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In February, schoolchildren from around the globe went on strike to demand urgent action on climate change. It followed stark warnings within a report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stating that unprecedented measures are required within the next 12 years to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial times – avoiding potentially catastrophic global impacts.

With the built environment estimated to account for around 40% of total UK carbon emissions1, improving the energy efficiency of our buildings must be viewed as a priority.

The Passivhaus Standard offers a proven model for minimising the energy usage of buildings via a fabric-first approach. By applying its principals with the precise design, improved predictability and outstanding thermal performance of structural insulated panels (SIPs), developers are now achieving Passivhaus Certification on projects of increasing scale and complexity.

Getting Certified

At its core, the Passivhaus Standard aims to allow the creation of buildings which require very little energy to heat or cool, whilst also providing a high level of comfort for occupants. To achieve this, it sets clear energy performance targets which a building must meet:

  • Primary energy demand ≤ 120 kWh/m2/yr
  • Space heating/cooling demand ≤ 15 kWh/m2/yr
  • Specific cooling load ≤ 10 W/m2
  • Passivhaus performance targets for cooler climate buildings

To put these figures in context, the maximum space heating demand for a Passivhaus building is around 10% of that of an average home (estimated to be 140 kWh/m2/yr 2). As such, whilst these criteria do not specifically address a building’s carbon emissions, in practice they should significantly limit emissions when compared with a property built to current Building Regulations/Standards.

To meet these criteria, all areas of the external fabric of the property typically need to be insulated to a U-value of 0.15 W/m2.K, or lower. It is also a requirement of Passivhaus that the building be fundamentally ‘thermal bridge free’. To achieve this, close attention to detailing is crucial when designing the building and installing the insulation to ensure that potential thermal bridges around openings and at junctions (especially the wall / floor) are properly addressed. In addition, air leakage rates must be no higher than 0.6 ach@50 Pa. This is typically achieved by installing an airtight layer, such as oriented strand board (OSB), and airtight tape, which is applied to seal all junctions.

High levels of airtightness within Passivhaus buildings necessitates good ventilation via means of a mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) system. MVHR systems extract the heat from outgoing stale air and transfer it to warm incoming fresh air, further reducing the heating demand and ensuring a fresh, comfortable environment within the home.

Whilst it is possible to attain Passivhaus certification with traditional construction methods, in many cases offsite construction approaches such as SIPs can provide a simpler, faster and more adaptable solution to meeting the demanding fabric requirements.

SIPs

A typical SIP comprises an insulated core sandwiched between two layers of oriented strand board (OSB), with a jointing system that ensures excellent insulation continuity throughout the envelope, limiting repeating thermal bridging. The panels are precision cut to each project’s particular specifications in a production facility, including spaces for openings, such as windows and doors. This ensures an accurate fit, significantly reducing the need for onsite adjustments and waste. It also gives architects considerable freedom in determining the design for the property.

The panels offer excellent ‘out-of-the-box’ fabric performance with whole wall and roof U-values of 0.20 – 0.17 W/m2.K, or better. By assessing all junctions and openings within the building envelope, and carefully installing additional insulation, thermal bridges can be eliminated, and the U-values of all elements reduced to the required level.

The jointing arrangements inherent in SIPs can also support extremely airtight structures. Once an airtight membrane is fitted internally and tape is applied to junctions, the air leakage rate can be reduced to the 0.6 ach @ 50 Pa required by the Passivhaus Standard.

SIPs also provide a number of practical benefits. Their offsite production process supports greater predictability in scheduling, allowing project teams to accurately plan for panel deliveries, avoiding trade overlaps and maximising site efficiency.

The panels can be quickly installed by a small team of trained operatives with a dry construction process that is less dependent on weather conditions than other traditional approaches. When SIPs are used for both the walls and roof, the outer shell of domestic properties can often be erected in just two to three weeks. With the addition of a breather membrane to the panel exteriors, the construction is made weathertight — allowing internal fit-out to begin. The outer timber facing also provides a suitable substrate for a variety of cladding options including brick slips, render and timber cladding.

