Case Study

State-of-the-art, multi-use building meets all the criteria for both students and businesses

Combining state-of-the-art office space, retail units and luxury student accommodation, New Era Square is a striking multi-use, high specification project in Sheffield city centre.

A new standard

New Era Square is a landmark project for Sheffield. Located on St Mary’s Gate in the city’s Chinatown. It features a 21-storey tower, a central plaza with 4,300m2 of retail space, a 1,900m2 commercial area, 690 student flats, 14 private apartments and two luxury penthouses.

The brainchild of developer Jerry Cheung, New Era Square is a multi-use and multicultural destination that also sets an exceptional standard for design and specification. 

Robert Bancroft, consultant architect at New Era Square said: “Whether it’s the offices or the apartments, the finishes are incredibly high quality. There’s even quartz worktops in the student accommodation. To help us meet these standards, we needed to work with partners who shared our vision.” 

Having supported the first phase of the development that comprised the now-iconic Jade Tower, nine retail spaces and accommodation for 100 students, we were approached by architect Hadfield Cawkwell Davidson and main contractor Bowmer + Kirkland to assist with the second phase. 

To help the project team achieve the desired finish across the multi-use site, our Project Specification Managers and Technical Consultants provided the client with extensive expert support and know-how to help translate their aspirations into a building that works for the people it serves. This involved creating a range of detailed project packs for sub-contractor tenders, acoustic and fire reports and supporting regular site meetings to advise on detailing. 

A robust solution 

In order to meet the developer’s desire for structural, acoustic and fire protection performance to ensure safety and comfort for people using the building, a range of high-performance drylining solutions were chosen for the second phase of New Era Square.

One of these solutions was Gyproc DuraLine, which has additional fire-resistant properties and a high-density core for enhanced sound insulation and impact resistance. These properties and the ‘Severe Duty’ rating provided the client with a highly robust, long-lasting finish which was ideal for New Era Square’s student accommodation. 

To complement Gyproc DuraLine, British Gypsum Thistle MultiFinish plaster was used to create a smooth skim finish in the student accommodation areas. Versatile in its application, Thistle MultiFinish was also used across the rest of the New Era Square development to provide a hard wearing surface for painting. 

Thistle MultiFinish and Gyproc DuraLine were also selected for New Era Square due to their sustainability credentials. With the developer aiming to achieve a ‘Very Good’ rating for the development from the Building Research Establishment’s Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM®), it was key that the materials used were responsibly sourced. We were also able to advise on putting additional acoustic measures in place which helped secure more points. 

Alongside our range of high-performance drylining solutions for the interior of New Era Square, we also provided our Glasroc X sheathing board to protect against the weather during construction. This new range of lightweight, external sheathing board provides up to six months weather protection, as certified by the British Board of Agrément (BBA). This made it an ideal solution to use on New Era Square whilst the external façade was being completed.

A long-term partnership

Through a combination of extensive specification support and insight, and the supply of our market-leading high-performance products, the project team at New Era Square established a true partnership with our technical experts across the four-year project. 

Our ongoing support includes our unique SpecSure® warranty. This guarantee confirms that our proprietary high-performance drylining system will perform as specified for the lifetime of the building.

We care about building better. 




Building type
Project name
New Era Square