Accountancy giant PwC is using Knauf GIFA floor as part of its refurbishment programme that will bring its 1980s headquarters building right up to 21st century standards with a BREEAM Outstanding rating.

No 1 Embankment Place, the nine-storey post-modern office that spans the railway tracks of Charing Cross station, is the headquarters for PwC, which is updating and retrofitting its estate in line with sustainability targets having achieved a BREEAM outstanding rating for its More London office near Tower Bridge – the first building in London to do so.

Knauf GIFA floor has been installed to replace part of the existing raised access flooring by TFA Interior Projects as part of a complete overhaul of the building’s internal infrastructure, including refurbishment and fit-out of the offices, decommissioning of existing plant and installation of new central plant and engineering infrastructure, along with a new entrance area.

Non-combustible with an A1 fire rating, Knauf GIFA floor’s high thermal conductivity makes the panels ideal in underfloor heating systems and optimises the benefit of air and ground source heat pumps over timber or cement base floors, reducing CO emissions as a result.

As a replacement for wet screed, the product also speeds up the construction programme said Tim Hudson, director for TFA Interior Projects: “The board is solid and easy to handle, so it requires a minimum of effort to fit upon the pedestals that hold it in place and, because it’s engineered, interlocks into place to form a firm, safe surface that other trades can use as a platform.”

The GIFA floor system is a partial-access raised floor system providing the ability to run services under the floor with ease.  It is manufactured from natural gypsum based calcium sulphate and is ideal for raised floor areas requiring continuous finishes such as sheet vinyl or hard finishes such as stone and large format porcelain.

The 1200 x 600mm panels are installed on a conventional 600mm grid access floor under structure. Due to the tongue and groove design the GIFA floor system is flat and smooth once installed, with the further advantage that joints will not track through the applied finish.

As a result finishes can be applied directly without having to screw fix panel to the pedestals and then fixing plywood – a necessity with traditional raised access flooring installations. Access to the floor void can be incorporated with conventional access floor panels or access frames.