’s SFS infill panels helped speed construction of Ninety4 on the Bristol Channel

The final phase of Bristol Ninety4, Crest Nicholson’s residential development in Portishead on the Bristol Channel, was built using SFS infill panels from Knauf for speed and quality of construction.

Located alongside Port Marine marina, the 94 one- and two-bedroom apartments are spread across three concrete-framed blocks, raked in ascending order from four to six storeys. The apartments overlook the Bristol Channel and, because they face north, have a panoramic view of both Severn Bridges.

‘It went up with terrific speed,’ says Crest Nicholson’s site manager, Dominic Hampton. ‘The whole project went very well and the Knauf facades team provided excellent technical support in the initial stages, observing the fitting and checking detailing. In particular they did full checks to ensure the whole infill remained secure.’

Knauf SFS infill system has advantages over alternative SIPS and traditional SFS systems because it can meet performance specifications for structural, thermal, fire and acoustic levels and remain competitively priced. It is lightweight, flexible in design, and can accommodate a number of different external finishes without compromising its core performance levels.

The SFS system can be installed from inside the building.
The SFS system can be installed from inside the building.

The SFS panels are constructed from floor to soffit of the primary structural frame, effectively infilling the external wall, and are insulated on both the internal and external faces. The external face carries 125mm of insulation which is protected by a rainscreen panel finished with Knauf Render Systems.

An advantage of this system is that the SFS can be installed from the inside of the building without the need for external scaffolding, which cuts costs, and it can be installed in all weather conditions – particularly useful for this project which started on its coastal site in January.

Using SFS also cuts down the overall build programme because it rapidly produces a dry weatherproof envelope that enables internal works to start, while its galvanised and zinc coating offers protection to the structure. Offsite prefabrication not only ensures consistent quality and attention to detail but also minimises waste as each section is produced to order and cut to the required length.


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