New Queen Elizabeth High School in North East - Knauf

Project Data

Value: £36.1m
Architect: Ryder Architecture
Main Contractor: Galliford Try
Subcontractor: Keyes Brothers Construction
Products used: Knauf SFS and Knauf Windliner externally and also Knauf Plasterboard and Knauf Airless Finishes internally

Project Details

One of the largest new school developments in Northumberland is set to benefit from a range of Knauf products and systems throughout the build.

The innovative design of the new Queen Elizabeth High School will create a modern teaching and learning environment, along with top quality sports facilities that will benefit not only the school, but also the wider community.

It was the subcontractor on the project, Keyes Brothers Construction, who recommended Knauf based on the good experience they'd had of working with the Company.

Ken Parkin, Regional Director for the North East, Keyes Brothers Construction says: "The support from Knauf is always second to none and this project has been no exception. We've had very good design and technical support from Knauf. We were assigned a rep from the Knauf Technical Team and he visits the site to carry out a technical inspection every two weeks. He inspects the work, flags up any issues and provides a report for the main contractor, Galliford Try. This is really reassuring for everyone concerned and is a much higher level of support than we were expecting."

The project uses Knauf SFS and Knauf Windliner for the exterior of the buildings, and Knauf Plasterboard and Knauf Airless Finishes internally.

Using Knauf Windliner has also helped to speed up the build. Ken explains, "Knauf's external sheathing board, Knauf Windliner, sealed the building envelope so that we could start on the internals sooner."

Knauf offers a wide range of high performance boards which offer the convenience of plasterboard, but with significantly higher performance in key areas.

Queen Elizabeth High School makes full use of the range of Knauf high performance boards in the interior of the buildings. Two of the main issues in a school are acoustics and robustness. School corridors and the sports hall require particularly robust walls.

The classrooms in the high school include Knauf Soundshield Plus boards which offer enhanced acoustic performance as well as fire and impact resistance.

The Knauf Airless Finishes range has also been specified for this project rather than traditional plaster.

"Using the Airless spray finishes will save a lot of time on site, there's no question about that. In our experience while a plasterer might be hesitant about using it for the first time, once they've tried it there's no going back!" says Ken.

Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School are being redeveloped on the existing site of the high school which was demolished. The new buildings are located to the rear of a Grade II listed school building which was retained as part of the development. The £36.1m project forms part of the Government Priority School Building Programme (PSBP).

The new school is due to open in September 2021 to welcome students for the new school year.


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