Superior sound protection
Turning down the noise, Universal’s terrace homes are fitted with innovative and impressively thick multi-layered and soundproofed KOROK inter-tenancy partition wall systems. KOROK fire wall and acoustic wall systems are a key product utilised to provide secure, safe homes for lasting durability, with excellent fire and acoustic protection. As New Zealand moves towards higher-density housing, there is an increased need for superior inter-tenancy standards and innovative, quality systems like this one. Universal Homes are proud to take this collaborative approach to work ahead of the curve with KOROK, providing superior inter-tenancy solutions for our clients.
Impressive acoustic controls
When it comes to terrace home living, acoustic transfer or noise spill can be a perceived concern. This innovative and impressively thick KOROK product used across our terrace homes features an interlocking clipped-together steel outer shell with an aerated concrete infill, and fire and acoustic sealant. Our high-performance wall systems ensure the shared party walls between terrace homes have noise control levels that far exceed current New Zealand Standards, with acoustical compliance from 63 STC to 69 STC rating (sound transmission class); the minimum required is 55 STC. That’s peace of mind for peace and quiet.
Fire resistance protection
KOROK has recognised the need for superior inter-tenancy standards, as higher density housing increases. This quality, innovative wall system delivers on the safety front for Universal terrace homes. The panels are held in position by aluminium brackets within the timber frame cavity. In the unfortunate event of a fire, KOROK panels are designed to melt on the fire side and to remain intact on the other side, which in turn supports the KOROK Panel Fire Barrier. KOROK allows for in-wall services to be run without breaching the neighbouring property, and provides a system that will still give fire protection even if the plasterboard linings were to get damaged after owners or tenants have moved in. The panels are designed for fire ratings ranging from 60 minutes to 120 minutes, without any additional linings.
For buyers of a Universal terrace home, there is an incredible benefit, including peace of mind and property security knowing if your neighbour’s terrace house catches on fire it is likely there will be substantially less damage to your property and personal effects, due to this excellent product. In 2017, a large fire ravaged a townhouse in the final stages of construction at Hobsonville Point. The fire was so hot that adjacent traffic lights melted. Thousands of tons of water were used to quell the fire. Fortunately for the attached homes, KOROK fire and acoustic wall had been used. John Booth, Assistant Area Commander for the New Zealand Fire Service commented, “The fire walls did what they are designed to do – and that is stop the spread of fire.” The KOROK wall systems proved to be very effective, which is not only compelling evidence and a testament to the product itself, but also highlights the high-quality build standard of Universal terrace homes.
One of the questions from an owner of a neighbouring unit on the day of the fire was, “Do I have the same type of firewall panel system as the one in this building?” They were incredibly happy to find out that they did!
Grant Coutts, Construction Manager for Universal Homes commented, “Given the rigorous compliance testing which KOROK had been through prior to Universal selecting the product for use in our builds, it did not come as a surprise that it performed so well when put to the test. That said though, it is very reassuring to know that KOROK did perform as specified. It’s a great product and we will continue to use it on builds going forward.”
Not only does KOROK provide increased protection with high fire resistance ratings, but it also adds beneficial value for homeowners knowing they have a high-quality build.
An innovative product
“The KOROK panel is an interlocking clip-together steel outer shell with an aerated concrete infill designed for high-performance fire and acoustic wall systems,” explains David Cornelius from KOROK Building Systems New Zealand. The standard wall system is made up of C-track, KOROK panel, fire and acoustic sealant, aluminium sacrificial brackets, screws, and concrete fixings.
“KOROK is one of our key suppliers with a very innovative product that is quickly becoming mainstream,” comments Universal Homes CEO, Andrew Crosby. “Thanks to the Universal Homes team in taking the initiative to trial, detail, and work through building processes, we now use this quality product across many of our terrace home projects.”
Grant Coutts, Construction Manager for Universal Homes invested considerable time and thought into researching options for Universal terrace homes, and assessing what KOROK had to offer. Not only did this have to streamline the building process, but it also had to be of beneficial value for Universal’s clients in terms of both cost and performance. KOROK’s benefits include:
- High-performance noise control systems (STC63 to STC69, well above code).
- High fire resistance ratings without additional plasterboard linings (FRR 60 minutes to FRR 120 minutes).
- Solid and secure, providing customers with a central barrier system containing steel and composite lightweight concrete – giving clients excellent value for money and security.
- Providing a system that will still provide fire protection even if the plasterboard linings were to get damaged after the owners or tenants had moved in.
- Allows for in-wall services to be run without breaching the neighbouring property.
- Peace of mind for residents knowing they have a high-quality build.
- Fast and simple to install.
When it comes to working with this product on site, it is relatively easy to install, with panels that are able to be slid into place by the construction crew. This lightweight wall system is designed for builders to install on site between the two tenancies, with either a two or three-person team. This is a significant benefit on hard-to-access sites, compared to pre-cast products. To minimise waste and make it as simple as possible on site, KOROK manufactures the panels in standard lengths as well as specialised lengths for each particular job. Any small leftover amount can then be recycled.
Benefits for home buyers
“Being innovative is all very well and good, but our focus on innovation is primarily to benefit our home buyers,” comments Universal Homes CEO Andrew Crosby. There are a number of benefits for homeowners that result from this system. KOROK gives more flexibility and freedom to configure home plans for homeowners. It is beneficial for architects and designers too, as you can hang TVs or plan kitchens on the shared or ‘party walls’ since the KOROK panels provide an excellent fire rating. Korok’s inherent mass deals with many of those low-frequency noises that can cause issues between neighbours. For personal security, there is peace of mind for homeowners knowing they have more than just plasterboard between them and their neighbour.