In a plethora of school projects across the country there has been an increase in

requirements for both better acoustic performance and underfloor heating solutions that are more responsive

Screeded floors can take a lot of time to heat up large class rooms and then retain the heat when temperatures outside have risen, thus leading to windows needing to be opened. The aim then is to have more responsive systems that can still handle the rigours of a school environment such as extruded polystyrene UFH panels under screed boards.

Fast installation

Installing a high-density gypsum panel flooring system can significantly reduce development build times by removing the drying times associated with wet screed floors.

A recent time analysis study showed that dry screed flooring could save between four to eight weeks on a build programme.

Dry-fix solutions

Most high-density gypsum panel flooring systems have an interlocking edge detail, not all of which require screws – which provides further time saving benefits. Once installed it accepts foot traffic immediately. Workers are able to install ceramic tiles, carpets and vinyl flooring two hours after applying the adhesive.

A high-density gypsum panel typically weighs 25 kg in comparison to 130 kg for sand cement screed, or 80 kg for 40 mm of


anhydrite screed. Utilising a lighter system can reduce the weight of the structure, which can reduce the number of piles required to support the building.

Underfloor heating

A high-density gypsum panel has low thermal resistance, and its thin profile allows an underfloor heating system to respond quicker, reducing energy needs and lowering running costs. This makes it an ideal solution over screed, particularly where large room volumes are involved.

Educational environments High-density gypsum panel systems also offer significant logistical benefits through fewer site deliveries. For example, 22 lorry loads would be required to transport 250 cubic metres of traditional wet screed for a 50-unit building; in contrast, only four lorry loads carrying 40 cubic metres of a high-density gypsum panel would be required for the same building.

Underfloor heating within a school environment is ideal; it’s hidden heating, which gives design freedom with clean lines and even controllable comfort.

Mark Crowsley is technical business development manager at Cellecta


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