Home Insulation ROCKWOOL helps transform former brownfield redevelopment in Rochdale 

ROCKWOOL helps transform former brownfield redevelopment in Rochdale 

Rochdale Upperbanks is a regeneration project delivered by Rochdale Development Agency on behalf of Rochdale Borough Council, with Willmott Dixon acting as the main contractors. It is situated next to the new Rochdale Riverside retail and leisure development in the town centre. Built on the location of a former health centre and car dealership, the development brings new life to a formerly disused brownfield site.

The Upperbanks scheme comprises 242 studio, one-bed and two-bed apartments, all with balconies, housed in two nine-storey apartment blocks and a 146-room Hampton by Hilton Hotel, which opened in September this year.

To help build comfortable living spaces in a busy town centre, the new apartments were designed with added protection against noise pollution. The location also brought additional challenges like access and restricted on-site storage space for building materials and machinery.

Because the buildings are higher than 18 metres, the materials used in the façade had to be non-combustible in line with Approved Document B (ADB). This project commenced before further statutory guidance was introduced to ADB in December 2022 for residential buildings (purpose groups 1 & 2) above 11metres. Aiming to optimise energy efficiency and create a healthy environment for the buildings’ occupants, an ambitious thermal performance target of 0.15 W/m2K was also set.

More than 5,000 square metres of ROCKWOOL insulation was specified by the architects for the whole façade system.

RainScreen Duo Slab is a stone wool insulation product specifically developed for use within ventilated cladding systems and sealed systems such as curtain walling. Manufactured using Dual Density technology, the outer surface of each slab features a higher density than the underside. This provides a firm and robust surface for the application of fixings, while the resilient underside can accommodate unevenness in the substrate. RainScreen Duo Slab also has a Euroclass reaction to fire rating of A1 – the highest available.

Other ROCKWOOL products installed included RWA45 and Soffit Slabs, which also boast a Euroclass A1 classification. Multiple-purpose, RWA45  can be applied to an array of general building applications providing acoustic, thermal and fire protection of partition walls, ceilings, floors and roofs. ROCKWOOL Soffit Slab is purpose-designed for concrete soffits giving thermal insulation and acoustic absorption and up to 4 hours’ fire protection. 

The specification team at ROCKWOOL was actively involved in the whole process from the start. It prepared the required U-value calculations and advised on the correct combination and installation of insulation products to ensure the fire safety of the building including the use of ROCKWOOL cavity barriers and firestopping products. 

The ROCKWOOL team also worked with the architects to achieve the best possible acoustic performance by managing the acoustic calculations and recommending the most efficient slab thickness.

Working closely with the distributor, the team also arranged just-in-time delivery of materials to the site to help manage the storage space restrictions.

Upperbanks is part of a wider £400m transformation of Rochdale town centre, turning the former brownfield site into new, comfortable and safe homes and contributing to a vibrant town centre atmosphere.


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