Environment and sustainability research institute discovers outstanding performance with Kingspan

When plans were drawn up for a new multi-million pound institute to lead cutting edge research into environmental change, minimising the building’s CO2 emissions and environmental impact were key design considerations. Accordingly, a wide range of Kingspan Insulation products have therefore been installed on the walls, floor and roof of the University of Exeter’s Environment and Sustainability Institute (ESI) at the Penryn Campus in Cornwall, helping it to achieve a BREEAM Outstanding rating with an interim score of 91.57.

To minimise heatloss from the building’s ground floor, two 150 mm layers of Kingspan’s premium performance Kooltherm K3 Floorboard were installed, delivering an outstanding floor U-value of just 0.05 W/m2.K. Kingspan Kooltherm K15 Rainscreen Board was also installed behind the rainscreen elements of the building façade, helping to achieve an external wall U-value of 0.13 W/m2.K. Both products have been assigned a highest possible Green Guide Summary Rating of A+.

Leadbitter, a Bouygues UK company, was appointed as the main contractor for the construction of the ESI. Rob Bradley, Managing Director of Leadbitter and Bouygues UK’s Western team, said:

“We needed to consider a range of factors so the project could meet the BREEAM Outstanding rating. The responsible sourcing and thermal performance offered by the Kingspan Insulation products were key drivers in their selection. We also used Kingspan’s waste take-back scheme to help us meet our target of zero non-hazardous waste to landfill.

“Kingspan Insulation produced a layout for the roof insulation to ensure optimum use, while adhering to our thermal and structural requirements. Where loads were required to be placed on the roof, Kingspan offered sound advice on the compressive strength of its material.”

Mike Old from roofing contractor Western Flat Roofing explained the layout of the roof insulation:

“The ESI roof was covered in Kingspan Thermataper TT47 LPC/FM, with the exception of the stair tower, light well roof and pitched section where we installed Kingspan Thermaroof TR27 LPC/FM; and plant room where we fitted Kingspan Thermaroof TR26 LPC/FM. Kingspan’s technical department also provided the minimum depths of insulation to meet the final U-value of 0.09 W/m2.k.”

All Kingspan Kooltherm and Therma insulation products manufactured at its British manufacturing facilities are certified ‘Very Good’ under the demanding BES 6001: Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products standard.

The ESI building was designed by Stride Treglown, whose interdisciplinary staff are committed to delivering environmentally responsible architectural solutions. In addition to the outstanding level of fabric performance, the facility also includes a number of other innovative features, such as a 35,000 litre rainwater harvesting tank, a combined heat and power system and on-site energy generation including 250m2 photovoltaic panels which account for almost a quarter of the building’s energy requirements.

Funding for the ESI has been jointly provided by the European Regional Development Fund Convergence Programme (£22.9M) and the South West Regional Development Agency (£6.6M), along with significant support from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE). Falmouth Exeter Plus, the service delivery partner of Falmouth University and the University of Exeter who share and jointly manage the Penryn Campus, project managed the facility’s design and construction on behalf of the University of Exeter.

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