The Farrat team takes a tour of the new Everyman Cinema site in Altrincham

Farrat site visit to the new Everyman cinema currently being built in Altrincham

Last week, we took our team on a tour of the new Everyman Cinema being built in our hometown, Altrincham.

It’s not often that Farrat design, manufacture and supply acoustic isolation for a project so close to home, so it was fantastic to get a first-look at the site in construction.

The boutique cinema is set to open this winter and will house four screens and a bar/restaurant on the first floor, with two retail/leisure units – spanning 4,000 sq ft and 5,000 sq ft – at ground level.

Accessible both from New Market Square and George Street, this will be the second cinema in Altrincham after Vue on Denmark Street and the first to incorporate a high-performance sound insulation system manufactured by Farrat.

Using our experience from over 200 cinema projects, Farrat supplied a fully-integrated system to acoustically isolate each auditorium, including;

The system is currently being installed by the appointed fit-out contractor, G F Holding.

Farrat Lightweight Partition Isolation installed at Everyman Cinema, Altrincham
Installation of Farrat Lightweight Partition Isolation begins at Everyman Cinema, Altrincham

When asked about the Altrincham project, Everyman Chief Executive Crispin Lilly said:

“Our focus is really on experience. We aim to make every guest’s visit special no matter what they choose to watch, and make them fall in love with a night at the cinema.”

Farrat are pleased to help Everyman create this immersive experience.

Specification details for the Farrat systems used in this project are available on RIBA NBS here.

To learn more about Farrat solutions for isolating cinemas, read our range of Cinema resources here.

Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks used to isolate eight-storey steel-framed office block targeting ‘WELL Building Gold Standard’

‘Duke Street’ is an eight-storey office development, which forms part of the much wider St James’s redevelopment – a major 10-year investment programme that will revitalise the renowned central London area with a new public square, offices, retail outlets and high quality residences.

The building will provide 3,234m² of office accommodation, spread over six upper floors with two levels of retail offering 1,034m² of space. The project aims to achieve BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ for its commercial floors, BREEAM ‘Very Good’ for its retail zone, and as a whole, is targeting a WELL Building Gold Standard rating for its shell and core. The latter certification recognises the building has been designed as a healthy and productive space for its future occupants.

Farrat were approached by the Steelwork Contractor to supply thermal breaks to sit between steel connections within the structure. The building’s substructure is formed with concrete, and the main steel frame begins at basement level one, with the majority of the steel frame’s connections via fin plates. The thermal breaks were required to act as thermal insulators within the frame, to reduce the risk of thermal bridging and internal condensation.

Our high-strength Structural Thermal Break material was selected, offering the optimum combination of Compressive Strength and Thermal Conductivity. The plates were then precision-cut to the bespoke length, width and hole configurations required.

32 Duke Street - courtesy of New Steel Construction
32 Duke Street - courtesy of New Steel Construction

Duke Street is due to complete in Spring 2019.

For more information on the WELL Building Standard, download the guide here.

For material properties, design advice and specification details for Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks, please click here.

Farrat high-strength Structural Thermal Breaks used in Manchester Airport’s new ‘Super Terminal’ Balustrade System

Manchester Airport’s £1bn expansion of Terminal 2 is recognised as the biggest single construction project ever to take place in Greater Manchester.

Set for completion in 2020, the expansion known as ‘Super Terminal’, aims to facilitate faster check-in and security checks, as well as a speedier journey through immigration and baggage claim.

Manchester Airport Terminal 2 Progress
Image: Vince Cole

Farrat were approached by the Special Access Consultant to assist with the design, manufacture and supply of a high-strength thermal break that could be used within the Terminal Balustrade System, to prevent condensation and reduce energy loss.

Farrat supplied our highest grade Structural Thermal Breaks as pier bracket backing plates, which were integrated into the hand railing system throughout the Terminal.

