Brickworks Pronto Panels recently came to the rescue of two townhouse neighbours in Richlands, Brisbane. The adjoining townhouses had a mouldy intertenancy party wall which had degraded due to moisture exposure which had made the homes almost uninhabitable. Pronto Panels provided a replacement that could be retro-fitted into the thin cavity between the two properties with minimal disruption to the occupants.
Built in 2013, the townhouses were only five years old, but a leaking air-conditioner had produced moisture within the wall. As mould seeped through the internal plasterboard linings on both sides of the wall, the panels degraded and both dwellings became uninhabitable. The builder wanted to remove the damaged wall and replace it with a long-term solution that ensured history wouldn’t be repeated. The new solution needed to be moisture resistant and have the acoustic and thermal performance properties of the shaftliner. It also needed to be installed with minimal disruption, so the owners could return their homes as soon as possible.
To meet the brief, the Brickworks team specified Pronto Panels. The Pronto Panel system is designed for thin intertenancy walls, amongst other applications, and offers longevity with outstanding moisture and fire resistance. Sheeted with calcium silicate, the panels have extremely low water absorption through the face and the whole panel meaning the moisture exposure that degraded the shaftliner would not be an issue for Pronto Panel.
“To my knowledge this has never been attempted before using the Pronto Panel system and it was certainly a first for myself and the installation crew,” said Tim Brooker, account manager at Brickworks QLD. “The client wanted a product they could rely on well into the future, regardless of any environmental issues that may be outside of their control. With Pronto Panel’s strength, durability and minimal water absorption it ticked every box. It is supported by the Brickworks Building Products guarantee, giving the builder total peace of mind.”
The 60-millimetre thickness of the panels enables easier handling and transportation, and minimal components. The availability of various sizes minimises cutting, allowing for efficient assembly and installation. The panels can also be customised to any size on site. The lightweight and non-load bearing panels are installed with a simple interlocking system using slotted L angles at the top and base of the product. However, one of the bigger challenges of retrofitting the panels was installing them between the existing house frame.
The Pronto Panels were fitted into an 80-millimetre cavity between the two townhouses with a 10-millimetre space between the panel and the steel framework and insulation either side. Full-size panels provide a seamless intertenancy wall between the townhouses while the ceiling is closed off with panels that were cut to size on-site to suit the pitch of the roof.
Pronto Panel has been tested, certified and satisfies Australian standards for fire and sound proofing. The 60-millimetre panel achieves a -/60/60 fire resistance level (FRL) on its own, and FRL -/120/120 when combined with standard plasterboard in a 185-millimetre-wide wall system. The acoustic rating of Rw + Ctr of ≥ 50 exceeds the minimum requirements of the National Construction Code.
The installation team was experienced in handling Pronto Panels, which enabled a smooth and speedy completion of the job. Based on the success of the project, the builder is continuing to use the Pronto Panel system in current and upcoming projects, including another 120 townhouses throughout the 2018–19 financial year. Pronto Panels provide a durable, solid intertenancy wall that won’t degrade from moisture or mould exposure, ensuring happy residents and neighbours.
Pronto Panel’s durable, lightweight and simplistic nature makes it perfectly suitable for both residential and commercial applications. Pronto Panel’s minimal components and availability of various sizes minimises cutting allowing for efficient assembly and installation.
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