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'Walls, ceilings and partitions: essential components of retrofit projects'

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[AJS EDITORIAL] This month’s product focus couldn’t be more germane

At a time when we are seeing fewer cranes on the skylines of our cities but more skips at ground level, architects need to be informed about walls, ceilings and partitions, - all essential components of retrofit projects.

This issue begins with a news roundup and a preview of the New Designers event at London’s Business Design Centre in July. This will feature work ranging from architecture to furniture design.

In our overview of walls, ceilings and partitions we will discuss changes in legislation and product developments, as well as approaches to design and specification.

Our first case study is West Architecture’s office refurbishment for product design consultant Therefore in Fitzrovia, London. Next, we look at a new build mixed development in the South Shoreditch Conservation Area in London, designed by Waugh Thistleton. With speculative offices below and flats above, this required a range of thermal, acoustic and fit-out strategies. Finally, we visit Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, where a new timber ceiling in the neo-gothic tower of St Edmundsbury Cathedral replicates masonry vaulting in timber - a unique technical challenge.

Neil Barnett, resource cost manager of the Building Cost Information Service of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, provides cost breakdowns for typical wall, ceiling and partitioning elements. In Product Anatomy, we explore XP Frame, SAS’s new adjustable door and window frame system. We end with a seven-page product directory.

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