The use of a technologically-advanced floor screeding product has helped to save approximately 135 man-days on a long-awaited regeneration project.

Marsh Farm Estate in North Luton is now in its final year of construction. It was once notorious for its 1960s style high rises, poor living conditions and anti-social behaviour. Blighted by two bouts of rioting over 20 years ago, the area never really recovered and quickly fell into decay and social decline.

Fast-forward two years into the three-year £23m regeneration plan and main contractors Engie Regeneration and social landlords Luton Borough Council say that residents are already queuing up to rebuild roots within the area.

TEKFLOOR Limited worked alongside screeding, drylining and plastering contractor, M.P. Drywall on phase three of this project. The third phase saw the construction of 93 modern, energy-efficient homes; a complement to the 24 residential flats and six retail units that were constructed as part of the first two phases.

Headed up by Director Mark McIntyre, M.P. Drywall was contracted to undertake the screeding and external render element of the build; and chose TEKFLOOR as one of their main strategic supply partners.

Mark said: “With just over 4300m² of screed and 800m² of render required, this was a decent-sized job for us.

“The main contractor had a strict completion schedule and given the cold, damp weather conditions we’d been suffering we knew that we needed to find a solution that would help simplify and speed-up our installation processes; all without compromising on what our company is renowned for − a top- quality install.

“Our supply partner had to do more than just deliver bagged product to site. We needed to find a company that could advise us on the specification and support us technically; a company we could trust to do exactly what they said they would do.”

Mark explained that an anhydrite floor screed was originally specified. However, he raised concerns with the main contractor about using this type of system on such a time- restricted project.

He went on to explain how anhydrite screeds are generally batched at a ready-mix plant, which meant that his specialist applicators would have zero control over potential batching errors. So, he had to find a reliable company that could provide a constant flow of accurately batched screed, since delays on site would have catastrophic results.

Due to the nature of the product, Mark also realised that an anhydrite screed would need sanding back to remove laitance; a skin that forms on the surface of the screed. Failure to remove the laitance would prevent the surface of the screed from drying out properly, causing the screed to fail. Regrettably, laitance cannot be removed until 7-10 days (dependent on temperature) after the pouring of the screed. This was time he couldn’t afford to waste as he knew from past experience that within this time, follow-on trades would load out the floors

with their own materials such as plasterboard and architraves making the sanding process virtually impossible. Furthermore, these types of screeds need to be sealed prior to the use of cement-based latex and adhesives; a hidden extra that Mark said is not often costed for.

Mark commented: “Within just a few minutes of speaking to the guys at TEKFLOOR, they offered me the perfect solution.”

TEKFLOOR suggested using their TEKCEM DURASCREED system in conjunction with a HD10 Acoustic Layer.

DURASCREED is a high-strength proprietary screed hardening additive which is perfect for this type of application. The material is site batched, so when used in conjunction with proprietary screed mixtures, all quality control elements are maintained in-situ by the specialist screeding contractor.

The ultra-fast setting properties of DURASCREED allows for foot trafficking after just 24 hours; giving follow-on trades non-restricted access the site much earlier.

Another benefit of DURASCREED is that it can be laid in a floating configuration at as little as 35mm, which can provide a considerable weight saving compared to other screeding systems. | 13

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