Global real estate and investment group Lendlease chose commercial heating specialists UnderFloor Climate Management (UFCM) and Instacoustic to improve the flexibility of the heating installation at a prestigious Manchester project.

Lendlease decided to change the original specification for the apartment heating systems across the Potato Wharf development to decrease the required installation time of the underfloor heating.

The final phase of the building in Manchester’s Castlefield is due to be completed this year and includes 191 apartments across two blocks. Lendlease completed the first two blocks, comprising 102 one and two-bed apartments, in 2014.

Instacoustic and UFCM worked with Lendlease on providing an alternative to the original rigid board system.

The project build plan was redesigned around the installation of the Instacoustic cradle and batten system with the UFCM designed Underfloor heating system. This provided construction time benefits to be gained. This also included the time-saving, auto-balancing manifold.  Using patented valve technology, UFCM’s Stainless Steel Auto-Balancing Manifold constantly adjusts each circuit to the desired flow rate, ensuring the underfloor heating system operates with optimum temperature distribution and maximum energy efficiency. The use of the cradle and batten system allows for the work programme to be condensed – which would not have been possible to achieve with a screed system or the specified rigid board system at the Potato Wharf site.



Rachel Smith, General Manager Underfloor Heating at UFCM, said: “We were very happy to be able to help Lendlease improve the efficiency of the construction of this major development.

“The acoustic system was specifically designed by UFCM and Instacoustic to integrate underfloor heating into the floor system at the Potato Wharf development. The auto-balancing manifolds save time on commissioning and will ensure that heat outputs are optimised.”

John Reed, Operations Director of Instacoustic, said: “Fitting the cradle and batten system is less time-consuming than traditional screed systems – as work can be completed more quickly, installation programmes can be more flexible and adapt to the requirements of the overall project priorities.”


The versatile cradle and batten system is widely used where pre-completion testing is required in new-build projects.

The systems can be levelled on-site to eliminate variations in the structural floor surface and can accommodate building services. The InstaCoustic cradle provides a route to acoustic compliance to the values set out in Part E of the building regulations.

The unique recycled rubber crumb cradles in the system also contributed towards a more sustainable build for Lendlease at Potato Wharf. The project required more than 80,000 acoustic cradles. Each individual cradle is made from recycled lorry tyres, is 100% acoustically resilient, recycled and re-useable at end of life. Potato Wharf saved 1320 lorry tyres from going to landfill.

Lendlease is renowned globally for designing homes with the finest specifications and finishes. The company recently secured the contract to lead on the refurbishment and partial restoration of Manchester’s grade one-listed Town Hall.


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