AIM Acoustic & Insulation Manufacturing has supplied wall cavity barriers and open state cavity barriers (OSCBs), along with technical support, for a ‘path-breaking’, 900-room student accommodation development at the University of West England Bristol’s Frenchay Campus.

The new-build, low-carbon design development, which includes three buildings, six stories high, is to help meet demand from students for high-quality on-campus accommodation. The first rooms will be available from September 2023. Designed by Stride Treglown, the project’s main contractor is Vinci Construction.

AIM worked with Maple Sunscreening on the rainscreen façade system assembly from the ground floor upwards, which is mainly cassette panels with AIM’s OSCBs incorporated horizontally and AIM’s wall cavity barriers installed vertically.

Maple is a leading designer, manufacturer and installer of solar shading, weather protection and screening for building exteriors and interiors – best known for architectural façades, louvres, brise soleil and rainscreen cladding systems.

AIM also supplied and supported installers Sandford Building Contractors during the construction of the extruded polystyrene (XPS) filled sub-floor cavity, which included a layer of AIM’s wall cavity barrier directly above the XPS, and all two masonry storeys.

AIM won the business after supplying barrier samples for BS 8414 mock up fire testing, which was successful. AIM’s products were supplied through SIG Manchester.

On multiple occasions, AIM attended site to provide product training and technical assistance.

Joe Hemming, senior project manager for Maple Sunscreening said, “Maple’s commitment to the highest level of quality installation and recording has proved vital in maintaining confidence with the client, to date Maple’s on-site team have worked closely with AIM and the client to deliver product training with certification for over 60 operatives and managers currently work on this project. This is now reflecting within Maple’s and AIM’s quality audits.”

Designed for use within ventilated rainscreen facades and timber frame cladding systems, AIM’s OSCBs allow free airflow and drainage and improve fire safety, providing fire resistance of up to two hours insulation and integrity in suitably supporting structures. In the event of a fire, heat activates an intumescent strip which expands quickly to fully close the cavity.

Manufactured from high density Rockwool stone wool and faced with the higher performance intumescent strip, AIM’s OSCB range provides either a 60 or 120-minute rating for both integrity and insulation. The OSCBs are an effective barrier to the passage of hot smoke as well as fire. The AIM range has been tested to TGD 19 and the general principles of BS EN 1363-1. They have been exposed to BS 8414 Fire performance of external cladding systems fire tests and assessed to BR135 to achieve pass results with a variety of third-party cladding systems. The range has been tested in masonry constructions to establish the performance of the product itself and non-standard constructions representing site conditions.

AIM wall cavity barriers are made from foil faced high density Rockwool stone wool and are suitable for use in all masonry cavity walls, as well as for fire stopping between a masonry curtain wall system and a concrete floor slab. The barriers prevent the passage of heat, flame and smoke within the cavity they fill for one- or two-hour fire-resistance rating periods. They are tested to BS 476-20. The barriers also reduce airborne transmission of sound by a minimum of 21db Rw.

William Liew, Chief Financial Officer of UWE Bristol, has described the new accommodation as a “path-breaking project which will set new standards for sustainable development at-scale and provide accommodation and social facilities of the highest standard for our students.

UK-based AIM Acoustic & Insulation Manufacturing has over 30 years-experience in the design, testing and manufacturing of high-quality fire, thermal and acoustic barriers. The company produces a wide variety of bespoke insulation products to customer specification and a range of standard fire, thermal and acoustic insulation products.

To find out more about AIM’s Cavity Barriers click here. 

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