In Practice

One project to take advantage of the benefits SIPs provide is the Norwich Regeneration Company’s Rayne Park estate. The development includes a mix of private and affordable housing, with 112 of the 172 properties, earmarked for full Passivhaus Certification.

The Kingspan TEK Building System was chosen to form the envelope of many of the dwellings based on its technical specification and value offered through its offsite production process. The first phase of the development completed this March, with the Passivhaus units expected to have a heating demand of just 11 kWh/m2/yr and a primary energy requirement of 77 kWh/m2/yr.

Scalable Solution

With over 65,000 buildings now certified Passivhaus around the globe, the Standard provides a clear route to dramatically reducing the energy performance, and consequently carbon emissions, from our buildings. Offsite approaches such as SIPs provide the ideal delivery method for this standard, allowing the cost-effective construction of entire estates.

For more information please visit www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk

2018 felt like a breakthrough year for offsite construction, with developers across the country embracing modular methods and the government dedicating £420m to the development of new technologies. The building service sector has been amongst the most successful adopters of these approaches, achieving significant reductions in the scale and complexity of onsite work along, with greatly improved predictability.

BIM

As with other areas of the construction industry, the rising use of offsite approaches in the service sector is intimately linked to the adoption of Level 2 Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Building service engineers have traditionally been required to take a pragmatic approach to their work. Service specifications are often not finalised until projects are well progressed and practitioners typically must work around late changes in the design and layout of spaces when they arrive on site. In contrast, the collaborative approach of modelling, sharing and integration within Level 2 BIM, is now allowing service designs to be effectively ‘locked in’ before work even begins on site.

To give a sense of the scale of this change, the Building Engineering Services Association estimates that a typical BIM model may comprise just 70 standard drawing components for the main structure, compared with over 70,000 for mechanical and electrical services .

The ability of modelling software to automatically flag clashes has proven especially beneficial, allowing issues to be resolved at the design stage. The accuracy of these models is further aided by product-specific BIM objects, which are available from online libraries such as BIMstore. This certainty in design has been fundamental to the adoption of offsite approaches.

Offsite

By moving fabrication of services to dedicated manufacturing facilities, chaotic building sites and occasional scheduling conflicts are replaced with a clear, controlled and safe process. Large modular service units can be fabricated in preassembled standard configurations to a reliable schedule. Fabricators are readily able to access all sides of the sections without restrictions, allowing focused quality control, particularly on large and complex service modules. Problems with availability of skilled labour can also be reduced as staff are able to operate from a single location.

Once completed, sections can be held in storage until the site is ready to receive them and larger modules can be lifted into place with heavy machinery, often eliminating the need for scaffolding. In addition, as large, complex sections can be installed in a single action, the time spent working on site is cut down and site waste is greatly reduced.

Several firms have already reported significant improvements in operating efficiency through the use of BIM Level 2 and modular construction. For example, NG Bailey has highlighted typical cost savings of up to 35% (including labour reduction costs of 40%) and overall programme time savings of 90% .

In Practice

One project to benefit from the use of offsite service approaches is Airedale International Air Conditioning’s Headquarters. Following a serious fire, the building needed to be quickly reconstructed. BAM Construction used BIM at the design stage, and made the decision to deliver the industrial development as a turnkey project to help save time and resources.

Nick Howdle, project manager from BAM Construction, discussed the project: “Using BIM has been an invaluable resource for ensuring that we could accurately estimate the costings and timings, including effectively overlapping M&E installations without incident. We would have struggled to achieve the programme without offsite methods. BIM helped with clash detection, and we had zero snags with the pipework. On a £1.3 million package that is highly unusual, if not unheard of.”

The use of BIM also helped the project team to identify solutions which could meet the demanding performance criteria. For example, all pipe insulation used on the project was required to have FM Approval, whilst the pipe insulation fitted within the research and development test chamber had to support an extreme temperature range of between -20 to +50 degrees Celsius. The product BIM object and accompanying literature for Kingspan Kooltherm Pipe Insulation showed it could meet these requirements with a slim insulation thickness.

Next steps

The rise of modern methods of construction is only set to continue this year, with five government departments now committed to making a ‘presumption in favour’ of offsite manufacture for suitable capital programmes. By utilising modular building services within this approach, project teams can help to achieve further savings in project timescales and costs.

