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.
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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.