The project

Many homebuyers warm to the attractions of modern apartment living.

Keywest 3 is one developer to recognise the integral role of effective sound insulation in maintaining the comfort and lifestyle of high-rise dwelling on its latest landmark renovation project in South Shields.


The challenge

Keywest 3 is upcycling the unloved Utilitywise office complex into 43 modern, luxury apartments and duplexes, overlooking the River Tyne.

These ambitious plans will include a contemporary Manhattan-style design for the new homes complete with impressive floor to ceiling windows, high quality fittings and finishes throughout, west-facing balconies, roof terraces, and a secure CCTV and a video entry system.

In such a high specification project, Keywest 3 are especially interested in minimising any possible sound transfer between apartments, and from outside, that could potentially disturb or distract occupants.

The solution

Originally, Keywest 3 selected 50mm glass wool insulation for internal walls and floors on the refurbishment.

However, in discussion with local merchant, South Tyne Building Supplies, the company quickly reviewed this decision, recognising that ROCKWOOL® stone wool insulation could provide superior acoustic performance. After a site visit, a sound box demonstration, and detailed survey from ROCKWOOL experts, the company's Sound Insulation Slab product was specified as a solution that would exceed current Building Regulations and create a protective acoustic and fire safe cocoon for each apartment.

With its dense, non-directional fibre structure, ROCKWOOL Sound Insulation effectively traps sound waves and dampens vibration to provide an enhanced noise reducing solution in this type of application.

ROCKWOOL Sound Insulation is simple to install thanks to its Flexi® edge technology fitting which eliminates gaps, holds its shape and ensures the insulation always performs to specification for the lifetime of the building.

As ROCKWOOL insulation is manufactured from stone, it also provides exceptional fire resistance and a Euroclass A1 non-combustible Fire Rating. The new range is able to meet and exceed Part L (thermal), Part E (sound), and Part B (fire) of the Building Regulations, when installed in accordance with the ROCKWOOL guidelines. Whilst 50mm insulation met the robust standards the developer decided to double provision to 100mm of insulation per wall leaf which far exceeds building regulation requirements and provides maximum sound attenuation.

For Keywest 3, South Tyne Building Supplies will deliver an estimated volume of 250,000m² of Sound Insulation in 1200mm x 600mm x 100mm slabs.

This project is currently underway and scheduled for completion towards the latter end of 2018.

Project Location

South Quays

South Shields

We chose the ROCKWOOL product because it fits all of our criteria. Not only will ROCKWOOL Sound Insulation deliver outstanding acoustic benefits to stop noise transfer in its tracks, but it will also reassure residents that their homes are thermally efficient and fire-safe.

Norman Fada

Keywest 3
Project Director
Utility Wise project - Installer carrying ROCKWOOL insulation on shoulder
Utility Wise project - Installer carrying ROCKWOOL insulation on shoulder
Utility Wise project - Installer carrying ROCKWOOL insulation on shoulder

Article History

Our experts continually review and update our articles when legislation changes or new information becomes available. 

Current version: 3 - 1/08/23

Version 2 - 25/10/20

First published: 19/08/18