For more information please visit www.kingspanindustrialinsulation.com.

Kingspan Group, the global leader in high performance insulation and building envelope solutions, has announced the launch of Kingspan Facades – a new business designed to help architects enhance their designs without compromising on technical performance.

Combining systems and expertise from across the Group, Kingspan Facades is a service-led business providing specifiers with a comprehensive portfolio of advanced building envelope systems suitable for a multitude of applications and architectural styles. This aesthetic offering is supported with four robust substructure solutions that encompass Kingspan’s advanced core insulations alongside options using more traditional materials.

Mel Courtney, Managing Director of Kingspan Facades explains the vision for the new business:

“We’re noticing a real drive in the industry for more detailed and accessible technical guidance, particularly around facade systems. By offering solutions incorporating all of Kingspan Group’s facade products under a single business, we are in a unique position to provide the most appropriate solution. We offer a single source approach from the Steel Framing System, insulation, right through to the external facade – one point of contact for customers for the full through-wall system solution, reinforced by the technical support that Kingspan is renowned for”.

Kingspan Facades will be underpinned by an industry-leading Compliance Assured scheme. Compliance Assured by Kingspan is a robust assurance framework to support customers through design, installation training and on-site inspection during construction and handover of a BR 135 / BS 8414 tested Kingspan Facade system. This scheme, an industry first, shows Kingspan taking action to address the call for higher standards of installation and oversight on construction projects identified in the Hackitt Review earlier this year.

Describing the significance of the Compliance Assured service, Kingspan Facade’s Technical Director Dr. Thomas Henriksen said:

“In her review of Building Regulations and fire safety, Dame Judith Hackitt highlighted a number of key recommendations, including improving competence levels, stronger processes for driving compliance and managing change control, together with greater clarity of roles and responsibilities of those procuring, designing and constructing buildings. Above all Dame Judith has called for effective leadership within the construction industry to create the cultural shift required for positive change.

Compliance Assured provides a framework for construction that developers, designers, contractors, sub-contractors and most importantly both building owners and occupiers can all be confident in. As well as providing a high level of technical support at design stage, we will enhance the competence of those installing our tested systems through mandatory, project specific training. We believe that this is a major step in addressing many of Dame Judith’s recommendations”.

A key element of Compliance Assured is that Kingspan will provide a prescriptive list of components for their BS8414 Tested Systems, working with a limited number of recommended suppliers. This supports a holistic system based approach, and can be mapped to the RIBA Plan of Work Stages to provide greater transparency and traceability.

The new business will encompass the BENCHMARK by Kingspan brand, combining its architectural rainscreen facade systems, including Dri-Design, with a full spectrum of different insulation cores. These range from traditional mineral fibre to advanced insulation products such as Kingspan’s innovative QuadCore Karrier System and proven Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board solution.

The full range of products and technical services from Kingspan Facades will be available in UK, Ireland and mainland Europe and can be explored at www.kingspanfacades.co.uk

Kingspan Insulation has introduced Kingspan Thermataper TT44-K and Thermataper TT47-K, its first tapered roofing systems to incorporate Kingspan Kooltherm insulation, delivering excellent drainage and thermal performance with slim, lightweight constructions.

Kingspan Thermataper TT44-K and Thermataper TT47-K are designed for use on new and existing roofs with concrete or timber decks. With a thermal conductivity of just 0.018 W/m.K, the Kingspan Kooltherm packer board helps to minimise the overall system thickness required to achieve a desired U-value. Typical thickness savings of 20 – 40 mm could be achieved, dependent on the individual scheme and build-up, when compared with a full Polyisocyanurate (PIR) system.

Kingspan Thermataper TT44-K and Thermataper TT47-K can provide an effective flat roof drainage solution without the need for a structural fall. Each application is supported by Kingspan’s specialist tapered roofing design service, providing a clear layout for installers which will allow the desired level of rainwater run-off and insulation performance to be achieved. The service also includes a full condensation risk analysis.

