Partitions and both load-bearing and non-load-bearing walls aren’t there simply to compartmentalise spaces, creating rooms and corridors; they are also there to prevent the passage of unwanted sound (that’s ‘noise’ to you and me) and, far more importantly, fire, from one compartment to another. Euroform have invested a great deal of resource and expertise in developing their partition and wall products, Versafire and Versapanel.
This is perhaps one of the most complex areas of construction. Partitions and walls can be fabricated from a wide variety of materials — plasterboard, calcium silicate board, perlite board, treated plywood and even treated vegetable fibre board. Euroform’s preference is for Magnesium Oxide board.
Each of these materials has its own properties pertaining to fire and sound resistance, as well as a host of other benefits, such as impact resistance, resistance to rot, moisture etc. However, the properties of the material alone are not sufficient to provide an assurance of its ability to resist either fire or noise. Materials must be tested within a system, and it is the system and product combined that are approved according to Building Regulations — Part B for fire and Part E for acoustics. When selecting or specifying a product for use as a partition or wall, it is vitally important to consider both its fire resistance and its soundproofing capabilities, as it must comply with both sets of regulations.
Partitions and Walls: General Applications
At the simplest level, partitions and walls are easily categorised as:
- External walls
- Wall Linings
Partitions and Walls: Specific Applications
However, the systems within which these products have been tested are far more specific and complex. For example:
- External Steel Framed Load-Bearing Wall
- Metal Non-Load-Bearing Wall
- Timber Non-Load-Bearing-Wall
- Steel/Metal Frame Independent Wall Lining
- External Metal Frame Walling System
- Steel Frame Independent Wall Lining to Pre-Cast Concrete
- Metal Frame Independent Wall Lining to Brickwork
Irrespective of the material used, the partition or wall product employed, must meet with the necessary regulations for the specific requirement demanded of them for the system within which they are being used.