Farrat Structural Thermal Break Plate in-situ on balustrade conneciton at Manchester Airport Terminal 2
Manchester Airport Terminal 2 balustrade with Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks installed to prevent cold bridging

Farrat Structural Thermal Break are manufactured from materials specifically developed for use within the building envelope; each of our material grades (Farrat TBK and Farrat TBL) have British Board of Agrément Certification [BBA] and every order is accompanied with a Certificate of Conformance. This means that designers and clients can have complete confidence in the product.

Designers can download specification details for each material grade from RIBA NBS or by contacting our Technical Team here.

Farrat Thermal Breaks chosen as thermal insulators for IKEA’s new ‘leading sustainability store’ in Greenwich

IKEA Greenwich Facade - rendered image courtesy of IKEA
IKEA Greenwich Facade - rendered image courtesy of IKEA

Targeting a BREEAM Excellent accreditation, Ikea Greenwich will be the retailer’s first full-sized London store built in 13 years and will incorporate multiple green technologies in a drive for sustainability; photovoltaic panels, rainwater harvesting and renewable materials will all be used in its construction.

Farrat were contacted during the design phase by the Steelwork Contractor to manufacture thermal breaks for use between several steel connections within the building envelope, such as steel columns and raking glulam struts, which provide vertical support and longitudinal stability to a large external canopy.

Farrat manufactured the Structural Thermal Breaks from an economical and extremely effective thermal break plate material that is BBA certificated and designed to meet Building Regulations, by way of reducing heat loss and the risk of condensation. The plates were precision cut to a tight tolerance from the contractor’s fabrication drawings and supplied direct to site.

For specification details, download from RIBA NBS here.

Why choose Farrat for Acoustic Isolation of Ramps?

Ramps are a common architectural feature where there are acoustic floating floors. Transitioning from the build-up height of the acoustic floating floor back to the structural slab level, is usually far cheaper than raising the level of all adjoining floors.

Ramp detailing may seem straightforward, however it is the installation item that most commonly features on snagging lists.

Using our experience from over 200 cinema projects, Farrat has out-designed the common causes of installation defects to provide the most robust, acoustically isolated ramp detail possible. Careful consideration has been given to ease of installation and durability, as well as the interfaces and thresholds to ensure longevity, even under very heavy foot-traffic.

Example of a poorly designed ramp detail
Isolated Ramp Detail, designed by Farrat
Completed Farrat Ramp Detail

Providing acoustic isolation to a ramp in this way allows the highest possible levels of acoustic isolation to be maintained, despite reducing build-up height availability, as the full acoustic floating floor transitions to a lower non-isolated floor. Once finished with an appropriate covering (carpet or vinyl) it can be heavily trafficked without risk to the integrity of the screed or transition interfaces.

Visit our Acoustic Isolation of Ramps page here or download the Application Guide for help with designing a fully isolated Ramp detail.

Other useful Farrat resources related to Ramp isolation include:

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Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks used to affix external signage at £27.5M Elekta ‘Centre of Excellence’

Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks used to affix external signage at £27.5M Elekta Head Office

The ‘Centre of Excellence’ scheme is adjacent to and will integrate with, Elekta’s existing UK headquarters in the Manor Royal Business District on a five acre site, combining both its research and development team, and its global product support and administration functions, which will integrate into the new premises. The project was master-planned by architects R H Partnership.

Farrat were approached by the client, to provide a Structural Thermal Break that could be used to isolate the connection between the external signage and the building frame, to reduce thermal bridging.

Farrat manufactured and supplied Farrat TBK plates, which were precision cut to a tight tolerance from the customers’ fabrication drawings. This is the first time structural thermal breaks have been used on a connection of this nature.

As the flagship office scheme in the Manor Royal Business District, ‘Cornerstone’ is a new commercial development that has been pre-let to Elektra, a global leader in the development of state-of-the-art tools and treatment planning systems used across the spectrum of cancer care.

For more information on how Farrat TBK can be used for facades, click here.

For specification details of Farrat TBK, download from RIBA NBS here.

Employers from across the North West came together yesterday to wear green ribbons in a new drive to end the stigma of talking about mental health in the workplace.