Unlike traditional alternatives, such as screed to fall, the systems can be fitted with a dry installation process – reducing project timescales. In retrofit application, they can often be installed above the existing roof surface in conjunction with a waterproof membrane. This can avoid the time-consuming process of stripping down the existing surface. Pre-mitred hip and valley boards are also supplied as part of Kingspan Thermataper systems, helping to reduce both on-site adjustments and waste from offcuts.

For further information, please contact: 01544 387 384, email info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk or visit www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk.

Kingspan Insulation products have been installed throughout the envelope of the new in-patient unit at St David’s Hospice Care in Newport, creating a warm, comfortable environment for patients to receive first-class care.

The 15-bed unit adjoins an existing day hospice, providing specialist support for patients with complex symptom management needs, end of life care and occasional respite care. Each room features a wet room and a private terrace, providing views of the newly-planted wildflower meadow and hills beyond. The Welsh Government has provided £3 million towards the cost of the unit which has been constructed by Andrew Scott Ltd.

KKE Architects selected natural materials for the building cladding, including tumbled sandstone and cedar shingles, providing it with a welcoming external appearance. To ensure a slim external wall construction whilst also achieving the target U-value of 0.16 W/m2.K, Kingspan Kooltherm K8 Cavity Board was specified within the cavity wall sections of the construction.

The unit, which holds an Energy Performance Certificate of A, also features a highly insulated floor and roof, with both elements achieving a U-value of 0.10 W/m2.K. To deliver this, almost 3000 m2 of Kingspan Kooltherm K3 Floorboard was fitted along with Kingspan Kooltherm K7 Pitched Roof Board and Thermaroof TR27 LPC/FM.

Kyle Fowler, Architectural Technologist at KKE Architects commented “The Kingspan Insulation products delivered reliable performance, enabling us to achieve our desired design details. We were also able to contact their technical support team throughout the design process, ensuring the completed elements performed as expected”.

Since the completion of the in-patient unit, Kingspan has launched its Kooltherm K100 range offering thermal conductivities of just 0.018 W/m.K across all thicknesses. The expanding range now includes K103 Floorboard, K107 Pitched Roof Board and K108 Cavity Board, helping buildings to achieve outstanding levels of thermal performance with a minimum construction thickness.

For further information please call 01544 387384, email info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk or visit www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk.

Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board has been installed on a new £1 million state-of-the-art rehabilitation centre for people who have suffered catastrophic sporting injuries.

Opened in December 2017, the Get Busy Living Centre has been created by the Matt Hampson Foundation to provide a place where its beneficiaries can come to receive the latest physiotherapy treatments, spend time with their families and meet and socialise with those in similar situations to themselves. Designed to echo the size and aesthetics of the World War Two aircraft hangar that originally stood on the site, the copper and timber clad building features an open-plan layout with a large mezzanine platform to increase the internal space.

As a charity, it was important that the building was as energy efficient as possible to reduce the long-term running costs. Nick Preedy, Construction Manager at Willmott Dixon explained:

“The project has a number of energy generation and saving strategies, such as the solar photovoltaic panels and Air Source Heat Pump heating system. To maximise the energy and cost saving benefits of these solutions, without reducing useable internal space, Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen board was selected, obtaining the highest standard of thermal performance for the project.”

Cladding and roofing contractors, Sage Building Envelope Contractors, installed the Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen board throughout the building envelope. The premium performance product features a fibre-free core and can achieve thermal conductivities as low as 0.020 W/m.K, resulting in a slim wall build up. It has also been assigned a highest possible Green Guide Summary Rating of A+ by the BRE and has been certified as ‘Excellent’ under the demanding responsible sourcing standard, BES 6001. It was the first insulation board for use in rainscreen cladding applications to achieve LABC Registered Detail.

Louis Deacon, Commercial & Partnership Manager at the Matt Hampton Foundation, commented on the completed building “The Get Busy Living Centre has been a dream of our founder, Matt Hampton, for many years. Determined to stay positive after sustaining life-altering injuries in a training session for the England U21 rugby team, Matt created the foundation to support others who have endured similar serious injury— with the ultimate goal of creating a purpose-built rehabilitation facility. The quality of the completed building is not only testament to his inspirational energy and drive, but will enable us to offer physical and mental support to those that need it for many years to come.”

