Skyfold wall divides top University laboratory

As part of an extensive refurbishment project at the School of Biomedical Sciences, Newcastle University, Style installed the unique Skyfold dividing wall system, delivering fast and effective flexible room configuration to laboratory teaching facilities.

At School of Biomedical Sciences, Newcastle University, Style installed the unique Skyfold dividing wall system

Skyfold is a fully automatic, acoustic moveable wall that is housed discreetly in the ceiling cavity and offers unparalleled acoustic integrity of 59dB Rw.

“We needed a solution to divide the large open-plan teaching laboratory that would minimise sound transfer, as the separate labs can have over 100 students attending lectures on either side of the dividing wall,” said Dr Alison Gregory, technical manager, School of Biomedical Sciences at the University.

“We chose a Skyfold mobile partition, which was expertly installed by Style, because it is quick and easy to operate and offers the required level of acoustic privacy. We have been delighted with the result.”

Newcastle University’s Faculty of Medical Sciences is home to a world-leading collaboration of research scientists, engineers, medical doctors and teaching professionals. In 2018, the University invested £1.308m to redesign and refurbish two teaching laboratories, creating a single large laboratory for approximately 200 students in a high quality, bright and airy space.

Working with senior surveyor, Ross Henderson in Newcastle University’s Estates department and main contractor, Vest Construction, Style recommended the Classic 60 Skyfold moveable wall as the perfect dividing solution for the new laboratory facility.  The Skyfold descending dividing wall allows for different practical classes to be accommodated simultaneously in two separate spaces.

“The wall has exceeded our expectations acoustically, visually and practically,” confirms Gregory. “We can run independent activities in adjoining labs with large numbers of students with virtually no sound transfer between rooms.

“When the wall needs to be raised or lowered, its electric mechanisms and safety features enable it to be used with ease by staff. The silver metallic finish is both modern and practical – it can be wiped down if required – and fits in perfectly with our newly refurbished laboratory.”