The ‘This is Me launch was held at the Hilton Deansgate yesterday morning (Monday 14th), with the Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, in full support as guest speaker.

The campaign launch coincided with the start of Mental Health Awareness Week and aims to challenge the stigma around mental health at work. ‘This is Me’ was initially created by Barclays in association with the Lord Mayor’s Appeal in the City of London and this is the first time the campaign has been launched outside the capital.

Businesses including PwC, Barclays, Sellafield and United Utilities stood alongside Farrat and other North West organisations in support of the campaign, demonstrating a regional commitment to ensuring employee’s mental wellbeing and positive mental health in the workplace.

Karen Johnson, Head of Large Corporates for Barclays in the North West and joint organiser of the event, said:

“Approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK experience a mental health problem each year and by 2030 the estimated cost of staff mental health related issues is set to rise to £32.7 billion.

As responsible businesses we all have an obligation to get involved and take an active interest in the wellbeing of our staff whilst creating environments where those in need can get the help and support required both now and in the future.”

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester and guest speaker, said:

“Good mental health is fundamental to all our lives – an essential and precious resource that needs to be protected and enhanced. That’s why I’m pleased to be supporting This is Me, which is now being rolled out across Greater Manchester – showing once again how we are leading the way by being the first city region outside of London to adopt the campaign.

“In Greater Manchester, we know that poor mental health has a huge impact on the quality of people’s lives. It also presents a major challenge to increasing business productivity. For these reasons, improving workplace mental health plays a key role in our ambitions for improved wellbeing and growth across the city region.

This Is Me NW Launch - Guest Speaker Andy Burnham (GM Mayor)
This Is Me NW Launch - Guest Speaker Andy Burnham (GM Mayor)
The Green Ribbon Campaign
The Green Ribbon Campaign to #endthestigma

Charlene Giles, Mental Health First Aider at Farrat, attended the launch and commented:

“Farrat is a responsible employer that is dedicated to safeguarding the health and wellbeing of all of our employees. We believe that the ‘This Is Me’ North West campaign is an excellent tool, which can be used by organisations to build an open and supportive culture that encourages conversations about mental health. We are excited to explore how we can integrate the campaign into our own Mental Health & Wellbeing strategy. ”

To find out more about the ‘This is Me’ campaign please click here.
For more updates, follow us on  Twitter and LinkedIn.

Farrat Concrete Floating Floors and PLAS System used to isolate new 13-screen Empire Cinema and Bowling Alley, at The Buttermarket in Ipswich.

The Buttermarket Shopping Centre in Ipswich was recently re-developed by Maeve Contractors, working with Unick Architects, to include a brand new 13-Screen Empire cinema including an IMAX screen and a bowling alley.

Farrat acoustic isolation systems Farrat Concrete Floating Floors‘ and ‘PLAS Lightweight Partition Isolation Strips‘ were used in the cinema to achieve a Natural Frequency of 12Hz and Ambient Noise Level (inside auditoria) of NR25. Following successful completion of the cinema project, Farrat was also selected to provide the Acoustic Floating Floor for the bowling alley, achieving a Natural Frequency of 6Hz.


Farrat Concrete Floating Floors and PLAS System used to isolate new 13-screen Empire Cinema and Bowling Alley, at The Buttermarket in Ipswich.

Ryan Arbabi, Technical Director at Farrat described the challenge;

“We design acoustic isolation systems every day at Farrat, however with applications like this one where you have a cinema (very noise sensitive) and a bowling alley (produces a lot of structure-borne noise) next to each other, it gives us an opportunity to really take advantage of our 55+ years of experience in vibration control. In this project we had an existing building with an unusually high structural fundamental mode, so the natural frequency of the cinema floors were designed to sit above this, and the bowling alley below, keeping all resonances as far away from each other as practically possible – Farrat’s Isomat floating floor isolators give us unparalleled flexibility in doing this, as we are able to choose almost any combination of dynamic stiffness and damping that we like, in a cost effective way”.