The project is being delivered by a number of local firms, many of which are offering their time, services, materials and expertise for free, including Willmott Dixon and Sage Roofing. To find out more about the Matt Hampson Foundation and support the Get Busy Living Centre, please visit: www.matthampsonfoundation.org.

For further information please call 01544 387 384, email info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk or visit www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk.

Over two decades after it was first installed, The Kingspan KoolDuct System is still delivering excellent thermal comfort, humidity control and ventilation performance at Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru (the National Library of Wales).

Situated on Penglais Hill above the town of Aberystwyth, the library is home to over four million books including a number of rare Welsh and Celtic volumes. Since it was first opened in 1911, the library has been regularly extended to provide more space for its collections. One of the most significant expansions was completed in 1996 with the opening of the Third Library Building, offering office and server space, along with storage facilities for many of the library’s most valuable materials.

The Kingspan KoolDuct System was fitted during the building’s construction in 1995. The HVAC specification took full advantage of the system’s slimline design, concealing it beneath corridor floors. In addition, The Kingspan KoolDuct System was also used within the main ground floor plant room and as part of four risers, traveling from the lower ground floor to the fourth floor. No issues and no relevant maintenance have ever been recorded with the ductwork and a recent inspection showed that the system was in good condition and performing as expected.

In addition to its proven longevity, The Kingspan KoolDuct System can also facilitate fast-track installation programmes. Its pre-insulated design eliminates the need for a separate lagging stage and allows ductwork to be fabricated in lightweight sections up to 2.95 metres in length. This ensures greater ease of handling whilst minimising the need for supports.

Ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System is also well suited to projects targeting high standards in energy efficiency. The system panels have been assigned a highest possible BRE Green Guide Summary Rating of A+ whilst their jointing system can reduce air–leakage rates

Ductwork fabricated from The Kingspan KoolDuct System is also well suited to projects targeting high standards in energy efficiency. The system panels have been assigned a highest possible BRE Green Guide Summary Rating of A+. In addition, their jointing system can reduce air–leakage rates to a fraction of those typical of rectangular sheet metal ductwork by achieving the best airtightness Class C and D.

Research from Sweett (UK) Limited has revealed that in combination with its low-maintenance design, this can lead to “whole life” HVAC savings of over 25% compared with traditional galvanised sheet metal ductwork which typically lose  much more air than it is supposed to and may not achieve the basic airtightness Class A.

The Kingspan KoolDuct System is UL Listed as a Class 1 Air Duct, to Standard for Safety UL 181 (Underwriters Laboratories: Factory Made Air Ducts & Air Connectors), when fabricated to a specification clearly defined by UL.

For further information, please call 01544 387 384, email info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk or visit www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk.

Two divisions of the global building materials manufacturer Kingspan Group will be sharing their extensive knowledge and expertise at FIREX International this June.

The exhibition, which takes place at ExCeL London, runs from 19th – 21st June and will bring together experts from across the industry to demonstrate and discuss the latest life safety solutions and share best practice when it comes to fire safety. Located on stand A590, both Kingspan Insulated Panels and Kingspan Insulation will be showcasing a variety of products, solutions and services which will help contractors and specifiers to meet requirements. The stand will also host a live simulation of a roofer’s torch test similar to ISO 11925-3 (Reaction to fire tests: Ignitability of building products subjected to direct impingement of flame) at intervals throughout the show.

Kingspan’s expert technical and sales teams will be on hand throughout the three-day event to answer any questions visitors may have and provide up-to-date information.

Kingspan are also sponsoring the first day of the 5th International Tall Building Fire Safety Conference, which is running alongside the FIREX Exhibition. Technical Director at Kingspan Insulated Panels, UK & Ireland, Tony Ryan, will be delivering a talk on Fire Testing of Tall Building Façade Systems on 19th June.

Kingspan Insulated Panels Website: www.kingspan.com/gb/en-gb/about-kingspan/kingspan-insulated-panels/fire-safety
Kingspan Insulation Website: https://www.kingspan.com/gb/en-gb/products/insulation/kingspan-insight/fire

The Kingspan TEK Building System has been erected at West Midland Safari Park to provide research and educational space, with minimal impact on the site, due to the lightweight system.

