Unity Place, the new six floor state-of-the-art Swindon offices of Zurich Insurance, represents a £36m investment by the Swiss-owned global brand. Rockfon is delighted to have played its part in this innovative project where a core design remit of the 9300m2 project was to aim for BREEAM Excellent accreditation.

Award winning Alec French Architects were design principals for the scheme. Architect Mercedes Mortalla Cebrian of the practice, “Rockfon were able to supply product in the required dimensions and within budget. Acoustics were very important – calculations were made, with their products providing the solutions which complied to the relevant regulations The Rockfon team were incredibly helpful, providing great technical support and very quick to answer any queries.”

The innovative interiors at Unity Place utilise a limited colour palette to great effect in creating a chic paired back, industrial aesthetic which also manages to offer visual warmth and a sense of quality and light with full height window walls featured throughout.

Zurich Project Manager Ian White, “When we were looking for a contractor to deliver this new building for us, it was important that they understood our environmental policy and how sustainability is at the heart of this new building. …we are delighted with our new building.”

Skanska was appointed as main contractor. They stated, Skanska used a low carbon site set-up approach to realise Zurich’s aim of providing a sustainable environment for employees, through a climate-smart building. It’s targeting BREEAM Excellent – which will put it in the top ten per cent of non-residential buildings in the UK in terms of sustainability.’

Skanska Operations Director Charlie Norris added, We’re proud that this development has delivered the first new office space in the heart of Swindon in a generation and it’s in a state-of-the-art, sustainable building. “Ultimately, the aim was building a sustainable workplace that enhances peoples’ wellbeing.”

The varied work of installing the acoustic solutions throughout the building was the responsibility of Bristol-based Topfix Interiors, which delivers specialised interior solutions to all sectors of the construction industry. Topfix Site Manager Scott Dunn spoke about the work, “This was an interesting, challenging and ultimately very rewarding project. We had to research a new system using parallel suspension rails on the north side of the development and the crane necessary to carry out high level installations within the multi-storey atrium also tested the team’s skill and fortitude.”

A specialist range for every space

Rockfon Specification Manager Rowan Green, “This stunning development offered us the great opportunity to feature around 3800m2 of our specialist ranges to meet the specific needs of the spaces which make up this great project. They include: Eclipse Islands in square, rectangular and circular formats; Universal Baffles; Medicare, Color-all and two variants of our Blanka range.

Rockfon Blanka® offers a wide choice of options for installation and usage and is in evidence in two variants at Unity Place. The range embodies Class A sound absorption (aw 1.00), 87% light reflection, >99% light diffusion and room to room sound Insulation >26dB. Its easy clean, anti-static surface prolongs product life and is non-directional, speeding up installation, saving time and money.

The high light reflectance of the ceiling systems at the Swindon offices optimise natural light, helping provide healthy interiors whilst minimising energy costs. Superior acoustic performance is demonstrated across all Rockfon ranges. It’s a key reason why it is preferred by so many specifiers. Independent research shows improved acoustics can reduce stress levels by 27% and increase focus by 48%, aiding wellbeing while optimising productivity.

Rockfon Eclipse® – elegance and performance

Acoustic Eclipse islands are installed in various formats and dimensions throughout the building. These frameless, lightweight ceiling islands can be specified in an almost unlimited range of shapes and can also be custom colour matched. They are often used to subtly and elegantly camouflage necessary services and where a traditional suspended ceiling cannot be installed. Quick and easy to install, Eclipse islands are also perfect for thermal mass installations with their rear surface providing excellent heat and light reflection.

All Rockfon ranges are made from non-combustible stone wool, which is impervious to most environmental pressures, embodies very high humidity resistance and guards against the incidence of bacteria and harmful microorganisms.

Rockfon Color-all® is available in a standard range of 34 exclusive colours and can be supplied in almost any colour. It was installed in the Charcoal option using secret fixings, under stairways where visual impact and sound control were important considerations.

Ideal for thermal mass areas or where easy access to services is required, Rockfon Universal™ Baffles offer an elegant and innovative acoustic solution. Encased with corrosion resistant powder coated steel in two formats – two end-capped or four fully framed edge, they feature a multi-functional clip assembly which enables several installation and suspension possibilities. They are available in white and in a selection of colours.

Rockfon Medicare® for when bacterial control is key

HTM 60 compliant Rockfon Medicare was also installed to offer outstanding performance in terms of infection control. Along with its Class A sound absorption and highest fire safety (Class A1), simple cleaning and low particle emission (ISO Class 5) mark it out as a first choice for areas where increased cleanliness is required.

Contemporary company headquarters and offices are increasingly required to offer a wide spectrum of spaces under one roof. From lobbies and atria, to offices, break-out areas, auditoria and cafes – each with its own specific needs in terms of acoustics and other characteristics. Rockfon has the products, expertise and experience to deliver solutions to offer outstanding performance that also looks beautiful.