Manchester Metropolitan University Hollings Faculty project - Niche Moveable Walls

Manchester Metropolitan University Hollings Faculty project

Niche Multiwal has successfully completed a £100,000 moveable wall scheme for Manchester Metropolitan University, which was installed in August and September 2013.

The university has moved its Hollings Faculty into a new home at the newly refurbished Righton Building on the main campus on Oxford Road. This is part of a wider £350 million 10 year programme of upgrades across the whole university, due for completion in 2014.

The Righton building is a listed building, with floor designs incorporating large columns down the centre and around the edges, which threw up some challenges to installing a moveable wall system. There were also some desk workspace requirements at either end of the room, which we had to work around.

Initially, the main contractor wanted to put a structural steel framework in above the ceiling to support our wall systems, but we designed a detail that allowed the panels to be hung from the existing soffit structure, which reduced both cost and time significantly.

Working closely with leading NW architects, Cassidy & Ashton, we designed 11 moveable walls to effectively create nine individual work areas on the first and second floor for CDT Garment Tech, CDT Pattern Tech work areas and classroom study areas.

We recommended the Commandoor flush glazed automated acoustic moveable wall system and used the panel glazing throughout to ensure all spaces had natural light flowing through them.

This is an incredibly high specification product offering visual aesthetics and a sound control performance that is totally unrivalled in the market. When forming a wall, the automated system seals itself for the ultimate in soundproofing quality and is far superior than more traditional older manual methods of using a remote crank handle. The motors, which are also used in the high-end automotive industry to power car seats, are a very powerful but quiet, automated sealing system, which has sensors to ensure the panels fit together seamlessly.

The Comandoor system operates by electronic key switch and offers remote stacking of panels. This versatile system is incredibly high-specification, is simple to install and is very user-friendly.

The glass panels sit independently from the framework and are positioned to the edge of the panels, which gives it a frameless feel. Behind the glass is a 50mm powder coated framework on the vertical edges and 185mm at the top and bottom to hide heavy duty motor assemblies that provide high levels of acoustic control.