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.

Six storey development project in Glasgow achieves energy efficient design with the help of Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks

Milverton Grange is new build 6-storey residential development located in Newton Mearns, Glasgow.

Developed by Mactaggart & Mickel, materials and design were considered very carefully on this project so that the building remained in keeping with the local neighbourhood, using a brick exterior with timber detailing cladding, shallow pitched roofs with zinc cladding and glass balcony frontages. Special consideration was also given to sustainable design, with the intention to provide high-quality, energy efficient homes that will continue to be efficient throughout their lifetime.

Farrat were approached to assist with the design, manufacture and supply of a suitable thermal break that could be used across several connection types throughout the building envelope, including steel-to-steel and steel-to-concrete. Farrat TBK was selected as the most economical and effective solution to meeting Building Regulations, and was used between columns, outrigger details and balconies to prevent condensation and reduce energy loss.

For more information on using Farrat TBK, click here.

To download specification details, visits RIBA NBS here.

Grade II listed building in Sheffield is transformed into multi-screen cinema, using three high-performance sound insulation systems developed by Farrat.

Housed in the historic former Sheffield Bank Headquarters, a three-screen auditorium cinema has been built inside an existing listed building by Curzon Cinema Group. Farrat were approached by the Architect, Unick, early in the design and specification stage following working together on similar Curzon Cinema projects in the past, to design a suitable box-in-box acoustic isolation system that was sympathetic to both the beautiful architectural features of the old building that were to be retained and it’s structural load capacity.

The design intent by was for all of the internal architectural features and finishes of the old bank to be retained; with Auditoria 1 to feature the large double height volume of the main bank hall and Auditoria 2 and 3 to be constructed within the confines of the existing primary structure.  Above the auditoriums would be a bar with direct access to a south facing roof terrace which would include the provision for outdoor screening. Therefore acoustic isolation of the floors, seating and internal walls was essential to ensure that noise and vibration from each auditorium was contained at source.

Due to the retro-fit nature of the project, the structure was not strong enough to support the weight of a concrete cinema structure typically used, so Farrat’s Lightweight Floating Floor system and Raked Seating Isolation (TISS) system were selected as the most suitable solutions. Farrat Lightweight Partition Isolation (PLAS) was also built into the design to reduce auditoria to auditoria flanking noise.

Curzon Cinema project integrating three high-perofrmance sound insulation systems engineered and manufactured by Farrat

For technical details of each of the high-performance sound insulation systems used in this project, please click our resources the below:

For specification details, please download from RIBA NBS here.

Farrat Structural Thermal Breaks used in the award-winning £2m Cadogan Café regeneration project

Cadogan Cafe, Duke of York Square, London

Cadogan Cafe is part of the major £2m regeneration project in Duke of York Square, London.

The new Café building was designed by NEX Architecture in collaboration with AKT II and sits between several listed buildings opposite Saatchi Gallery, replacing the existing central café with a much larger model.

A significant feature of the design is a Grade I-listed wall, which curves to within 3 m of the café’s lightweight steel frame superstructure. Farrat were approached to supply a structural thermal break material that could be used in pre-cast concrete and fitted to curved stairs.

Farrat manufactured & supplied 25mm Structural Thermal Break plates for this project, using our high strength TBL material.

Farrat TBL is a BBA (British Board of Agrément) certificated structural thermal insulator, specifically developed for use within the building envelope to reduce heat loss and prevent condensation.

For more information on Farrat TBL, read our Design Guide here.

To download the specification, visit RIBA NBS here.

Farrat AISS system integrated into the steel frame of new IMAX cinema to accommodate superior sound quality.

Farrat AISS system used to isolate steelwork at Cineworld IMAX cinema in Leeds

Cineworld Cinemas Ltd have opened a new 11 screen state-of-the-art  IMAX cinema in Leeds as part of a four year purpose built retail scheme at White Rose Shopping Centre. The new build, which features the biggest IMAX screen in the country (24 m x 30 m), incorporates the Farrat AISS system to facilitate acoustic isolation of the steel structure for the new-concept Cineworld layout design.

