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New Party Wall Design Successfully Tested by CERAM

CERAM has successfully tested a new party wall design for compliance with Part E of the Building Regulations for its client the Brick Development Association.

Despite the long history of use of brickwork in party walling, there is a need for brick manufacturers to address the issue of the new requirements of the Regulations. As a result the Brick Development Association commissioned CERAM to test a new design.

The test was carried out in the new purpose built test facility at CERAM in which the wall was built between standardised transmitting and receiving rooms. The test equipment was of the latest design and supplied by Brüel and Kjaer.

Part E was amended in 2004 due to the increased level of complaints about poor acoustic performance of party walls in dwellings. As a result we have seen the introduction of pre-completion testing on site of new dwellings and the development of “robust standard details”. These are details that have been subjected to tests at thirty different locations and consistently meet the sound reduction requirements set out in the Regulations.

CERAM’s Building Technology Division (CBT) not only has the latest equipment for testing, but also employs a highly qualified and experienced team of experts who can quickly interpret results and give advice on product development.

Geoff Edgell, Division Manager, CERAM Building Technology, commented; “Part E is viewed by many brick and associated products manufacturers as a stumbling block for developing suitable products for flats, however, we have been able to work with many customers, such as the BDA, to help develop innovative compliant solutions.”

The work for the BDA was to test a new design, essentially that of a cavity wall without ties between the leaves and a 50mm cavity filled with the masonry mortar as the work proceeded.

The result exceeded expectations showing a sound reduction of 51dB compared to the regulatory requirement of 45dB.

Michael Driver, Chief Executive of the BDA said; “This work shows that it is possible to satisfy the requirements of Part E and still have the advantages of fair-faced brickwork, a maintenance free finish that is attractive and robust. The wall is easy to erect and will give consistent performance because it does not rely on a sandwich of different materials to meet the regulations.”

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