Knauf AMF masters the science of sound

Sunderland university science labThe University of Sunderland has been transforming its City Campus through a series of landmark building projects. The University has close links with industry, and is internationally recognised for its strong track record in pharmacy, pharmaceutical sciences, biomedical sciences and environmental sciences.

Building on this position, the University has invested £8.5 million to remodel its Sciences Complex to provide some of the most modern, well-equipped facilities in the UK. Delivered by main contractor Clugston Construction, phase one of the Complex was opened by renowned Professor of Science Lord Robert Winston. Since then, dated offices and science areas have been transformed into integrated, multi-disciplinary teaching laboratories with large preparation spaces.

Baffles and ceiling tiles from Knauf AMF were chosen for their superior quality, outstanding acoustic control and fire resistance.

Paul Barrowcliffe of Clugston Construction explains how Knauf AMF helped satisfy the client’s criteria. “We changed the ceiling specification to Knauf AMF to give the client a high quality product that was within budget. Everything arrived on time which helped us to meet the tight deadline for the build. The client is very pleased with the finished laboratories.”

Ceiling contractor, A.S. Crocker Plasterers recommended Knauf AMF for the project as Director Phil Wilson explains:

“We have worked with Knauf AMF products in the past and found them to be keenly priced, able to deliver on time and always fulfil the given criteria. I have no problem recommending Knauf AMF and their products.”

The laboratories are large areas fitted with a number of hard materials, including glass and concrete, which can create poor acoustics. To counter this, Knauf AMF baffles were installed to provide the necessary sound absorption, helping reduce the level of reverberation and improving speech intelligibility. The baffles are a versatile solution for controlling sound. By varying the distance between the rows of baffles, or changing the size of the baffles, different acoustic performances can be achieved. Knauf AMF baffles are also ideal for enhancing acoustics in thermal mass areas or where frequent and unhindered access to services is required.

Each baffle consists of two sound absorbing panels sat back-to-back in a frame. The panels are durable and offer excellent fire resistance. The surface is smooth and has an elegant appearance.  For design freedom, both the frame and the panel can be specified in a range of colours. Each baffle is suspended by discreet cable hangers which creates the impression of a weightless, elegant structure, enhancing the modern design of the laboratories.

Thermatex Alpha Hygena suspended ceilings are installed above the baffles to provide additional Class A sound control. The smooth white surface gives these ceiling tiles an elegant appearance that fits aesthetically with the interior design of the laboratory. Hygena has an anti-microbial coating which can resist bacteria and fungi making it an ideal ceiling for hospitals, healthcare facilities, kitchens and laboratories.

Knauf AMF have years of expertise of working with projects that have complex specifications and tight deadlines. The team at Knauf AMF are available to offer advice. To chat about your project or to order samples, contact or visit

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