The AISS system developed by Farrat provides an very high level of structure borne noise and vibration isolation as well as a consistent rate of deflection across the entire steel structure, despite a wide variation in load profiles. On this project, Farrat acoustic isolators were designed to achieve an overall system natural frequency of 14Hz as well as being sized to match the baseplate profile to eliminate the risk of debris bridging the cavity.

For more information on acoustic isolation of steel structures, download our AISS Application Guide.

Or learn more about Acoustic Isolation for Cinemas here.

Over 220 Farrat CR60 Bridge support Pads dispatched to Liberia to isolate the Mount Coffee HPP hydro-electric dam.

Farrat CR60 pads will be used to support emergency spillway bridge slabs to allow for bridge movement

Mount Coffee HPP will be the largest power generating facility in Liberia and will operate as part of the CSLG Power Network, which will be used for interchange of power with neighbouring countries. 

The rehabilitation project, which has been identified by the Government of Liberia as the cornerstone of its objective to expand access to sustainable, affordable, and reliable electricity for its citizens, is located approximately 27 kilometers (km) northeast of Monrovia in Montserrado County, Liberia. The plant was originally designed as a run-of-river scheme with the provision for six units, however the powerhouse was only constructed for four units. The original four units will be rehabilitated using Francis turbines supplied by Voith Hydro (alongside generators and associated electro-mechanical equipment for the powerhouse).

Farrat CR60 pads will be used to support emergency spillway bridge slabs to allow for bridge movement. The first pads were required on site within 3 weeks of the order being placed with Farrat. Needless to say that Farrat delivered ahead of schedule.

Farrat reduce structure borne noise from London Underground trains penetrating new £700m Francis Crick Biomedical Research Institute building

Francis Crick building construction - preparing the Farrat floors before concrete pouring

Francis Crick Institute – the new home of a world leading medical research institute in London – has taken five years to build and was completed in August 2016. It was designed by HOK working with PLP Architecture and constructed by Laing O’Rourke, who was appointed as Main Contractor.

The basement of the building sits over an underground line and houses a large lecture theatre auditorium. Farrat were approached by the Acoustic Consult to design and supply an acoustic flooring system that would provide flanking sound insulation > 55dB DnTw + CTr  at the same time as reducing structure born re-radiated noise from the underground trains.   Farrat’s Concrete Floating Floor system was selected as the most effective solution, achieving 95% isolation at 63Hz with a natural frequency of 12Hz.   A special detail was additionally included, to allow a movable wall to be built through the centre of the auditorium so it could function as one large lecture theatre, or be separated into two smaller auditoria whilst retaining its isolating function and maintaining a high level of sound insulation between the two.

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 raise £500 for G-Force Community Charity to help keep local ‘Brush and a Brew Club’ running

G-Force Brush and a Brew Club visitor

As a family-run business, being an active member of our local community is important to us at Farrat. Recently, we ran a sponsorship event which raised £500 for G-Force Community Charity.

G-Force are a Trafford based charity who provide support, services and development opportunities to those living within the Altrincham ann Trafford community. Their mission is to help improve the quality of life for all residents living in their target communities, with a large focus on connecting, being active, learning and caring.

Following our donation, G-Force visited the Farrat Office to explain how our donation has helped keep their ‘Brush and a Brew Club’ running, as part of their Trafford Mental Health & Isolation initiative. G-Force explained how being valued by others and making connections with those around you is a necessity for everyday functioning. Whether it’s work colleagues, neighbours or friends, creating close social relationships contributes to feeling happy and deflects from ill mental health for people of all ages. By bringing the community together, they aim to help others make those connections. The ‘Brush and a Brew Club’ aims to do just this. The club was begun for those with little or no family or friend connections, whom can become very lonely. 

G-Force understand that regular arts and craft sessions help support the elderly in sheltered housing and community housing in the area. These activities enable the elderly to engage with others, have new and fresh conversations and most of all, enjoy themselves.
It’s not just the elderly who benefit, G-Force also promote these art classes to  young people and adults alike, to engage in crafts to achieve things they never thought possible. Much of the artwork produced is on public display in and around the Timperley and Altrincham areas.

Farrat are proud that our contribution will go towards keeping this club running and will have a lasting impact on those living in our local community.