The 250-acre landscaped park in Bewdley, Worcestershire has continued to increase its purpose-built space to meet the growing interest in animal conservation and study. It is estimated that the site receives up to 46,000 school children per year from more than 1,000 schools across the UK, who come to learn about wildlife and take part in activities. 500 m2 of the Kingspan TEK Building System in a 142 mm thickness were pre-cut to specification by delivery partners, Glosford SIPS.

Richard Painter, Director of Painter Architects Ltd, explains the specification of the Kingspan TEK Building System for the building envelope: “We needed to provide large teaching spaces within a quick construction period that would leave no footprint on the land if it was returned to grazing land in the future. The Kingspan TEK Building System was an obvious choice as it is low maintenance and lightweight. It also provided a well-insulated structure to help us meet Simplified Building Energy Model (SBEM) compliance.”

The entire building envelope was manufactured off-site and transported to the park then craned into position above screw pile foundations. Mike Fleming, Director from Glosford SIPS, added:
“With the installation having to be completed during the closed season, there had to be a quick turnaround. We have had lots of experience working with Kingspan though and the system is really quick – the entire envelope was up in two weeks! We also really enjoyed working alongside the Safari Park construction team and the wild animals too.”

Following this, the Kingspan TEK panels were clad with cedar and African art panels on the walls and dark green corrugated tin sheeting on the mono pitched roof, to blend in with the landscape and fit the aesthetic of the park. With the roof panels being light, there was also less structural stress.

By erecting a Kingspan TEK Building System envelope, the project could accomplish excellent levels of thermal performance by achieving U-values of 0.20 W/m2.K or better for the walls and roof. The insulated spline jointing detail, in combination with its OSB/3 facing bonded to a highly insulated core, ensured minimal thermal bridging through the insulation layer and resulted in a very airtight building shell which offered air permeability of less than 1 m3/hr.m2 at 50 Pa. Once the system was sealed with a breather membrane, the entire structure is watertight.

The manufacturing facility where the panels are produced carries both FSC® (FSC®-C109304) and PEFC Chain of Custody certification. As standard, the OSB/3 facing of all Kingspan TEK panels is PEFC certified.

For further information, please call 01544 387 384, email literature@kingspantek.co.uk or visit www.kingspantek.co.uk.

Golfers at Centurion Club in Hemel Hempstead have found their performance matched back at the clubhouse, following the installation of the Kingspan OPTIM-R Balcony & Terrace System.

Situated in the Hertfordshire countryside, Centurion Club offers members and their guests the finest facilities and customer service both on and off the course. The contemporary clubhouse provides a comfortable yet opulent place for meeting and entertaining, with a stylish restaurant and private rooms available for hire.

A recessed roof terrace was incorporated into the building design to take full advantage of the views across the lake and 18th green, extending the Member bar seating area. To ensure a level threshold for a smooth transition from inside to outside, whilst also keeping the area well insulated, the Kingspan OPTIM-R Balcony & Terrace System was specified.

The next generation insulation solution features vacuum insulation panels (VIPs) with a microporous core which is evacuated, encased and sealed in a thin, gas-tight envelope. With a declared thermal conductivity 0.007 W/m.K, Kingspan OPTIM-R VIPs can deliver an insulating performance up to five times better than that of commonly available insulation materials.

The 20 mm Kingspan OPTIM-R Balcony & Terrace System was installed on the terrace below Kingspan Thermataper TT47 LPC/FM. The use of this product eliminated the need to incorporate a structural fall into the design, and provided a lightweight and dry alternative to screeding.

As with every installation of a Kingspan OPTIM-R System, Kingspan’s specialist technical team provided detailed layouts and instructions for the project, to ensure it achieved the best possible level of thermal performance from absolute minimal thickness.

20-40 mm thick Kingspan OPTIM-R panels are also certified under the demanding BDA Agrément® scheme. This independent certification is accepted by NHBC and the LABC and can help to fast-track projects through the procedures and approvals processes, further reducing project costs.

For more information, please call 01544 387 384, email info@kingspaninsulation.co.uk or visit www.kingspaninsulation.co.uk/optim-r.