New school and leisure facility demanded fire doorsets with acoustic performance

Acoustic performance and fire rating were at the top of the agenda for the doors at a new education and leisure hub in Northumberland, where more than 2000 Norseal seals were specified to meet the specifications including fire rated acoustic drop seals for classroom doors.

Doorset manufacturer Bridgman IBC supplied more than 600 doorsets for the new hub at Ponteland which comprises a 52-place nursery, 420-pupil primary and 1,600-pupil secondary school all on the same site alongside a state-of-the art leisure centre, a café, sports bar and a library to serve not only the pupils but the whole local community. The development was designed by architects FaulknerBrowns  and built by Kier construction. The £43million scheme is one of Northumberland County Council’s largest ever capital programmes.

The spec of the fire door and classroom doorsets required different levels of acoustic ratings across the piece. Norseal supplied Bridgman with NOR810 acoustic drop seals to meet the building’s 30, 35 and 41dB acoustic requirements with the two companies working closely together to meet the demanding manufacturing schedule. “We work with Norseal because of the incredibly responsive customer service they offer. Our manufacturing schedule for this project was challenging and we put pressure on Norseal to match it – they reacted positively every time and the whole project went smoothly as a result,” says Bridgman’s Stewart Hind.

Comfortable sound levels are one of the primary conditions necessary for an effective learning environment. If there are background noises or a high decibel rating inside a classroom, students could struggle to hear adequately, or may find discomfort from straining to hear. It’s also easier to become distracted. As such, acoustic design is an important aspect of regulations for school buildings: “Each room or other space in a school building shall be designed and constructed in such a way that it has the acoustic conditions and the insulation against disturbance by noise appropriate to its intended use.” These requirements within the Building Regulations apply specifically to teaching and learning spaces where the permissible Upper limit for indoor ambient noise levels in a classroom, teaching area or small group room are 35dBA for a new build and 40dBA for a refurbishment.  However, consideration may also be applied to adjoining areas that may impact on learning environments like corridors or meeting areas.

NOR810 is a single actuated bottom edge drop seal for acoustic and fire-rated timber doorsets. It has been tested to one million cycles to all appropriate standards: compliant with BS 476-22, smoke tested in accordance with BS 476-31.1 and acoustically tested in accordance with BS EN ISO 10140-2. It is available in thirteen lengths as standard from 320-1535mm. Should a non-standard size be required, Norseal can cut accurately to any length to order using Europe’s first custom-made drop seal cutting machine. The machine will cut any drop seal to the exact size required, ready for next day delivery, without damaging it, and so keeping the fire, smoke and acoustic integrity of the door intact. Every door seal cut to size by Norseal with its new equipment comes with a one million cycle guarantee.

Bridgman IBC is a leading UK manufacturer of fire rated doors, doorsets, extended performance doorsets, fire rated glazed screens. The business was established in 1982, and has built a reputation for reliability, quality and service. Bridgman IBC is a privately owned business located in Hartlepool and employs 75 people.

Part of the European Athmer Group, Norseal is the leading provider of specialist door seal solutions, plus a wide range of ancillary door products. The company has a long track record of innovation, developing products which meet and exceed the latest industry standards for fire and smoke protection, acoustic properties, accessibility and thermal insulation. Products are backed by a qualified and experienced technical team offering advice and guidance on all aspects of intumescent and acoustic seals. As well as its core range of seals, Norseal supply a wide range of supplementary door products including fire-rated glazing, electrical and plumbing solutions, fire rated ventilation, letter plates, door viewers, threshold plates, weather seals, and finger protection products. 

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