For more information on this system, visit our Farrat Concrete Floating Floors page or contact our Technical Team.

Alternately, download the specification from RIBA NBS here.

Farrat work with Kier to deliver 800-seat Theatre and Odeon Cinema, as part of £37.5m state-of-the-art cultural centre in Chester

Farrat design and manufacture an acoustic isolation system for auditorium at Chester Theatre

The largest public building ever constructed in the city, Storyhouse Theatre is a complex design of both old and new; with a redeveloped 1930s art deco Odeon cinema forming one half of the building and an adjoining new-build theater section making up the other.

The 800-seat theatre, which also converts into a 600-seat venue to support Chester-based productions, presented a number of technical challenges to Main Contractor, Kier, who contacted Farrat during the design stage to develop a solution to acoustically isolate the main auditorium, cinema and roof plant deck. The auditorium would be housed in the new building and linked to the existing Grade II listed cinema by open foyer spaces, leading to a library and cinema space.

Therefore, it was critical that noise and vibration were contained at each source to avoid sound disturbing the adjacent acoustically sensitive facilities.

  • Farrat worked with Acoustic Engineer Sandy Brown to design a bespoke Concrete Floating Floor system, taking meticulous attention to detail to create a full area, homogenous slab with minimal flanking for the floors in both auditoriums.
  • An acoustic void depth of 125mm was required, so Farrat supplied our isolators pre-bonded to treated timber battens to speed up the installation.
  • The walls were isolated using six to eight sheets of soundboard, plasterboard and Farrat high-performance sound insulation materials.
Farrat work with Kier to acoustically isolate the Chester Theatre Project

The main contractor installed this project themselves, however Farrat provided installation training, oversight and inspections with regular site visits.

Project Manager, Ian Simms, explained to Construction News that the acoustic tolerances and finding space to fit existing services around the old Odeon structure was a huge challenge. “It’s certainly something I’ve never been involved in before and it’s been a real eye-opener,” he says. He adds that a collaborative approach from the entire team was vital to tackling the intricacies of the listed structure.

For more information on Acoustic Isolation for Concert Halls or Cinemas, download the Application Guides here. For technical details of the Farrat Concrete Floating System click here, or download the NBS specification.

Farrat Levalators used to install CLARA, a Compact Linear Accelerator for Research and Applications at Daresbury Laboratory

CLARA, a Compact Linear Accelerator for Research and Applications, is a new FEL test facility at Daresbury Laboratory in the UK that will act as a major upgrade to the existing RF photoinjector test facility, VELA.

Farrat were asked to supply 16 Levalators for the installation of Module 4 of CLARA. The Levalators required would need to take a 3 Tonne load and level 0.5g acceleration forces in all directions.

CLARA - Compact Linear Accelerator for research and Applications
The Farrat LA04 Levalator was selected as the most suitable machine levelling mount for the particle accelerator, due to it’s high-quality, high-accuracy and robust design. The LA04 offers micrometer type height adjustment and was manufactured for CLARA with a bolt-through connection, to ensure rigidity and accurate levelling.
Farrat LA8 Levalator in-situ at Sci-Tech Daresbury
Farrat Levalators in-situ under Compact Linear Accelerator, Sci-Tech Daresbury 2
More about CLARA – CLARA will generate intense pulses of light in the wavelength range 100nm to 400nm, and it will generate pulse lengths of only a few cycles in the most extreme ultrashort pulse demonstration – equivalent to sub-attosecond in the X-ray region.

The ultimate aim of CLARA is to develop a normal-conducting test accelerator (delivering approximately 250 MeV electron beam energy), able to generate longitudinally and transversely bright electron bunches, and to use these bunches in the experimental production of stable, synchronized, ultra-short photon pulses of coherent light from a single pass FEL, using techniques directly applicable to the future generation of light source facilities.

Dimension Convention Used – Module 4 - CLARA Machine
To learn more about CLARA, please visit the official Science and Technology Facilities Council website. For more information on using Farrat Levalators to install and level machinery, view the full product range here.