When it came to completing a project on time and within budget, the choice of CSR Gyprock® Cinema Wall was a crucial factor in the construction of a new cinema complex in Mount Barker, South Australia.

The original design of the Wallis Cinemas seven-cinema complex involved using precast concrete for both internal and external walls of the cinemas. However, with building costs set to exceed budgets before building commenced, the project was partly redesigned to reduce costs.

Walter Brooke Architects and Hansen Yuncken (builders) were appointed to the project in December 2001. Architect John Walter said Gyprock® Cinema Wall was chosen as an alternative to precast concrete for the internal walls between each cinema as it was more cost-effective and more readily available than precast, saving invaluable time during the construction phase.

“We had to redesign the building to cut costs, and we also faced time pressures as the builders had to start construction before March 2002. This meant that if we used precast concrete as planned, the project wouldn’t have been completed as quickly because of the long lead-time in ordering and manufacturing precast concrete in the prevailing market conditions,” Walter said.

“Instead, we decided to use Gyprock® Cinema Wall which did not have to be ordered in advance and would still provide the high performance acoustic walls we required for the complex. This saved us money and bought us time.” According to Hansen Yuncken Project Manager, Chris Bate, Gyprock® Cinema Wall saved approximately four weeks in building time. “Using Gyprock® Cinema Wall, we could put the roof on more quickly to seal the building up from the winter elements. The Gyprock® Cinema Wall could then be installed and other internal construction could be completed throughout winter without interruption,” Bate said.

The Gyprock® Cinema Wall system at Mt Barker is constructed with three layers of 16mm Gyprock Fyrchek™ on one side of a supporting steel framework, with four layers on the other. The framework consists of steel columns (also used for roof support) with horizontal girts between them on each face of the wall. The girts are staggered for acoustic separation, and are fixed to the columns through Gyprock® Cinema Wall Mounts. Top hat sections are fixed vertically to the girts to support the layers of Gyprock Fyrchek™. Two layers of Bradford R2.5 Building Blanket (110mm thick) are inserted in the wall cavity and the system has achieved an acoustic rating of Rw 77. Gyprock® Cinema Wall was installed in all of the internal walls between each of the seven cinemas.

“The client was more than happy with the result. Using Gyprock® Cinema Wall, we were able to match the acoustic requirements of the original design. Wallis Cinemas undertook extensive acoustic testing of the cinemas before it opened and the walls performed as well as we expected,” Bate said.

Gyprock® Cinema Wall is suitable for all large area walls where acoustic separation and a dramatic reduction in sound transmission is required, such as lecture theatres, drama theatres and concert halls.