Specwall is a modular wall system made up of solid, lightweight panels that is transforming UK construction. Whether it is working as an alternative to plasterboard, blockwork or any other traditional wall system, Specwall is at the forefront of the industry shift towards sustainable building materials.
The advantages of the Specwall modular wall panels include its time and cost saving capabilities, its environmental and low-waste credentials, and the fact that it comes with inherent fire, insulation and acoustic ratings.
***UPDATE MAY 2022
Since publishing this blog, Specwall has developed an A1-rated, load-bearing panel which is completely non-combustible and cannot contribute to a fire at any stage, in addition to our existing A2-rated panel.
As well as going beyond safety requirements now, our A-1 rated panel will also satisfy further tightening of the fire safety regulations down the line if the government requires A1 standards for all external walls on buildings 18m tall or higher once its review is complete.
Get in touch with the team today to learn more about our A1-rated panel***
So, how does Specwall for professionals at all stages of the design and build of a new project? We take a look here…
Designers and architects
Designers and architects who choose Specwall can expect a host of benefits from the earliest design stages all the way through construction.
The Specwall system is made up of just 12 wall types which cover all thicknesses and needs, no matter what your project. This is compared to the White Book which contains more than 350 separate wall types up to a width of 250mm. Specwall simplifies your design from the off.
Likewise, by using Specwall there is no need for complicated fire or smoke riser details in steel frame, plywood and plaster pod walls as they can be cut directly into our panels where required. In this way, Specwall can be used as a party wall which brings additional benefits beyond simply the ease of install.
Similarly, there are no complex details required for other penetrations including power sockets, and only one simple deflection head detail will be needed when using Specwall.
Developers can benefit from Specwall in multiple ways. The first is that the reduced thickness of the walls can increase saleable space without compromising on fire, acoustic or insulation values. Past projects have demonstrated that it is possible to achieve an increase of 1 sqm of floorspace in a 50 sqm apartment – a significant gain.
The simplicity of installation also enables you to reduce the amount of labour needed and, therefore, cut build costs. Time and motion studies carried out on previous works show that by using Specwall as a blockwork replacement or alternative to a Steel Framing Systems (SFS), you can reduce labour hours needed for installation by more than 55%.
Specwall is also flexible and able to be altered on site without having to replace the panels and send old material to landfill. Each panel is demountable and adjustable, allowing you to re-cut and re-orientate the panels if changes to the design are required.
Main and sub-contractors
The reduced costs associated with Specwall, thanks to a reduced build time and other aspects, is also a benefit that applies to main contractors. Choosing Specwall allows you to save time on preliminaries and, consequently, improves your ability to win work.
When on site, Specwall uses less storage space than traditional alternative wall systems such as blockwork and plasterboard. It also requires less hoist time and produces less waste thanks to the precise, factory-manufactured nature of our panels. This means that you can reduce the amount of crane time and skip space you specify.
The construction techniques required by Specwall require no wet trades on site, needing only a tape and joint finish. Likewise, Specwall reduces the fire-stopping and sealing work on your project, lowering contractor needs and costs. Fewer trades on site means less administration and cuts out some of the complexity of your build. Additionally, this extends to the streamlining of quality control and sign off processes.
This simplicity extends to other aspects of the build, too. As mentioned previously, choosing Specwall means you can eliminate complicated penetration details. Holes for risers, plug sockets and anything else can be cut to size on site with minimal restrictions. Furthermore, the material cut out can be re-used for any repairs which are needed.
Finally, the robust nature of Specwall panels makes them resistant to damage of all types, including impact damage from transportation and installation. Any that occurs can be filled and mitigated easily using the aforementioned offcuts or other easy techniques. Specwall panels are also resistant to water damage, unlike plasterboard, meaning that the panels can be pre-loaded and construction work on the Specwall system can begin before the building is watertight – and can even be used to protect more sensitive elements of the build, cutting programme time even further.
To learn more about Specwall, and how it can help your project, get in touch with our Technical Team today by clicking here.