Report identifies the benefits of pre-insulated ducting

The space and time-saving benefits of Kingspan’s KoolDuct system were vital features in refurbishment of a building in the City of London as a new store for House of Fraser.
Kingspan’s pre-insulated KoolDuct system can be installed three times faster than sheet-metal systems — according to research by consultants Bucknall Austin. The results from six separate case studies showed an average installation rate of 23 to 25 m per day for a 2-man team, compared to 7 to 9 m per day using sheet metal. The sheet-metal figures did not include any additional time to insulate the ducting — a process that is not required for the pre-insulated Koolduct system. KoolDuct is made from rigid phenolic insulation panels faced with reinforced aluminium foil on both sides. It is 85% lighter than the equivalent galvanised sheet-steel ductwork. This light weight enables several sections to be joined at floor level before installation. It was not unusual to assemble lengths of 9 m or more, and quite feasible to have lengths up to 15 m, compared to the usual 1.5 m lengths of sheet metal. Because Koolduct can be ‘manufactured’ on site, design alterations can be accommodated and unforeseen obstructions worked around without causing delays. In refurbishment projects with space and load-bearing constraints, the light weight and integral thermal-insulation properties were particularly valuable. All these features were significant for the refurbishment of the Guardian Royal Exchange Building in the City of London as a new store for House of Fraser. This boutique-style store has five floors About 2000 m2 of KoolDuct was assembled on site and installed throughout store and plant-room areas by Sterling Thermal working in close partnership with consulting engineers Slender Winter. KoolDuct was found to be so competitive that it was even used in areas where insulation was not required. The Bucknall Austin report concludes that the risk and duration of time extensions on projects can be reduced and that savings were made in the projects examined. The savings arose from shorter initial contract duration and reductions in delays due to design developments and variations during construction. The report recommends that the system should be an automatic consideration where project duration are a key issue and ductwork is a critical path activity. A CIBSE-accredited CPD presentation is available from Kingspan.
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