Floors - Acoustics

Icopal System More than pays for itself

in cutting acoustic costs

With the ongoing uplift in the new build residential property market, and a drive by Government to build more affordable housing, house builders looking for cost reductions on current developments can achieve ‘significant’ savings using Bridgestop - a Robust Detail approved system from the Monarfloor Acoustic Systems division of Icopal that also offers maximum credits for sound insulation.

Developed by a joint venture between Monarfloor and the Building Performance Centre at Edinburgh Napier University, Bridgestop was launched as a response to the growing number of new-build homes now being constructed on brownfield sites where ground conditions may require raft foundations or gas barriers. Part E of the Building Regulations does not allow the construction of separating party cavity walls of continual slabs, such as raft foundations. Having to split the slab at the party wall adds a significant cost to the foundation.

The high-performance Bridgestop membrane reduces flanking transmission while the Bridgestop quit prevents acoustic bridging commonly caused by a mortar build-up or insulation full fill in the cavity within separating party-cavity walls. The membrane can also act as methane and radon barriers or protect such barriers from the damage that can occur when site operatives remove the mortar from the base of the walls during the build.

It does this by isolating both masonry leaves of the cavity party wall from mortar collecting on the raft or continual foundation. Where the slab has to be split and a gas barrier installed, the Bridgestop membrane ensures the integrity of the gas membrane from potential damage.

Research by Monarfloor has already shown significant cost savings can be made in materials and labour because the party walls only require plasterboard of 8kg/m2 saving 4.5kg/m2

instead of 12.5kg2 of gypsum-based board per m2

for solid Part E solution walls, . Time is also saved

through easier detailing for step and stagger constructions. Savings have been demonstrated to make the Bridgestop system cost neutral.

One of the largest foundation engineering companies in the UK, has demonstrated additional benefits when clients specify the Bridgestop system along separating walls used in conjunction with their precast foundation system.

The isolation of the separating wall at ground floor level allows the foundation to be installed higher out of the ground than that for a separating wall being built to the Robust Detail alternative with a 225mm cavity below ground floor.

When the developer is using Bridgestop, the savings alone from the supply and installation of the reduced under build, which can be as much as £22 per metre, would more than cover the cost of the Bridgestop system at approximately £15 per metre.

Also, depending on the number of separating walls, there can be significant additional cost and time savings from less excavation and spoil, and being able to offer a less complicated foundation solution.

Bridgestop is laid in the cavity between the separating walls and folded around to bridge the gap at the base. Acoustically-resilient wall ties hold it in place with a special cap on the first course of brickwork. A second layer is then held in place by new wall ties on the second course of brickwork.

Bridgestop’s properties have high acoustic damping to absorb more sound energy and reduce structural flanking, performing approximately 4-5dB better than solid walls and 8dB better than standard Robust Detail E-WM- 4 walls. Through many years of use a number of national and regional house builders are achieving 53dB (mean value) - a four-credit solution whilst benefitting from the flexibility Bridgestop System offers.

In addition to separating party cavity walls within attached housing Bridgestop is now commonly used within multi-rise developments as its isolation gives lots of design flexibility which wouldn’t normally be possible. Examples of these are isolating steel within separating floors where a party wall is to be constructed off them, and allowing continual separating floors running through party cavity walls. The design flexibility also brings with it additional cost savings.

MONARFLOOR TEL: 0843 224 7400


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